As more enterprises try to dissect system failures and performance problems, IT Masters Inc. is readying updated tools that can automatically show the impact of IT trouble on services and business processes.
The companys newest MasterCell product, Version 3.0, includes new services modeling functions that allow the status of services to be correlated with the availability and health of the IT infrastructure components that deliver those services, according to officials. The product was originally designed to be more scalable than traditional client/server-oriented ESM (enterprise systems management) frameworks or suites.
The IT organization at a large German bank, Postbank Systems AG, chose Master- Cell over IBMs Tivoli Enterprise Console because of its scalability and resilience. The tool also won out over BMC Software Inc.s Patrol Event Manager and Computer Associates International Inc.s Unicenter, according to Hans-Joachim von de Lieth, a project leader at Postbank, in Bonn.
"For the first time, were able to see the relationship between different hardware and software components in one view, so we can decide what the business impact is of certain errors and prioritize problems," von de Lieth said. "If a key component of our hardware or software has a failure, we can instantly see if [an ATM or online banking interface] is affected."
MasterCell is made up of cells, or lightweight event processors, placed strategically across an enterprise IT infrastructure. The cells form a peer-to-peer network to share the processing load and results for events and information gathered from third-party elements. The P2P cell network allows information to be pushed to appropriate users.
MasterCell provides bidirectional integration with such ESM tools as Patrol, Tivoli Enterprise Manager and Tivoli Netview, Unicenter, and Hewlett-Packard Co.s OpenView. It can gather SNMP events, Windows events and Unix system events.
MasterCell is also integrated with service desk systems such as Peregrine Systems Inc.s ServiceCenter and BMCs Remedy Action Request system.
"We provide two-way interactions, so we can get information out of a third-party product and push information into it," said Jean-Marc Trinon, chief technology officer at IT Masters, in Brussels, Belgium. "Thats important in describing the service provisioning."
MasterCell also adapts to changing environments. "Cells will automatically reassess what the business impact is when you change infrastructure or [service- level agreements]," said Trinon.
Despite the difficult IT spending environment, privately held IT Masters managed to increase its revenues by 30 percent in the third quarter—on top of 15 percent growth in the second. The 7-year-old company, which has 80 employees, says it has more than 1,000 customers.