Today's focus: Tying together disparate mgmt. tools

By Audrey Rasmussen

I recently invited readers to let me know what topics you'd like
to see more about - and today's article happens to be on one of
those reader-requested topics.

A reader wrote:

"The problem we face is twofold. We have budgeted money over the
years for 'needed IT tools,' and yes, everyone quick does a
search on the Internet, a little reading and a budget and
purchase is produced. What we have now is a collection of
security tools (Cisco Works VPN/VMS, RealSecure ISS and
Checkpoint Smart Console), network equipment management tools
(Cisco Works and Visual Networks), server management tools (HP
Insight Manager and Bindview), and OpenView. All produce their
own logs, own reports - but nothing ties everything together
(logs and reports) and we don't have the time to research the
solution. I have talked with other friends in the industry and
they face similar issues. What is the right solution for
bringing everything together and being able to produce reports
from one system and at the same time aid in pinpointing where
the problem lies when someone says that say PeopleSoft is
running slow?"

There are several responses to this question, depending on what
this company is looking to do and how much it wants to invest.
It could take a variety of approaches, some more sophisticated
than others, and some requiring more of an investment than

At the lowest level, if tackling the issue of separate logs is
something the company would like to do, there are some products
that manage log data. Examples of management vendors that offer
products like this are LogLogic and Cisco (from its recent
acquisition of Protego Networks). These are only examples. In
addition, there is some industry activity that bears some hope
for the future. IBM has developed a standard format for logs
called the Common Base Event format. The idea is to have a
consistent format for log data, so logs can be more easily read
and processed. However, adoption of the standard by other
management vendors must first happen to allow for easy
integration of log data.

If the company would like an application- or service-oriented
tool that can pull together data from disparate sources and
provide a broader service view and analysis - which would solve
the problem of knowing what is happening with an application
like PeopleSoft - there are tools from Singlestep, Managed
Objects, Proxima Technology, Indicative, Computer Associates,
HP, BMC and IBM that can pull in data from disparate sources to
provide the broader service view. Bear in mind that this is not
an exhaustive list of the possible tools, just examples.

Another possible solution for this company depends on whether
PeopleSoft is considered a business-critical application for the
company. If it is, another alternative would be to purchase an
application management tool specifically designed to manage

There are probably other products that may work for this
company, but these are a few of the alternatives. Again, their
course of action depends on the level of "fixing the problem"
that they would like to accomplish, and as usual, available
budget ultimately decides on the sophistication of the solution.


IBM furthers autonomic computing through partnerships
Network World Network/Systems Management Newsletter, 02/09/05

Cisco snaps up security start-up
Network World, 12/20/04

FullArmor boosting range of Microsoft management policy
Network World, 04/11/05

Start-up touts policy-based apps management
Network World, 04/11/05

Q&A: Nugent sketches CA's direction
Network World, 04/11/05

Copyright Network World, Inc., 2005

Questions or problems regarding this web site should be directed to abeckman@outdoorssite.com.

Copyright 2008 Art Beckman. All rights reserved.

Last Modified: March 9, 2008