BMC and CA update monitoring and web tools

Rivals announce updates

Two major systems management vendors have separately announced tools for systems monitoring and control of web applications.

BMC Software unveiled its second-generation configuration management database, along with three new discovery tools and related products designed to improve systems management.

The BMC Atrium Configuration Management Database (CMDB) 2.0 updates the previous 1.0 version, the company says. BMC also announced BMC Atrium CMDB Enterprise Manager, a new product; two modules for the Atrium product, including a software product dictionary and software library and BMC Remedy Action Request System 7.0.

Atrium CMDB 2.0 has recently been used in a proof-of-concept test at cosmetics giant Mary Kay in Texas, and will be implemented in the next year, says Steve Moore, technology leader at Mary Kay.

BMC management products have been in place for two years, at a cost of up to US$400,000, he says. The pilot Atrium CMDB release was rolled out last September and resulted in more efficient monitoring of systems used to support 3,500 employees and 1.4 million independent beauty consultants.

Atrium CMDB 2.0 will help improve the integration of a variety of discovery and monitoring tools from numerous vendors across Mary Kay’s vast service-oriented architecture, Moore says.

“We have the opportunity to integrate [various tools] with one vendor [and] the capability for a graphical representation for everything in the CMDB,” he says.

Mary Kay manages about 825 servers, along with 350 network nodes.

While management tools cannot completely erase the divisions between business processes and IT systems, BMC products help monitor and discover what system components are needed for a business process, such as an e-commerce application, says Moore.

CA’s Wily Technology division has released Introscope 7 for monitoring and optimising the performance of business-critical web applications.

Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide in New York plans to adopt the new version this summer, says Keith Kelly, vice president of web technology at the hotel chain.

Starwood currently uses Introscope 6 monitoring tools, which were added after it launched a new online reservation system in 2001 that crashed nearly every four hours, Kelly says. Today, the system accounts for about 10% of all revenue and is used to book about

US$1 billion in annual reservations.

Introscope 6 is being used on eight application servers for the web-based system and 32 Java virtual machines.

Kelly says he is interested in testing new capabilities in the latest version, which offers expanded data views including how long it takes a user to get a Web response. Introscope 7 also provides automatic discovery, monitoring and triage of system problems with no manual configuration, according to CA. Pricing was not released.

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