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ScriptLogic Gives IT A Perspective On Network Management

ScriptLogic has enhanced its Perspective network management product by integrating it with ScriptLogic's Help Desk Authority help desk software. The latest version of Perspective also offers enhanced data collection and performance baselining. One shortcoming of many network management systems is that so-called "integration" with help desk means someone sends email from the NMS to the help desk to open a ticket. Then the help desk person has to use a variety of other tools to investigate the ticket. Not so with ScriptLogic's linking of Perspective and Help Desk Authority. The integration forms a closed loop system where Perspective can initiate tickets with the help desk, and Help Desk Authority can clear the event in Perspective when the ticket is closed.

Perspective can be configured to respond to network alerts automatically. For example, if a service becomes unresponsive, Perspective can try to restart the service. If the restart fails, Perspective can open a trouble ticket in Help Desk Authority. The ticket provides context of the alert, actions already taken and the status of those actions. This means the help desk administrator already knows what's been done and doesn't have to retrace steps. During troubleshooting, Help Desk Authority can populate the tools an administrator uses with the appropriate information acquired from Perspective. For example, if a user is complaining about a slow network, the administrator can examine network port statistics for that user, query the status of the workstation and take other configured actions without having to cut and paste MAC addresses, IP addresses or other host identifiers. That can be a real time saver. Once the problem is solved and the ticket closed, Help Desk Authority can clear the alert in Perspective.

ScriptLogic also adds baseline performance monitoring to Perspective, which identifies normal system behavior. You can baseline anything, such as network utilization, CPU, RAM or storage. Once a baseline is set, behaviors that cross a threshold may indicate a problem. However, computer systems are dynamic. Not only do various behaviors change throughout  a day or week, but they can change based on activity. If network managers set the threshold too low, false alarms will be raised. Set too high, and performance can degrade before an alert is raised.

ScriptLogic attempts to avoid these baseline issues. Perspective ships with default baselines and monitors for common equipment. The software automatically discovers normal behavior through a day, week or any other administrator-defined period. A threshold can be set so that if network utilization increases more than 25 percent, for example, an alert is raised. Because the original baseline is based on normal behavior, it takes into account normal cycles such as the increased network utilization that occurs during the nightly back-up.

Perspective starts at $1,995 for 50 devices. You can also try Perspective free for 21 days. Quest Software, which acquired ScriptLogic in 2007, acquired PacketTrap, the original makers of Perspective, in 2009. Perspective is now branded as a ScriptLogic product. Compared to other low-cost network management systems such as Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold and SolarWinds' Orion, Perspective offers a quite a bit of functionality at an attractive price. If you are already a ScriptLogic shop, the added integration should streamline your IT processes.