Migration Tool Targets Windows File Servers

Consera's AgileOne server lifecycle management tool automates the workflow processes associated with moving or migrating server configurations from one machine to another.

A startup on Monday will bring its unique perspective on how to streamline the server deployment process when it introduces its first tool.

Consera Software Inc. took aim specifically at Microsoft Windows file servers with its new AgileOne server lifecycle management tool, which automates the workflow processes associated with moving or migrating server configurations from one machine to another.

Once installed on a Microsoft Windows 2003 server, AgileOne automatically goes out and discovers all of the servers on a network and gathers their configuration data, including what operating system and service packs are running, the size of the hard disk, how much memory is available, and so on.

The tool then automates deployment from one Windows server to another. "We pick up the services that run on the server and put it down onto the destination machine," said Pamela Roussos, vice president of marketing for the Bellevue, Wash. company.

The tool works with Microsofts Automated Deployment Services software to install an operating system image on a "bare metal" machine.

At the core of AgileOne is an Intelligent Automation System that abstracts services from physical resources and the Windows operating system infrastructure. It discovers, maps, schedules and executes service management tasks. The .Net-based software is installed on a dedicated server and can be accessed via a command-line interface or remotely through a Web-based console.

The tools administrative functions include the ability to schedule deployments, assign user roles and privileges, and roll back changes to previous, stable configurations. It also has reporting and logging features.

AgileOne competes with server deployment tools from Blade Logic Inc., although it is unique in its focus on Windows, while Blade Logic is focused on Java 2 Enterprise Edition, said industry analyst Corey Ferengul at Meta Group Inc. in Chicago. Consera is unique in its strong ties with Microsoft and its ability to leverage Microsofts channels, he said.

One beta tester who had created scripts to automate some tasks found the early beta version to be so compelling that he moved it out of a lab into a production environment to migrate his companys main file server. "I was able to successfully implement a move Id been dragging my feet on because of the complexity in remapping all the users," said Ed De Simone, network operations manager at IT services firm Econium LLC in Towtowa, N.J. "I was able with Consera to do the move in 15 minutes [instead of a few hours]."

The tool, which does not use an agent and requires no changes to the users existing environment, supports 10 simultaneously running jobs and thousands of servers in a domain. AgileOne is due in late summer and is priced at $659 per managed server.

(Editors Note: This story has been modified since its original posting to retract incorrect information supplied by the vendor.)