Micromuse Revs Portal Tools

Reworked offerings aim to provide added flexibility, enhanced security to users handling different management systems.

Micromuse Inc. has revamped its portal tools to give users added flexibility and security when handling different management systems for a variety of constituents.

The San Francisco event-management company reworked its visualization product to consolidate different Web interfaces into a single portal and to provide single sign-on to a range of OSS tools, officials said.

Netcool/Portal Version 2.0, part of the Netcool/Dashboards product family, includes several integration modules that allow it to easily present performance data from Hewlett-Packard Co.s OpenView Network Node Manager, BMC Software Inc.s Remedy Action Request System, Concord Communications Inc.s eHealth and other management systems.

The tool allows service providers to present performance data to a range of users, including network operations center technicians and account managers as well as enterprise users such as line-of-business managers and CIOs.

The portal server includes a CRS (Content Replacement System), a proxy function that makes data coming from a variety of sources appear to come from a single host or port. That capability eliminates the requirement to open a firewall to several different ports, thereby better securing access. The CRS also includes a dynamic filter for HTML content, according to Micromuse officials. An integration tool kit with the CRS makes it possible to integrate other systems, such as billing or homegrown diagnostic tools, without requiring development.

One user who worked with the first version of Netcool/ Portal, as well as portal offerings from other vendors, found Version 2.0 far more flexible.

"All the other products just let me link to these other applications," said Michael Harris, director of the Enterprise Management Solutions Center at Telefonica Data USA, in Miami. "I wanted to give customers a really customized dashboard—to take a graph out of one application and plop it in the middle of another page or grab another component out of the help desk system and plop it on a page."

Telefonica is using the portal as a service to its customers, allowing them to take utilization data and other metrics and present them in a format that can populate a portal page.

"Extracting nuggets of information was a challenge. Micromuse solved that problem for me," said Harris.

Micromuse, through the portal, is marrying its expertise in IT infrastructure event management with business attributes, said Bill Gassman, an analyst at Gartner Inc., in Bedford, N.H. "They can bring in business attributes such as how many calls came in or how many orders are outstanding. I think its important that theyre [combining] domain knowledge of IT with business data," Gassman said.

Netcool/Portal Version 2.0 is available now.

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