AUSTIN, TEXAS (05/10/2000) - Midsize companies often find themselves facing this scenario: Rapid growth is causing the network to become nearly unmanageable, yet the company is not big enough to justify a full-blown network management system.
TriActive Inc., an Austin, Texas, management service provider (MSP), is looking to solve that conundrum with a new service announced this week.
TriActive's Systems Manager service allows customers with networks of 200 to 5,000 PCs and servers to implement a powerful enterprise management system without the staffing costs or hassles typically associated with such a project.
"We can get a customer's management system up and operating in a manner of hours instead of an implementation that lasts for months," says Todd Clayton, TriActive's vice president of marketing. "Customers don't have to send anyone to get certified or to special training to operate our system."
Clayton says the outsourcing of network management allows network executives to concentrate more on overall system planning and strategy.
"In the past, IT managers have had to spend all their time keeping the ship afloat," Clayton says. "What we're offering is a comprehensive management system which allows customers to free up time to do more important things and not be held hostage by managing the network."
TriActive's monitoring system can provide server, client and Web page monitoring capabilities for a flat monthly fee. The system is based on custom-designed software agents, which are applications that are installed on all of a customer's monitored machines. A gateway server at the customer's site collects data from the agents and sends the information to TriActive's data center in Austin.
Security is provided by a Fortress virtual private network device, also on the customer's premises, which encrypts and sends data over the Internet. At TriActive's data center, network data is processed and analyzed by a customized back-end system based on Tivoli Systems Inc. software.
Customers can receive automatic alerts via e-mail, pager or cell phone if network problems occur, such as a server overload, virus infection or Web site slowdown or crash. A secure Web portal can be used to access the collected network data, run reports on network performance and utilize the system's help desk workflow system.
Pricing for TriActive's services is $20 per month per monitored PC and around $1,000 a month per network server, depending on configuration. Web page monitoring runs between $1,500 to $2,000 per month per site.
Later this summer, TriActive will add a network device management feature for routers and switches. Clayton says installation costs around $5,000, which covers all on-site equipment and software installation.
According to Gartner Group Inc., a research firm in Stamford, Connecticut, the MSP market will grow rapidly - from $90 million this year to $3.26 billion in 2005 - as more small and midsize companies enlist the help of MSPs.