Users query security of remote server management

Security worries were raised by attendees at the launch in Auckland last week of a web-based server monitoring product.

Security worries were raised by attendees at the launch in Auckland last week of a web-based server monitoring product.

ServerEasy, developed by Matrex, a North Shore-based timber trading company, is protected by 128-bit encryption and a firewall. But a developer at the product launch, Wenzel Huttner, says the concept of web-based server monitoring raises some security questions.

"If the security is at the level its meant to be, then it’s a reasonably good product," Huttner says. "From what I’ve seen, it has some potential.”

The cost – approximately $500 a server a month – may make it uneconomic for smaller organisations with only a few servers, Huttner says.

ServerEasy is operating system-neutral, working with Windows 2000, NT, SCO Unix, IBM-AIX, HP-UX, Sun Solaris, Linux Red Hat and SVR Unix, Matrex says.

The software sends alerts via TTS (text to speech) and notification is possible by landline, mobile phone or email.

“You can go to your mobile phone or an internet café, look up your server and check the memory, the CPU etc, reboot, fix the problem,” says Matrex owner Yun Ko says.

New Zealand was chosen for the ServerEasy launch because its small size makes it a good market in which to test a new product, he says.

“If we succeed in New Zealand, then we’ll have a good concept to take to Australia; Australia is the next level up from New Zealand.”

Matrex also has plans to launch a web-based network management product in the final quarter of the year and possibly a web-based storage management product next year, Yun says.

The company began as a timber trader and is still active in that field, but in terms of software development, Yun describes it as a “management service provider”.

Matrex assistant product manager Peter Shin says there are other server management software products on the market, “but they’re locked in with vendors’ software – they’re not operating system-independent.”

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