Free software from Paglo makes IT system data searchable

IT search engine comes from the creators of the open source Packetyzer and RogueScanner products

Paglo offers IT search engine as an on-demand service for companies looking to quickly make sense of log and other IT-related data scattered across their environment. The creators of the open-source Packetyzer and RogueScanner products created the software with a goal of becoming the Google of IT search.

Start-up Paglo Monday unleashed free, on-demand software and services that company executives say will provide IT managers with Google-like search and index capabilities across all their data.

Paglo, founded in July 2007 and based in Palo Alto, Calif., made available its Paglo Search Index product that couples free, open source software with services from the vendor. IT managers download the Paglo Crawler, a discovery spider, to their workstation, and the software searches the environment and gathers IT data from device, logs, files, e-mails and other searchable sources. Paglo collects and stores the data, and its software maintains a search index unique to each client. IT managers then tap the user interface to query the data and keep an up-to-date inventory of their environment.

Industry watchers say the software could help IT managers low on budget dollars get a grasp of their environment without investing in morfe expensive products from management vendors such as BMC, CA, HP and IBM. And with the Paglo Search Index, IT managers can get started managing data across IT domains, avoiding the pitfalls of the siloed approach.

"Many of the tools available from vendors like CA and HP operate in a stovepipe manner and assume the customer knows where to look for relevant information," says Guy Creese, a senior analyst covering content management and search at Burton Group. "Paglo offers a mingling of device, software, application, end-user and other information that can be queried to learn more about what is happening in the environment."

For instance, IT managers can pose questions to their search index such as, "How many Windows XP licenses are in the environment?" or "What applications does this end user access?" The user interface allows IT managers to continue to refine their search as they go as well. "This could serve as a complementary tool to existing management applications or be a starting point for those that don't already have a high-end tool," Creese says.

Paglo just this week began offering its IT search software and services to registered customers, but company founders, CEO Brian de Haaff and CTO Chris Waters, say more than 3,500 individuals had preregistered for the beta of the product. They attribute its early success to the fact that there are more than 600,000 users of two other open source applications created by Paglo founders: Packetyzer and RogueScanner. The founding pair say they wanted to provide tools to companies with between 50 and 1,000 employees and help the small IT staffs there avoid potential problems.

"It captures all the data about an IT environment; it performs a universal search. It works in an on-demand manner so it's really easy for users to get started," says de Haaff. And unlike competitor Splunk, which also tags itself as a provider of IT search data, Waters says Paglo searches more than log data. "Splunk has a free version that has a limit on the number of logs you can index, and the enterprise software is unique to searching log data," he adds.

Burton's Creese says Paglo competes with Splunk and other vendors offering log data management products. Companies such as ArcSight, LogLogic, Prism Microsystems and Q1 Labs are just a few of the vendors that have targeted log data management with stand-alone products. But Paglo does have an edge on some competitors.

"Being free is going to get them started, and with part of it being open source, that will be a seal of approval for some," Creese says. Yet with no set business model or plans to actually make money, Creese isn't certain how long Paglo will survive. "They are emulating the Google model, putting a product out there and figuring out how to monetize it later. It worked in Google's case, but it is a strategy that takes courage," he adds.

Paglo is currently offering its service and support capabilities free to customers on a subscription basis. The open source Paglo Crawler is available under the GPL license.

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