Smarts Inc. on Monday will step up its efforts to better link the management of IT infrastructure to business objectives through a new version of its InCharge suite of root cause and impact analysis software.
The centerpiece of the suite is the new InCharge Business Dashboard, a customizable, Web-based view of the status of enterprise networks, systems and applications in the context of the business services they support.
The Dashboard builds on Smarts-patented Codebook Correlation Technology, which automates root cause analysis and determines the real source of performance problems or outages, rather than highlighting symptoms. It also leverages the White Plains, N.Y., companys InCharge Common Information Model, a common database of management information that shows the relationships of IT infrastructure components to each other and to business services or applications.
One user working with the current version of Smarts Business Impact Manager is looking to leverage the analysis and information that Smarts makes available along with information from other technologies to create a business portal for business users, according to John Premus, chief technology officer at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. in New York.
“We were looking for ways to make the business users experience better within the system environment. We think we can leverage the Smarts Dashboard. It captures the information we wanted, and we can customize it for our own purpose,” he said.
The Dashboard takes notification logs, maps, summary views and status tables from the InCharge Service Assurance Manager and creates individual Viewlets. Users working from the tools global console can create Viewlets that can be combined into customized displays, or that can be embedded in third-party portals that incorporate content from other sources. The end result is browser-based views customized to the role of the viewer.
Sumitomo is looking to combine system availability information on, for example, its money transfer system with transaction volumes going through the system and the dollar value of those transactions for its business users, according to Premus. “Were talking to them about how to leverage their dashboard to provide a business portal so that we can capture transaction numbers and dollar value or local currency value through our payment systems, along with the health of those systems,” he said.
Although a variety of enterprise system management providers provide some level of business impact or service management, few offer the detailed analysis and automation that the InCharge suite provides, said Carl Coken, director of marketing at Smarts in White Plains.
“Other business service management products emphasize data collection and presentation, but you have to input everything by hand, filter by hand, do downstream event suppression and redraw [topology] maps manually. In the traditional systems management world, you need a lot of resources to analyze all those events to figure out whats the real problem, and you have to modify rules each time there is a change in the infrastructure,” said Coken. “We reduce thousands of events to a handful of root causes and when there is a change in the environment, we recalculate the code book automatically, so you can go from hours of diagnostic time down to minutes. We provide actionable intelligence, not just a nice picture,” he added.
Premus, who had some experience with Tivoli products, felt that Tivoli software was too manually intensive and less flexible when changes to the infrastructure were made. “A lot of folks can do the discovery, but none that we saw a year ago had any ability to tie applications to infrastructure and create a business impact,” he said. “It does auto-discover changes to the environment and rebuilds the topology map and dependencies that applications or devices have on each other with no modification to rules.”
The InCharge Business Impact Manager (BIM), which Sumitomo selected a year ago after evaluating other offerings, is the component of the suite that automatically determines the impact of infrastructure or application issues on business services by modeling business processes and linking them to the infrastructure elements that support the processes. Smarts enhanced BIM to represent additional business entities beyond processes to include organizations, business units, lines of business, departments and customers, including their relationships, behaviors and activities. It can also determine how problems in one business process affect a related process.
Smarts also added a new InCharge Server Performance Manager, which brings InCharge monitoring and analysis to servers running IBM AIX, Microsoft Corp.s Windows 2000 and Linux.
The suite includes the new Dashboard and Server Performance Manager along with the enhanced version of BIM as well as InCharge Service Assurance Manager, IP Availability Manager and Report Manager.
The new and enhanced offerings are due by the end of the month. The Dashboard is $15,000 per NOC (network operations center) for a base license; the Server Performance Manager is $10,00 per NOC; and the BIM is $35,000 per NOC.
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