By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2004-01-12 Print this article Print

System Management Arts Inc. has added a useful new plug-in to its sprawling Application Services Manager suite that consolidates information gleaned from Microsoft Operations Manager 2000. InCharge Connector for MOM 2000, which was released late last year and is free for ASM customers, is a good choice for IT administrators managing Windows 2000 Server- and Windows Server 2003-based systems because it consolidates and correlates events from network infrastructure products on a single screen in the InCharge Service Assurance Manager console.

eWEEK Labs tests show that the InCharge plug-in does not provide any information above and beyond what MOM 2000 does, but the plug-in allowed us to dispense with using the MOM 2000 management console for day-to-day monitoring operations while permitting the ASM suite to process events and identify problems such as high processor utilization or low memory.

This level of integration puts System Management Arts (Smarts) on a collision course with NetIQ Corp., whose top-notch AppManager suite offers a range of management modules that operate with Microsoft Corp. and Unix operating systems and applications.

In stable network environments, the NetIQ system should work well. However, ASMs uncanny ability to bring order to event notifications—thereby pinpointing network problems that affect Windows servers—will be welcome in network environments that change often.

During tests with the new InCharge Connector, we used MOM 2000 to monitor a range of Windows 2000 Server and Windows Server 2003 systems that were running a variety of database and Web applications.

Much of our test time was spent working with MOM 2000 to configure rules and actions that would generate events.

We found that InCharge Connector for MOM 2000 accurately and easily transferred events from our MOM 2000 system to the InCharge Service Assurance Manager console.

Once the events were processed by the InCharge console, we were able to monitor the availability of the Windows systems that were being corralled by the MOM 2000 setup.

Because InCharge Service Assurance Manager collects and analyzes events from a variety of InCharge network infrastructure monitoring modules, including those that monitor ATM and IP network performance, IT managers will get fault information from a wider variety of sources than they will with most other network management tools.

In our tests, ASM provided root-cause analysis of the events gathered through InCharge Connector for MOM 2000. This should decrease ongoing management costs because the InCharge system is frequently able to speed up problem identification by zeroing in on performance culprits such as a process that is consuming too many system resources.

Smarts has been adding application and network support for a variety of IT resources over the years. Now that the analysis of network infrastructure devices such as routers and switches can be factored in with information about the operations of Windows servers, IT managers will be much further ahead in determining the root cause of breakdowns.

Its worth noting that InCharge Connector for MOM 2000 is just one of several effective products eWEEK Labs has seen that use MOM to provide for critical infrastructure management.

Senior Analyst Cameron Sturdevant can be reached at cameron_sturdevant@ziffdavis.com

Cameron Sturdevant Cameron Sturdevant has been with the Labs since 1997, and before that paid his IT management dues at a software publishing firm working with several Fortune 100 companies. Cameron also spent two years with a database development firm, integrating applications with mainframe legacy programs. Cameron's areas of expertise include virtual and physical IT infrastructure, cloud computing, enterprise networking and mobility, with a focus on Android in the enterprise. In addition to reviews, Cameron has covered monolithic enterprise management systems throughout their lifecycles, providing the eWEEK reader with all-important history and context. Cameron takes special care in cultivating his IT manager contacts, to ensure that his reviews and analysis are grounded in real-world concern. Cameron is a regular speaker at Ziff-Davis Enterprise online and face-to-face events. Follow Cameron on Twitter at csturdevant, or reach him by email at csturdevant@eweek.com.

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