Industry Briefings - 23 Feb 2007

Industry Briefings - 23 Feb 2007

Customer Feedback Builds Midlevel Multiplatform Application-Monitoring Solution

Howard Reisman, CEO and chairman of the board of Heroix (, recently spoke with our editors about how his company meets its customers' application performance-monitoring needs and how its Longitude product is an example of Heroix's commitment to listening to its customers. The company initially created Longitude, multiplatform application and system monitoring and reporting software, to fill what Heroix saw as a major gap in the application-monitoring market. Low-end products that existed were low-cost, agentless, and easy to deploy and use but they only limited OS support, application coverage, and reporting. Existing high-end systems offered great multiplatform application coverage and rich reporting features but required the use of agents and thus were expensive, difficult to learn, and time-consuming to deploy.

To bring together what it saw as the best of both worlds, Heroix created Longitude. The product is agentless, so it's easy to use and deployment can be immediate. The product offers multiplatform support and comprehensive application coverage as well as rich reporting features. Longitude has had a quick release cycle; Heroix has released a new version about every 5 or 6 months, each time incorporating specific features that customers asked for. "Heroix is dogged about documenting customer requests and suggestions as they come in," says Mary Masi-Phelps, Heroix director of marketing. The features in the latest release of Longitude reflect the company's response to growing demand from customers for more active control of the information systems administrators get about their systems, more immediate (real-time) information, and more ways to distribute that information to the people who need it.

Time Is Money, and for That Matter, So Is Space

According to Patrick Rogers, vice president of Products and Partners at Network Appliance, Inc. (, enhancing the value of the data center is a core requirement for NetApp's SQL Server DBA customers. These customers want to cut storage costs and increase storage efficiency, limit the time required for storage administration, and enhance overall data center performance. To address these needs, NetApp offers professional services and software products designed to make the SQL Server database professional's job easier. An example is snapshot technology: Rapidly growing companies or companies that need to make better use of their existing data can benefit by including snapshot technology in their development and testing environments, as well as on the back end of their decision support applications. However, complexities can arise when you want to be able to quickly deploy multiple snapshots of a database.

Such deployment can take hours or days, and the storage requirements can be high. To help meet these challenges, NetApp introduced two new products. FlexClone lets you instantly replicate data volumes and data sets without requiring extra storage. SnapManager for SQL Server lets you keep a close eye on all those new SQL Server instances.
—Dawn Cyr

A Price-per-Performance Leader Welcomes Difficult Cases

"For better or worse, most of our customers don't call us until they've tried everything else," says Texas Memory Systems ( Executive Vice President Woody Hutsell. Even after prospective customers approach the company to learn about its solution, the RamSan-300 solid state disk (SSD), 50 percent of the time they request an evaluation unit before deciding to buy.

"This makes for a long, expensive sales cycle for us," admits Hutsell, "but we know that when a customer eventually buys, they're going to be a happy customer."

This commitment to customer satisfaction—and faith in the effectiveness of the RamSan line—is what has made Texas Memory Systems a long-standing player in the storage arena.

The RamSan-300 is a storage device that uses Double Data Rate (DDR) RAM memory instead of hard disks. To the OS, it looks just like a regular disk drive, but the RamSan300 lets applications access storage significantly faster than traditional storage methods do, accelerating enterprise applications such as online transaction processing (OLTP) databases, batch processes, and data warehouses by as much as 2,500 percent. The company says the solution is most effective in high-concurrency OLTP environments such as are found in the fields of finance, stock trading, e-commerce, and federal government systems. Starting at $28,000, the solution is out of reach for most small businesses. However, Hutsell says "it pays off in price per performance. One unit can equal hundreds of disk drives. It's a solution that makes sense for small-to-midsized enterprises, or even a fast-growing midsized company."
—Dawn Cyr

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