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New Spector Server Update Provides Easy Monitoring

SpectorSoft has announced a new version of its Spector Server monitoring software, with improvements in its activity recorders that make it easier for network administrators to see what programs are running. In addition, the company has announced a new version of its flagship Spector 360 product, which helps companies monitor the activities of users on an enterprise level. Spector Server, which first began shipping in summer 2009, is focused on smaller organizations with three to five servers and fewer than 250 users, said Jim Fields, vice president of sales for SpectorSoft. The software allows network administrators to see everything that's going on on their networks, including manipulating data, transferring files, or any changes that are made.

The new version of the Spector 360 software includes better reporting and monitoring, said Michael Counes, director of technology and education for the Hanley Center, a nonprofit substance abuse hospital in West Palm Beach, Fla. The hospital, which has been using the product for more than three years, is bound by the same sort of security and privacy laws as other medical facilities, and the improved built-in reports in the new version make it easier for him to do the required documentation for the facility's security, he said. "I can't spend money on 20 products to solve one problem," he said. "It's the best overall package for the price."

Other improvements include a more user-friendly, intuitive interface that makes it easier to create and customize alerts, Fields said. Spector 360 lets network administrators aggregate reporting on users, providing reports such as the top ten bandwidth hogs, instant messaging users, email users and so on. The software puts an agent of about 10mb on each desktop.

The big advantage of Spector Server over competing products is that it captures the keystrokes of his 30 remote users, said Ski Condy, the quality control and IT administrator for Light Tower Rentals Inc., an Odessa, Texas equipment rental business. He currently runs it on a single server that holds $30,000 worth of software, including invoicing and payroll, that helps the company track 5,000 pieces of rental equipment. In addition to the remote users, the server is also used by vendors who log in to help maintain the applications on the server. In the three months he's been using the product, "we've gotten stuff we probably shouldn't get," such as vendor passwords, he admitted. To this end, the responsibility for discretion in monitoring is clearly on the shoulders of the administrators.

The software, marketed as Spector Server 2010 Surveillance Edition, works on any version of Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows Essential Business Server, Windows Small Business Server or Windows 2000 Server. The software runs on all Windows networks, including Windows 7. Spector 360 is $1995 for 15 licenses and $2995 for 25 licenses. Spector Server starts at $495.