BladeLogic 4 Gets Sharper

New features in the server management app include a graphical user interface and a change rollback feature.

Frustrated with the complexity of maintaining his application service providers servers, Dev Ittycheria decided to market a better solution.

Ittycherias now CEO of a new company, BladeLogic Inc., which last week launched version 4 of its BladeLogic server management application.

"There still exists today a huge amount of inefficiency…its almost like a black art" to manage large quantities of data center servers, especially when theyre geographically dispersed, he said. Rather than just monitoring server health, which established vendors do already, BladeLogic helps with rollouts and fixes problems that other programs find, he said, in Warren, N.J.

New in BladeLogic 4 are a graphical user interface and a change rollback feature, essentially an "undo" option, he said. Administrators can also take a server snapshot, to compare good configurations with broken ones. The product, available now, costs $300 per server for its Network Shell module and $900 per server for its Configuration Manager and Application Manager modules.

Future versions will have better scalability, going from the current two-tier architecture to a three-tier design, along with more granular user priveleges and Unix support for the Application Manager, which currently supports Windows. Support for Web services and SMNP may also be in the picture. "Ultimately we want to be able to manage entire application ecosystems," Ittycheria said.

BladeLogic has $11 million in funding and 41 employees. Theyve also built a solid customer list, including RSA Security Inc., The Bank of New York Company Inc., Sprint Corp. and LucasFilm Ltd.

One such user is BrassRing LLC, a Waltham, Mass., application service provider, specializing in recruiting software. BrassRings used the BladeLogic product for just two months, but so far the company has been impressed.

"Were rolling out a pretty robust version of our software, and we have a much larger installed base of our software then we ever had before," said Andy Cooper, CIO. That made his Compaq Computer Corp. backend more complex, and so taking the change on BladeLogic "was worth the risk because we really needed to put something in place," he said.

BrassRing currently runs BladeLogic on 25 Windows servers but may increase that to almost 300 servers in the near future, Cooper said. Ittycherias lessons from Breakaway are valid, he said.

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