Growing interest in application discovery and dependency mapping has a handful of startups working to improve the technology with better integration and scalability.
nLayers Inc. last week announced improvements in its InSight appliance, including automatic application and infrastructure discovery.
InSight 3.0 can map dependencies in real time and can discover 400 servers per minute, according to Gili Raanan, CEO and founder of the San Jose, Calif., company.
The updated appliance, available now, takes a federated approach to the common configuration management database, allowing it to access system management repositories.
InSight integrates with Hewlett-Packard Co.s OpenView, IBMs Tivoli Enterprise Console and Managed Object Solutions Inc.s Formula.
"We dont assume all configuration elements sit in our repository and are discovered by our discovery engine," said Raanan. "What the user gets at the end of the process is a visual view of a federated CMDB (Configuration Management Database) that leverages past investments in IT management."
InSight, an agentless appliance that passively gathers application dependency data by watching traffic across the span port on a network switch, competes with products from other configuration management startups such as Cendura Corp., Relicore Inc. and Collation Inc.
Raanan said he believes adoption of the relatively new technology is accelerating because of the increasing complexity of n-tier application infrastructures, the need to comply with regulations such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the need to predict the impact of failures to plan for disaster recovery.
Although its a "small market right now," the widespread investment in J2EE (Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition), .Net and SOAs (service-oriented architectures) will stimulate demand for dependency tracking, said Jasmine Noel, an analyst with Ptak, Noel & Associates, in New York.
"The good thing about ... InSight is that it can give you a snapshot of your infrastructure and give you trending—how youre performing from week to week," said InSight user Anthony Mills, manager of network operations at The Museum of Modern Art, in New York.