Tool Could be Tonic for Operations Staff

Tonic Software refined its flagship Web application mgmt. tool to speed time-to-repair for app failures.

Web applications management provider Tonic Software Inc. this week announced it has refined its flagship software to speed time-to-repair for application failures.

Tonic Version 3.0, which provides fault monitoring, problem isolation, reporting and automated resolution for applications running on IBM WebSphere and BEA WebLobic servers, adds new correlation functions that help to reduce the number of sympathetic alerts or events that operators must deal with when one failure kicks off multiple alerts from an existing monitoring system.

"Our problem isolation engine correlates this different data across the infrastructure to reduce the number of multiple events that are all related so the operations staff can focus on whats really related to the problem," explained Steve Marcie, chief technology officer for the Austin, Texas, company.

The Tonic software works from an end-user perspective to identify faults by monitoring for violations of business policies and then drills down to isolate the cause. The tool takes a process-driven approach to problem isolation—modeled after the way network engineers examine components of the infrastructure in a particular order to pinpoint the source of failures—and combines it with data correlation to find the specific fault, rather than just symptoms of the fault.

Tonic Version 3.0 also adds a series of diagnostic tests that can be used to identify problems within the Web infrastructure. The tests can be executed against databases and used for invoking Enterprise Java Beans in a J2EE application.

"The operations staff typically walks down the chain of infrastructure that makes up the application—i.e., the Web server, database server, application server. We break the transaction down into its subcomponents—i.e., the HTTP request to the Web server, the JDBC call to the database server," described Marcie.

Setting up the diagnostic tests requires some data from the operator, such as which database to run a test against or which table to execute a test against. Tonic intends to add auto-discovery of the application and its configuration to eliminate that requirement, Marcie said.

Version 3.0 also adds bi-directional data integration between Tonic and BMC Software Inc.s Patrol, allowing data gathered by Patrol agents to be correlated with Tonic data and allowing Tonic data to be shared with the Patrol console.

Later releases will add such integration with Tivolis Tivoli Enterprise Console, Hewlett-Packards OpenView and Computer Associates International Inc.s Unicenter.

Tonic 3.0 also adds the ability to generate synthetic transactions from multiple points of presence servers at different locations to determine whether a fault is application or network-based, and if it is in the network, where it is located.

Version 3.0, available now, can also isolate problems within WebSphere and WebLogic application server components and application logic.

The software ranges from $40,000 for a departmental version up to $1 million for an enterprise version.