MetiLinx to Launch Integrated Optimization Tool

Wading through all the different approaches to server optimization and management can lead users into a swamp of confusion. One little-known spinoff hopes to put IT administrators on solid ground with the launch of its integrated optimization and manageability system for n-tier architected systems.

MetiLinx Inc. on Oct. 8 will launch the other half of its iSystem Enterprise software, called Optimization and Manageability Solution, which automatically routes transactions to the best server available for processing.

The OMS tool builds on the functions of MetiLinxs Analysis and Diagnostics component, which examines network and system utilization and provides a real-time view of system and overall network performance.

The system uses intelligent, system-level objects in each server that create a peer-to-peer connection among themselves to communicate over 400 different metrics on hardware, software and operating system analysis. It works across all major Microsoft Windows operating systems, as well as on Sun Microsystems Inc.s Solaris and Linux.

"The tool defies categorization in that it combines multiple functions—job scheduling, clustering, event management and capacity management—to name a few," said Max Ruiz, vice president of marketing at the San Mateo, Calif., spinoff of Mariner Systems Inc. "It allows transaction processes to be redirected to different computing resources, and it self-monitors systems and the networks they are attached to so that it can redirect transactions around slow or failed links."

When used as a clustering or mirroring tool, iSystem Enterprise can deliver mainframe-class performance at PC prices, according to early user Mark Bockeloh, senior vice president of technology for Intellinex, a subsidiary of Ernst & Young LLP in Dallas. "It works like a Tandem environment, but I get that value with standard PC servers with commodity operating systems. I can set up a redundant environment at the cost that my competitors would have to spend to set up a single environment," he said.

Bockeloh estimated that by turning the tool on in his network, he achieved 40 percent greater scalability with his existing hardware.

The tool can redirect transaction processes at three different tiers in an n-tier architected system. Transactions can be redirected to local or geographically remote servers for processing.

"Its very intelligent system optimization from a scheduling perspective, and it keeps learning about itself. Its always propagating health [status] from the database server forward to the user or the system thats talking to it," said Bockeloh.

As an integrated performance management tool, it cuts through all of the complexity associated with learning and maintaining element- or function-specific management tools, said Dan Kusnetzky vice president of systems software research at International Data Corp., in Framingham, Mass.

"Tools to manage individual systems, the database, the middleware, the Web server and clustering software look at the world in a piecemeal approach. Expertise is hard to find in all those areas; you need a great level of expertise just to use the tools, and the tools dont recognize you have a series of machines supporting that application," he said.

OMS is available now and is priced at $1,000 per managed CPU. When combined with ADT, it is $2,000 per CPU.