nLayers Optimization Aims to Cut Risk, Costs

The company claims its Insight application optimization appliance brings both cost and risk reduction to IT.

An innovative application optimization startup launched itself and its first product this week with a mission to bring both cost and risk reduction to IT.

Rather than measuring response time for service-level management, nLayers with its new Insight application optimization appliance is "focused on resource optimization and redeployment for cost savings and risk mitigation," said Gili Raanan, president and CEO of the San Jose, Calif., company.

The Insight agentless appliance collects copies of packets on the network and performs deep packet analysis to look for identifiers and payload that provide a unique signature or a fingerprint of an application on the network.

It then builds an application behavior model that incorporates application components, resources and dependencies that are weighted for each component. The three-dimensional behavior model tracks server behavior over time.

"We can tell you whats running during the day versus night or end of week versus end of day. Its a living and breathing model of the whole application environment," said Raanan.

In the optimization stage, Insight applies a set of analytics geared toward such IT initiatives as server and application consolidation, disaster recovery planning, and merger and acquisition activity. "If the goal is consolidation, we look at the least utilized resources," said Raanan.

The appliance then generates recommendations on ways to optimize the application environment to reduce costs. It also continuously monitors the application environment to watch for changes in demand, usage or behavior to ensure that the environment continues to operate in an optimized state.

"The appliance itself doesnt optimize automatically. It detects opportunities for you to optimize," said early user Hari Makkala, chief technology officer at Peoples Bank in Bridgeport, Conn. "For example, if a transaction is taking too long or theres a problem along the application framework from the desktop to a back-end data server, it will take us to the root cause. Then we do more analysis before we improve it."

Makkala, who said his company "got value out of it relatively quickly," expects the appliance to pay for itself within a year.

nLayers also launched a Snapshot Application Optimization Service based on the appliance that delivers results within a week.

The service-based analysis "neutralizes major barriers to success for an emerging company," said Rich Ptak, principal at Ptak, Noel & Associates in Amherst, N.H. "The service allows prompt, cost-effective try-before-you-buy proof of Insights ability to deliver demonstrable payback," he added.

Insight is available now and starts at $45,000.


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