Today's focus: Panacya's range of analytics
By Dennis Drogseth

Vendors typically invest in one or at most two forms of analytics, but Panacya's BusinessAware hits almost all types.

Of course, "analytics" can mean very different things, and can include:

* Root-cause analysis across a network.
* Performance-related trending and baselining.
* Other performance-related capabilities, involving predictive algorithms, and/or modeling - often extended to support capacity planning, optimization and QoS.
* Topology and configuration gathering, modeling and analysis.
* Accounting for service usage (typically achieved in part as an extension of traffic-related performance management).
* Analytics designed to capture, automate and model the linkage between business dynamics and business priorities (including critical SLAs) with infrastructure behavior.
* Analytics integrating asset-related information with infrastructure inventory and performance.
* Security-related analytics, targeted at identifying deviant patterns and behaviors across an infrastructure.
* Analytics associated with adaptive capabilities within management products themselves, targeted to minimizing or even eliminating administrative overhead when the infrastructure changes.
* Analytics also under the cover of the management software designed to promote broader access to information and services
- including those targeted at efficiencies in data gathering, or in enabling role-based access to services and information.

Panacya's BusinessAware touches all of these categories, with the exception of accounting. This is all the more interesting since Panacya has focused more on application performance than the network in and of itself.

The heart of Panacya's BusinessAware product is a peer-to-peer network of agents called Behavior eXperts, or BeXs, that combines focused intelligence with interfaces designed for data
acquisition and integration. There are BeXs, for instance, for Web servers such as Apache and iPlanet; for network components such as Cisco and Alteon switches, and any SNMP-compliant
devices; for application servers such as BEA and WebSphere; for operating systems such as NT and Sun Solaris; for databases such as Oracle, SQL and Sybase; and for messaging systems such as Exchange. BeXs can perform synthetic transactions.

At the recent NetWorld+Interop trade show, Panacya added support for BEA WebLogic, J2EE and Linux.

BusinessAware offers studios for extending the capabilities of existing BeXs and developing new BeXs. BusinessAware combines root-cause analysis with performance- and usage-related
information, in both real-time and historical dimensions. It is designed to unite business dynamics with infrastructure behavior
- each as a fundamental extension of the other. The company's goal is to enable both a centralized trending engine and a knowledge base for monitoring and controlling all data
associated with quality of service as a dynamic thought.

Some of Panacya's synthetic approach has evolved from its natural market focus on e-business. Panacya's BeXs are still weighted heavily to e-business, in terms of types of
applications supported, for instance. But architecturally they are in no way limited to e-business or any other environment.

Fundamentally, BusinessAware redefines a company's environment. It discovers infrastructure components and then learns their behavior. It manages through time-slicing and publish-and-subscribe techniques, rather than static timers and threshold controls, in part because of its historical focus on the dynamic requirements of Web-based applications.

It has to be said that initial investments in BusinessAware are not cheap, although Enterprise Management Associatges has seen strong return on investment in mid-sized businesses and larger enterprises. Between software and hardware costs and some training and customization, you can expect to spend upwards of a half-million dollars.

On the other hand, if you have critical business services, and runway to improve operational efficiencies (and who doesn't?), you can expect to see a fast payback. Panacya offers a strategic
solution to strategic issues.

Copyright Network World, Inc., 2003

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Copyright 2008 Art Beckman. All rights reserved.

Last Modified: March 9, 2008