Xangati Plugs App Gaps

Startup comes out of stealth with a device for monitoring application performance problems

June 19, 2007

3 Min Read
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Startup Xangati stepped out of the shadows today, touting the ability to identify storage problems before they materialize by scanning the behavior of applications crossing the network. (See Xangati Delivers First Products.)

The vendor unveiled its family of Rapid Problem Identification (RPI) appliances, which it claims can quickly pinpoint the source of application and network performance issues. "It's a solution for the bullied network operations folks," says Dave Messina, Xangati's vice president of marketing, explaining that the appliances can scan any device with an IP address, from storage arrays to servers and IP phones.

The RPI devices scan network data from the switches and routers from the likes of Cisco, Foundry, and Juniper. They use a set of algorithms to check the bit and packet rates associated with applications. "In the context of storage, we can be aware of when backups are at their busiest," says Messina, explaining that this information can then be used to reallocate storage resources, if necessary. "If a storage device, for some reason, is under-serving the number of requests to do backups, we would be aware of that."

Xangati offers a family of 2U appliances. At the low end, the X100 can handle 3,000 endpoints, whereas the mid-range X500 can cope with 10,000 separate devices. The X1000, which can monitor 100,000 devices, fills out the high end of the product line.

Pricing for the entry-level X100, which, like the X500 and X1000, is available now, starts at $35,000.Analyst Jim Metzler of Ashton, Metzler & Associates told Byte and Switch that users often face a gap when it comes to monitoring application performance. "People are really struggling with identifying application performance problems," he says, adding that his research shows that three quarters of problems only become apparent when end users start bombarding a help desk with complaints.

Xangati is not the only company playing in this space, and the startup faces stiff competition from firms such as NetQoS, NetScout, and Network General. (See NetQOS Hires New VP and NetScout Extends NetFlow.)

Despite its status as a latecomer, Metzler feels the startup may have the edge on some of its competition. "The main difference is the number of factors that [Xangati] baselines," he says, explaining that, as well as bit and packet rates, the firm also uses other monitoring data. This includes checking the times when data is sent, as well as the "burstiness" of applications, which can cause problems when sending data to mobile devices.

Despite these features, Xangati has only two publicly announced customers at this point; Bernarlillo County in New Mexico, and Kerman Telephone, although Messina says that more are in the pipeline. "The customers that we're dealing with are large enterprises, government agencies, and telcos."

The startup will nonetheless need to pick its battles carefully, according to Jim Metzler. "There's typically a handful of applications that people worry about," he says, adding that most CIOs can handle a slight delay on email, but will not tolerate a performance dip on sales and customer-facing applications.Xangati was founded last June by Jagan Jagannathan, a former exec at Xerox and Sun, who now serves as the startup's CTO. To date, the firm has a total of $5 million in funding from Alloy Ventures, although Messina was coy about the subject of additional financing. "As we continue to scale the business, that will be something we're looking at," he says, without revealing when another round is likely.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based vendor is not the only new firm brandishing its storage wares. Startup Sentrigo also unveiled its first product today, a software tool that can detect unauthorized changes by hackers or insiders (See A New Approach to Database Security, and Sentrigo Releases Hedgehog.)

James Rogers, Senior Editor Byte and Switch

  • Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)

  • Foundry Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FDRY)

  • Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR)

  • NetQoS Inc.

  • NetScout Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: NTCT)

  • Network General Corp.

  • Xangati

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