Tool Speeds Trouble-Shooting

NetVigil keeps eye on business services.

Being able to see the impact of server or network outages or performance degradation on business services is the focus of IT infrastructure management. Fidelia Technology Inc. this week will advance that cause with the latest release of its NetVigil integrated fault and performance management tool.

NetVigil 3.5 (see screen) brings the capability to create multiple, real-time status views that cascade in a series of containers that include all the elements that make up a defined business service, location or business unit. Overlapping containers can share elements without conflict.

"We built a hierarchical nesting of containers, where you can take the pieces you are interested in and group them into a container to get the real-time status of whats happening inside a container at any level," said Vikas Aggarwal, chief technology officer for the Princeton, N.J., company.

Users can quickly drill down from these high-level views into the specific elements that are causing problems, and the containers display the status of elements in red, amber or green.

One early user working with the beta version found it made trouble-shooting for a widely distributed Web services infrastructure much easier and less time-consuming.

"We have multiple locations across the nation that run Web services. I was able to group locations easily and created a container for each called Web services. The administrators in those locations can check easily on their Web [infrastructure]," said Mike Stinebaugh, network and systems manager at eBenX, a SHPS Inc. company in Minneapolis.

The object-oriented NetVigil, designed to be easily scaled up or down, collects status information from a variety of sources and correlates problems in the infrastructure to the business services they affect. The tool uses Data Gathering Elements, or DGEs, each of which has its own database, to automatically discover problems and establish base lines and thresholds for the applications, systems and networks they monitor.

The new, more flexible nested container views also provide a delegated authority user function, where arbitrary groups can be defined and kept secure from one another but can contain the same objects. "Management looking at the help desk as a service container will see the same element failure that an operations person would see," said David Woodall, president and CEO of Fidelia.

The new release, due by midmonth, runs on Windows, Linux and Solaris. It starts at about $35,000.