System management ARTS Inc. is delving into the emerging area of IP multicast with new monitoring and managing tools that apply root-cause analysis to the technology.
Smarts later this month will introduce InCharge Multicast Manager, which leverages the software makers CIM (Common Information Model) to allow operators to understand how the elements of an IP multicast broadcast fit together, according to Smarts officials in White Plains, N.Y.
InCharge Multicast Manager follows into the market such products as Spectrum IP Multicast Manager, a similar offering from Aprisma Management Technologies Inc. Aprisma next month will update its tool with added support for Cisco Systems Inc.s proprietary extension to the IP Multicast Protocol standard.
IP multicast provides an efficient mechanism to send the same data stream from a single source to many destinations. While not widely deployed, the financial services sector uses it frequently for real-time data feeds at broker and trader workstations.
It is these critical—and often expensive—transactions that are drawing the most attention from Smarts and others.
InCharge Multicast Manager provides a view into the health of the multicast overlay network riding on top of an IP network. It discovers and models multicast services and routing to show each routers role in the multicast distribution tree and how routes are set up. It displays membership in multicast groups, the layout of multicast trees, active sessions and protocol entities. The topology is brought into the Smarts common data model, where traffic can be analyzed.
To speed mean time to repair when outages occur or performance slows, "you have to understand where the multicast topology is, what the different devices are that are involved in the multicast network and what roles they play," said Smarts user David Weston, operating systems analyst at Emory University, in Atlanta.
InCharge Multicast Manager, which requires Smarts existing InCharge availability, performance and service management modules, is due by months end and is priced at $25,000.