Magellan Eases Network Management

A CentrePath update brings data management in-house.

As many enterprises rediscover the benefit of having someone else monitor and manage their networks, others are eager to bring those duties in-house. For the latter group, CentrePath Inc. is making the latest version of its Magellan network management technology available as a software package for on-site installation.

Magellan monitors the topology of optical and storage networks, showing the exact paths that data travels and alerting users to signal loss. The technology provides event correlation and performance management, all with an eye to improving service uptime and reducing costs.

Version 3.0 of Magellan DataPath Manager identifies elements along the path that cause problems and specific applications that lose services, and it monitors performance thresholds to report problems before service is lost. The decision to make it an off-the-shelf package originated with requests from potential customers who said they were interested in the technology but did not have a policy for remote network management, said Mark Smith, president of CentrePath, in Waltham, Mass.

"We see about a fifty-fifty split that they want to buy the package and run it themselves. The more complex the environment is, the less likely you are to undertake the management of it yourself," Smith said.

Still, some organizations wish to leave the management to CentrePath. One such customer is Community Health Network, in Indianapolis, which began installing a private, fiber-optic network last year to connect four hospitals and a disaster recovery center in and around Indianapolis. The managed service has saved Community Health considerable capital investment and the equivalent of one full-time employee and has provided peace of mind, said Rick Copple, chief technology officer at the organization.

Community Health saw benefits from the monitoring technology shortly after the optical network was installed. Evidently deciding that fiber is an essential part of a healthy diet, a squirrel chewed through a pair of fiber strands. CentrePath notified Community Health instantly of the fault, and traffic was rerouted before any users lost service.

"We had every intention of monitoring the network and supporting it ourselves," Copple said. "CentrePath helped us install [the optical network] and approached us about the monitoring piece. We realized that its really bigger than what we can handle."


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