Smarts, Concord Partner On Network Analysis

The result of a Smarts, Concord Communications partnership is richer network data correlation and an immediate assessment of what business is affected by network performance problems.

System Management Arts Inc. and Concord Communications are teaming up to combine their respective root cause analysis tools and historical performance reporting system.

The result of the integration effort is a new module that allows management data to be shared by System Managements InCharge root cause analysis software and Concords eHealth suite of performance management tools. Systems Management, known as Smarts, will also resell the Concord tools and both vendors will conduct joint marketing activities.

The integration module provides two types of information integration. A common launch capability allows a user working with the InCharge topology map to right click on any event or object and bring up eHealth Trend Reports or At a Glance Reports on the event or object.

"The second type of integration is to consolidate all information Concord collects from systems and applications and all the network information we collect and then consolidate it, correlate it and put it in a business context," described Roger Pilc, COO of Smarts, in White Plains, N.Y. The latter information is from data gathered by eHealth SystemEDGE and AdvantEDGE agents.

The result is richer correlation and an immediate assessment of what business is affected by performance problems.

"Our real-time live information is being fed to Smarts into their console for fault management. Theyre able to get more than just network information and build that into their model on the root cause side so you can correlate problems and see the impact on the servers, the network and the business," added Kevin Conklin, executive vice president of business development at Concord Communications, in Marlboro, Mass.

The combination of both vendors toolsets could help both compete more effectively with the large enterprise management system vendors such as IBMs Tivoli unit, Computer Associates International Inc.s Unicenter and Hewlett-Packard Co.s OpenView, believes Zeus Kerravala, vice president at the Boston-based market research firm Yankee Group.

"If you look at Tivoli, theyve never had a strong network management platform. Smarts has been a thorn in their side," Kerravala said. " Smarts access to Concord customers lets them poke more holes in the Tivolis of the world. Helping them broaden the scope of what they can do will cause them more discomfort."

Smarts takes a different approach to root cause analysis compared to the larger players. Rather than managing events, and consolidating management data from element managers, it built object models for how network elements work and the kind of problems they experience. Then InCharge collects the information it needs from those IT elements. That information populates a repository with network data so that operators can learn from it to better understand whats causing a problem.

Smarts approach seems to have struck a chord for operations managers. The privately held firm grew 60 percent from 2000 to 2001 and grew 35 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, according to Pilc.

Both Smarts and Concord will resell the integration module, which is available now.

In other Smarts news, the company on Monday will outline its product roadmap for bringing its root cause analysis to other major IT elements, including security, application services, ATM/frame relay, broadband and optical networking domains. InCharge, which initially focused on IP-centric networks, will provide much broader coverage in its ability to automatically integrate, correlate and perform root cause analysis. The new Smart adapter supporting the five new areas will be released this year.