Smarts Pinpoints App Services Problems

By Paula Musich  |  Posted 2002-04-22
System Management Arts Inc. at NetWorld+Interop next month will give IT operators a crack at better pinpointing the root cause of application services performance problems across the networks, systems and software processes that support them.

System Management Arts, also known as Smarts, will extend its information modeling technology and patented Codebook Correlation Technology to the application services domain through a new InCharge Application Services Manager.

It is designed to allow IT operators to more quickly find and fix the cause of application service performance degradation or failure, as well as better prioritize which problems to address first.

"We trace the root cause to what needs to be fixed [and] tell you it needs to be fixed and how important it is to fix it based on how its impacting a revenue generating service," said Shaula Alexander Yemini, founder and president of Smarts in White Plains, N.Y.

The tool, she said, is unique in that "we are looking at an application service not as an individual application process but as the collective operation of several application processes that together perform a service."

InCharge ASM leverages information from other tools in the InCharge suite that focus on network and server health. It also correlates results with data from third-party application monitoring agents to perform cross-domain, end-to-end analysis. Those include agents from Concord Communication Inc.s eHealth, BMC Software Inc.s Patrol and Mercury Interactive Inc.s SiteScope.

One industry observer familiar with the new tool believes it is a perfect complement to more granular, application-specific point tools.

"The ability to automate to understand performance implications across the infrastructure with the InCharge model is squarely on the money," said Dennis Drogseth, vice president at Enterprise Management Associates Inc., in Portsmouth, N.H. "They are well-positioned now to bring in a holistic set of dependencies first and then go in with the point tools. They are not likely to be as granular in application diagnosis as network diagnosis Day One, but they can ascertain it is an application problem and then bring in a point tool," he added.

Using Smarts information modeling, InCharge ASM creates topologies that show the application services being delivered and their relationships to other applications, servers and network links.

"We model the different physical and logical pieces of the infrastructure and the relationships between them--which applications are on which servers, how theyre connected to the network, which servers support the application, and so on," she said.

InCharge ASM uses the Codebook Correlation Technology to identify symptoms of problems specific to networks, servers, operating systems and applications.

InCharge ASM requires the InCharge Service Assurance Manager, which performs business impact analysis.

Pricing for InCharge ASM, due in July, will start at about $60,000.

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