Between natural disasters, security breaches and government regulations such as Sarbanes Oxley, a growing number of network operators and application administrators are asking for the ability to fail over to a backup server for their performance monitoring and management offerings.
Especially for users in the financial services and healthcare sectors, the ability to monitor the transition to backup data centers, servers, networks and databases during a disaster is key to minimizing downtime, according to Eileen Haggerty, senior manager of solutions marketing at the Westford, Mass. Company.
Tools such as the distributed nGenius Performance Manager can show which systems and applications are online, which users and sites are online, and how well servers are performing on backup networks and systems. By keeping a before-and-after record of activity, the nGenius Performance Manager Standby Server can illustrate the level of success achieved by business continuity activity.
"The system works in elegant manner. Every 15 minutes it sends a file to update configuration information and collect trend information for reporting. If it doesnt get the file, it sends out alerts to let operators know so that they can investigate. It provides another set of alerts to let users know about an interruption," described Haggerty.
The standby server can be located off-site at a redundant data center or Network Operations Center, where the customer shifts IT management during a disaster such as a power outage, natural disaster, cut telecommunications link and so on. It can also be located at the backup site of a business continuity services provider. Or, it can be co-located with the primary nGenius Performance Manager Server for local redundancy for IT staffs planning for localized server hardware or database outages.
The distributed architecture of nGenius Performance Manager lends itself to a standby server, and as a result NetScout is unique in offering failover specific to performance management, Haggerty said.
"We have a server that operates as a master within overall application management, and we have secondary servers deployed globally, where all data can be rolled up to enterprisewide views to evaluate every circuit and collect data on every application and show whats most utilized," she said.
The new standby server is available now on Windows, Solaris and Linux and is priced at $25,000.