As more businesses access collaboration and other enterprise applications from the cloud for cost savings and better IT agility, they can lose control over their ability to monitor and adjust the performance of those applications, said Steve Bystran, senior vice president of global sales and development for GSX.
"Knowing if those services are actually delivered to them, and if they're delivered in a timely and effective way that supports the business needs, is really our objective in doing the monitoring," said Bystran. "CIOs need some kind of objective measurement of whether what they've purchased is being delivered fully and properly."
GSX monitoring technology works by modeling the expected end user experience when using various collaboration and messaging applications, and then comparing that to the actual performance of the apps in production. By monitoring performance, the software notifies an IT administrator if an app's performance falls below certain levels and if the cloud provider is out of compliance with service level agreements. GSX is an agentless system, meaning that there is no need for special software to run on any application server in order for the GSX system to monitor performance.
GSX Monitor and Analyzer is one product but it requires two separate installations, Bystran said.
Version 10 of GSX Monitor watches the following metrics for cloud-delivered collaboration and messaging systems:
-- IBM Traveler: Service availability, alerts, and device synchronization. Traveler is a push email system that also supports calendar, address book, and related apps for mobile devices.
-- IBM Quickr: Service availability, tracking, authentication, and place monitoring. Quickr is a Lotus collaboration platform.
-- IBM Sametime: Services, meetings, and DB2 and Websphere components. Sametime combines unified communications and collaboration.
-- Microsoft SharePoint: Availability, usage, services, sites, users, and synchronization. SharePoint is Microsoft's flagship collaboration platform.
-- Microsoft Exchange 2010: Database availability group and database store availability and performance, and client access server availability. Exchange is Microsoft's enterprise email and messaging server.
-- BlackBerry Enterprise Server version 5.0: High availability, failover, and secondary server alerts, and manual failback reminders. BES delivers enterprise collaboration software, such as that from IBM and Microsoft, to BlackBerry wireless devices.
-- IBM Domino probes to track index size, databases with indexes, and user-defined thresholds
Enhancements to the GSX Analyzer tool include support for IBM Traveler and Quickr reports, multi-server comparisons, an improved user setup, and enhanced formatting controls.
Improved monitoring of cloud-based applications is becoming more important as businesses grow more dependent on them, said GSX's Bystran. Cloud collaboration platforms such as SharePoint started out in small deployments within an enterprise and may have been under the IT administrator's radar. Eventually, they become more popular and widespread and now many companies depend on them.
"They went from being a boutique application to being mission-critical," he said.
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