Commentary
9/23/2008
03:43 PM

More Management Tools Arrive for SMBs

Traditionally, network and systems management was considered a graveyard for vendor business plans. The complexity of the problem and the difficulty in boiling down a myriad of potential problem spots into a simple to use products proved too much for many suppliers. Recently, that outlook has been changing, and one vendor has expanded the reach of its management system.



Traditionally, network and systems management was considered a graveyard for vendor business plans. The complexity of the problem and the difficulty in boiling down a myriad of potential problem spots into a simple to use products proved too much for many suppliers. Recently, that outlook has been changing, and one vendor has expanded the reach of its management system.In business since the fall of 2007, PacketTrap Networks secured $5 million in venture capital and then delivered its PT360 management toolset to help companies diagnose network problems. The startup announced PacketTrap Perspective, a network troubleshooting and remediation solution developed for single and multiple-site networks. From a central management console, network technicians can perform tasks, such as application monitoring, traffic troubleshooting, configuring routers, and managing log files.

The new product features Smart Policies, where the system recommends monitoring and data collection settings. A Performance Baselines feature helps companies prevent false positive notifications, and the system allows users to configure alerts based on preset or periodic network behavior. A Perspective Dashboards function provides visibility into network performance, fault management, and device availability. The Perspective system is currently available, and pricing ranges from $1,995 for 100 interfaces to $16,795 for unlimited interfaces.

After years with their needs largely ignored, small and medium businesses now find themselves with a variety of management options PacketTrap is one in a growing number of vendors targeting small and medium businesses, which have often found management tools too complex and expensive to deploy. The vendor has had some success with PT360 and is now broadening its reach so it can tangle with comprehensive management suite suppliers, such as CA, HP and IBM as wells as other novices, like GroundWork, Hyperic, Spiceworks, and Zenoss. Unlike many of the other startup suppliers, PacketTrap has built a proprietary rather than an open source system. The vendor seems to understand what is needed to make its mark, but now the real test comes: how well will its systems perform in customer sites.

How much interest do you have in management tools? What is driving that interest? What is your opinion about the various startups in this space?

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