Review: Empirix' OneSight 5.0

The latest version expands data-gathering and availability-mapping capabilities.

August 18, 2004

3 Min Read
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Monitoring products run the gamut from simple ping monitors for small networks to more complex element managers with Layer 2 topologies that monitor thousands of nodes. Somewhere in the middle lie performance monitors, which collect data from many different data sources, including SNMP, pings, applications and operating systems, using native data sources or installed agents.

Empirix's OneSight excels at gathering throughput and error information and performing availability mapping--showing what's normal for a network and its services. In addition, OneSight uses the same scripts as Empirix's load-generation product, e-Tester. This lets OneSight bring the same standards used for testing applications to network monitoring, normalizing service-level management from development to operations.

OneSight includes Tomcat Web server and MSDE (Microsoft Desktop Engine) and supports MS SQL databases. All administrative functions, including configuration, can be accomplished using the product's Web console, which requires Java 1.4.1 or above and Macromedia Flash 5.0. However, you can view device status and alerts without these plug-ins.

Get Organized

I easily installed OneSight in our Syracuse University Real-World Labs®. I accepted all the default settings and used OneSight to monitor our NWC Inc. Oracle server. NWC Inc., in Green Bay, Wis., is our Web-based widget manufacturing company and 24/7 business applications lab (go to for details on the lab and a blog about our testing).OneSight organizes devices and services--including switches, servers and application processes--into groups, then shows each item in the group as a dot on its clever status screen. Item status is conveyed through the dot's color: red for critical, yellow for warning or green for good. Click on a dot and you're linked to underlying details that can be used to diagnose problems or for simple monitoring. This setup made it easy for me to scan the services I was monitoring to assess NWC Inc.'s overall status.



Empirix OneSight 5.0, starts at $50,000. Empirix, (866) 228-3781, (781) 993-8500.

Alerts and Reports

Any alert system worth its salt sends e-mail, pager or SMS notifications, and fires off executables and SNMP traps. OneSight adds value to notifications with its centrally managed escalation procedures. I set up some escalation alerts and watched them send secondary notifications to our widget managers.

OneSight reports cover the health, availability, transactions, responsiveness, benchmarks, alerts and configuration of the services, network, applications and systems being monitored. You can configure the usual hourly, daily, weekly and monthly intervals for reports and optionally have them sent in the body of an e-mail or as attachments.

I would have liked more control over targeted e-mail users, however, such as having a centralized management location to define users, their e-mail and pagers, and which reports they should each receive.

Bruce Boardman, executive editor of Network Computing, tests and writes about network management and systems. Write to him at [email protected].0

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