Sonic, NetIQ Team to Increase AppManagers Remote Features

By Paula Musich  |  Posted 2003-03-10

Sonic Mobility Inc. last week said its work with NetIQ Corp. has resulted in new capabilities for NetIQs AppManager Suite users to monitor, trouble-shoot and fix server performance problems from remote PDAs.

The Calgary, Alberta, company launched its NetIQ AppManager plug-in for its Sonicadmin tool at NetIQs user conference in Orlando, Fla. The plug-in lets administrators securely access functions to resolve Windows NT, Windows 2000, Unix and Linux server problems from Research In Motion Ltd. BlackBerry or Microsoft Corp. Pocket PC wireless handheld devices.

Using the new AppManager plug-in for Sonicadmin, administrators can receive event notifications wherever they are, connect securely to the Windows-based AppManager to fix the problem and use the handheld devices e-mail capability to notify other staff members that the problem is being handled.

The tool uses Triple-DES (Data Encryption Standard) 128-bit encryption, and the handheld devices do not store sensitive information such as passwords. It also prevents scanners from being used to intercept communications, according to Derek Ball, CEO at Sonic Mobility.

Nestle USA, which is evaluating Sonicadmin, saw the Sonic Mobility offering as a sophisticated tool that promises to give administrators most of what they need to do break/fix work on a daily basis, according to Byron Pearce, project manager at Nestle, in Glendale, Calif.

"Administrators are blown away by the fact that if theyre at lunch two blocks away, they can solve a server problem pretty much right away. And the PDA can take and send e-mail, take and send a phone call, so it becomes the Swiss Army Knife of support administration," said Pearce.

The core Sonicadmin tool provides remote network management of routers and switches. "You can connect to routers and switches on the fly, have control over external power supplies. The monitoring product sends you the alert, and you can fix it from the handheld," said Ball. Sonic Mobility intends to develop interfaces for other management tools, including Hewlett-Packard Co.s OpenView Network Node Manager and OpenView Operations for Windows and Microsofts Microsoft Operations Manager, Ball added.

NetIQ, which had considered building its own wireless interface using Wireless Application Protocol in response to customer requests, found the tools security and efficient communications over the slow speed links to be "synergistic" with AppManager, according to Kevin Connor, product manager for the systems management business unit of NetIQ, in Bellevue, Wash.

The new plug-in, available later this month, is $249 for a single NetIQ server. For multiple application servers, a 500-server pack is $35,000.

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