Heroix Software Ties Agentless Monitoring to Network Management

The company's Longitude tool provides comprehensive reporting for operating systems and monitors the performance and reports on servers.

Heroix on Monday sought to bridge the gap between simple agentless monitoring tools and more in-depth agent-based server and network management tools with the introduction of its new Longitude application and system performance monitoring software.

The growing richness of existing instrumentation, such as the Windows Management Interface, combined with users desire for lower-cost and easier-to-install monitoring and reporting tools led Heroix Corp. to develop its new Longitude availability and performance monitoring software.

"In the past WMI was not reliable or robust enough to have a viable agentless product, but thats changed in last few years. We can make those calls and get the information we request from WMI," said Rick Lane, president of the Newton, Mass., company.

The tool for non-Windows systems uses other standard interfaces or protocols to remotely collect management information.

"If one doesnt work, [Longitude] will try others, including SSH, Telnet, r-exec, HTTP, or JMX," he added. It also uses for collectors TCP, XML, SQL, HTML and JDBC.

Longitude addresses another issue with agent-based management tools—how to securely access and collect management data across remote links.

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"Users dont have the authority to install those agents in some places. Thats especially true for management services providers. We saw a need to deliver secure software that can be made to follow security policies but require users to go begging to the security folks," said Mary Masi-Phelps, director of marketing.

Longitude provides comprehensive reporting for Windows, Linux and several Unix operating system versions as well as Microsoft Exchange and SQL Server as well as Oracle database servers.

It also monitors the performance and reports on Microsoft Internet Information Service and Apache Web servers as well as Bea WebLogic, IBM Websphere and JBoss Web application servers.

The Web-based interface can run from a Windows or Linux management console running Red Hat or SuSE Linux.

It can also report on 250 operational metrics out of the box.

"We only collect what people are going to use," Lane emphasized.

Its ease of installation and emphasis on providing easy access to graphical data won over users at Boston Sand & Gravel, who also looked at Ipswitch Gold and another Linux-based product.

"Those required too much infrastructure. I needed something quickly. Heroix came along in the nick of time with a very simple install. Whatever we want it to monitor, we just need to know the host name," said Anthony Castaldo, IT Manager in Boston.

"It gives you a good base tool to understand what CPU usage is, memory, disk space, network activity—all that at a glance," he added.

But Longitude also allows users to drill down for more specific event details.

"You can click on an item and get specific diagnostics, including a description of what we think the problem is and related data," said Lane.

Where appropriate, the tool also suggests remedies to problems.

Longitude is available now and starts at $299 per managed system or $599 per managed application.

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