Confignia Update Speeds Feedback at App Level

Collation also introduces a new sensor factory and a new set of APIs to broaden the range of application components from which the software can gather configuration data.

Configuration management startup Collation Inc. on Thursday will continue to build out its tool for managing complex configurations in a Web applications environment when it launches the next major release of its Confignia tool.

Version 2.0 of the software, which provides an agentless auto-discovery mechanism that is patent-pending, adds a new module that integrates with existing monitoring tools such as IBMs Tivoli software or Micromuse Inc.s NetCool. The Collation Application Status Manager can receive component-level events from those tools and then apply Confignias auto-discovered dependencies and application topologies to learn the impact of those events on business applications.

The previous version of Confignia could "go out and discover cross-tier infrastructure from the network to the system to the application software layer, and map what the application is—showing dependencies associated with the application," said Ken Rutsky, vice president of marketing for the Palo Alto, Calif., company.

Now, the status manager takes events from monitoring tools and "determines whether and what applications are impacted by those events to allow operators to know about problems faster at the application level instead of at the component level, so they can prioritize problem resolution based on business impact," Rutsky said.

"This flips the paradigm of understanding application availability from the bottom up to knowing it fast and in context," he added.

Other application- and service-level management tools require IT operations staff to create the application model and its topology on their own and define the dependencies themselves. "Our customers say thats extremely hard to do, and it doesnt scale," Rutsky said.

One industry analyst agreed that Confignia is unique. "If you look at what theyre about, I have not seen a pure play solution that fits this category. There is no head-on competitor that Im aware of," said Dennis Drogseth, vice president of Enterprise Management Associates Inc. in Portsmouth, N.H.

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Collation also worked to broaden the range of application components from which Confignia can gather configuration data through a new sensor factory and new set of APIs.

Although Confignia discovery sensors cover about 85 percent of all components in a Web applications data center, "you cant get to 100 percent before you get into the customers door," Rutsky said.

Collation created the Collation Sensor Factory to quickly turn around development of new sensors for customers. "We can feed the requirements into our factory and rapidly turn around development in a month or two to deliver the sensors we dont already have," he said.

In addition, new data, process and event APIs allow third parties to integrate Confignia with other management tools or help-desk software.

"Some sense of understanding whats out there and whats dependent on what to deliver a service is fundamental. Those hooks should get richer and deeper over time," EMAs Drogseth said.

Confignia 2.0 is available now.

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