Management tools aplenty at N+I

A host of management tools for helping customers control, track and troubleshoot problems across enterprise networks took the spotlight at the NetWorld+Interop 2000 show last week.

As companies rapidly increase network infrastructure, more network professionals are looking for products that give a big picture of the enterprise environment, and let them anticipate and fix problems before they become serious, analysts say.

At the show in Atlanta, Compuware released its EcoChannel Web-based reporting console that ties together data from the company's EcoSystems network management and monitoring tools. Products in the EcoSystems suite include a Web application health monitoring tool, server monitoring software and system analysis software.

EcoSystems provides critical data on network and server performance, says Michael McVaugh, a senior systems analyst with Sunoco's IT headquarters in Philadelphia. He says centralised reporting data has become invaluable for managing the 135 Windows NT servers he maintains.

"We've got a huge investment in servers," he says. "Our management needs accurate, presentable information on what's going on with those machines."

F5 Networks will roll out a product bundle at Interop that includes cache management features designed to increase the efficiency and availability of cache servers. The product offers a single way for network managers to cache content and manage Web traffic, F5 says.

Radware showed its SynApps management technology, which it is integrating into its entire line of Layer 7 switches. The technology is a combination of ASIC-based hardware functions and software tools that does the job of several management products.

Radware switches with SynApps technology combine hardware-based bandwidth and traffic management with software tools for application security and application health monitoring tools. This combination gives network professionals a centralised platform for multiple management tasks.

Sitara Networks announced its QoSDirector policy management product. The software, which runs on a Sun Microsystems Solaris server, can be used to set quality-of-service (QoS) policies on bandwidth allocation and network access across an entire enterprise or service provider network. The system has Lightweight Directory Access Protocol compatibility for managing users and objects in a network directory.

It also includes APIs for XML and HTTP for hooking it into a local intranet and SNMP for communicating with manageable networked devices.

Entuity unveiled Eye of the Storm 2.5, a program that alerts users to potential network problems in real time, and provides a port-level view of the network devices, giving net managers a better idea of who's using what equipment and when.

Other network and application management products debuting at the show included Valencia Systems' Aruba product and LANovation's PictureTaker Enterprise Edition. Aruba is software that can detect network bottlenecks and track carrier service bandwidth usage. PictureTaker is a tool that lets network managers package software into bundles and automatically distribute the software to PCs throughout a network.

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More about Australian Securities & Investment CommissionCompuwareEntuityF5 NetworksInteropLANovationRadwareSitaraSitara NetworksSun Microsystems

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