Management Framework for the Integrated Enterprise

Intersperse offers solution for real-time visibility and management of JMX-compliant platforms

Orlando, FL Ñ March 6, 2003 Ñ Intersperse, an enterprise software company that provides real-time management for the integrated enterprise, this week announced the release of its Management Framework Enterprise Edition 2.0 aimed at monitoring Java Management Extensions (JMX)-compliant platforms.

Also this week, Intersperse announced an OEM partnership with webMethods under which webMethods is including the Intersperse Console as part of its Manager product to help its customers optimize information technology (IT) performance.

Pasadena, Calif.-based Intersperse asserted that as the number of software components and services put in production grows, so does the lack of visibility into an organization's IT infrastructure. The resulting IT operational complexity can become increasingly unmanageable, potentially causing business outages for an enterprise's customers and partners.

Meanwhile, Cameron Haight, Research Director at technology consultancy Gartner, said that although many software suppliers offer some degree of visibility into their own applications, the view often stops at the edge of the application or component, providing only a limited snapshot of one piece of the application infrastructure puzzle. "For companies to maximize the performance and availability of their IT environment, they need a holistic view of the relationships, attributes and status of the applications and components that cooperate in the delivery of critical business services," Haight said.

Intersperse said that its Management Framework provides a distributed management solution for supplier-independent visibility into software components across all application, integration and process servers supporting JMX, a universal, open technology for management and monitoring devices, applications and service-driven networks. Gartner estimates that by 2005, JMX will be the de-facto standard for managing J2EE application server platforms.

With the framework, IT integration teams can discover, map, monitor, analyze and control mission critical software components and services in both operational and business contexts across multiple suppliers.

The Intersperse Framework's capabilities to discover or custom-define the status of components, as well as the relationships and processes among them, enables users to create business-relevant custom views of the managed environment, according to the provider. The framework also includes aggregation capabilities to extract persistent business metrics from run-time operational metrics. By viewing and analyzing both the physical and logical relationships among components within a single framework, companies have the potential to manage IT operational performance to improve overall operational availability while meeting service level agreements with lines of business.

Anurag Wadehra, vice president of marketing at Intersperse, said the solution can have the benefit of reducing the downtime for critical systems. "You have a relationship chain from business process all the way down to the operating systems of your environment, so if you have a problem, you can isolate very quickly where it is and take corrective action much more quickly," he said. "The return on investment comes from reduced operational outages."

In particular, the solution addresses the problem of "false green lights." For example, a company might discover that its customers can't place orders through its Web site, but the company's network and systems managers might show that the operational environment is "green," or functioning normally, while the applications manager shows that the company's apps are fine, too. Wadehra said the Intersperse solution would allow IT staff to drill down into the company's systems to determine exactly where the disconnect is occurring between the various integrated solutions as a first step to resolving the issue quickly, so as not to put at risk service-level agreements, customer satisfaction or other commitments.

The provider's solution offers a "Visibility Ladder" feature that creates a contextual map of a user's unique environment. Additional context is derived via discovery and display of attributes and status, object inter-relationships and business processes. A "Console," or control panel allows users to create and use custom views of the environment to monitor relevant events through alerts, statistic collection, charting dashboards and event displays. And an analytical engine provides analysis of the events and data streams using tools like root cause analysis, rules, thresholds and correlations to drive appropriate action for controlling the managed objects.

The Intersperse Framework can be deployed for the JMX-based BEA WebLogic Server 7.0 and BEA WebLogic Integration. By using the auto-instrumentation capability, the Intersperse Framework can also be extended to manage homegrown J2EE components as well as legacy and packaged applications.

The Intersperse Management Framework Enterprise Edition 2.0 is available immediately, with an average pricing starting at around $100,000 and scaling upward based on the number of servers that the solution must manage.

Wadehra said the provider is targeting major enterprises that have large-scale Java applications deployments. Intersperse is focusing on the financial services, telecommunications, high-tech manufacturing and retail sectors. "These are the companies that have the biggest headaches because they have large, distributed data centers," Wadehra said.

Meanwhile, under the OEM agreement, webMethods is including Intersperse's Console in its Manager solution. In conjunction with the Manager server, Console provides real-time discovery, mapping, monitoring, analysis and control of webMethods integration resources and business processes. The Intersperse Console, via the open management interface (OMI) specification, automatically discovers all deployed webMethods resources, maps them to business processes and exposes real-time information and analytics about the discovered environment for monitoring and control.

By monitoring the performance of their webMethods environment, IT integration teams have the capacity to detect problems before they escalate, diagnose the root cause and measure both operational and business impact of integration issues to help prioritize corrective actions.

"By including the Intersperse Console with the webMethods Manager product we provide users with even greater options to manage all aspects of their webMethods environment in real-time for optimal performance," said Jim Green, executive vice president and chief technology officer at webMethods.