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Lottery organization bets on management appliance

Multi-State Lottery Association puts its money on Jumpnode Systems’ management appliance and hosted services.

By , Network World
October 18, 2006 10:31 AM ET

Network World - The network managers behind the organization responsible for doling out Powerball and Lotto numbers across about 31 states don’t want to take any chances on their network-monitoring tools.

The Multi-State Lottery Association this year is betting on a management start-up that delivers its product via a management appliance and a set of hosted reporting and analysis services. That’s why Sean Lair, technical adviser to the director at the Multi-State Lottery Association in Urbandale, Iowa, upgraded his network-management system in March to a “more resilient product” from newcomer Jumpnode Systems.

Founded in 2004, Jumpnode couples hosted management services with an appliance that resides in the customer network. The company, based in Minneapolis, distributes its products through resellers and managed service providers, which is how Lair became acquainted with Jumpnode. The company, which in June garnered more than $5 million in funding from Apple Core Holdings and Opticality Ventures, uses an appliance model similar to that of fellow start-up Kace. Lair says that appealed to him, because he is short on staff and doesn’t have the time to patch, maintain and upgrade software -- never mind perform capacity analysis and planning.

Founded: July 2004
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Primary business: Develops IT systems and network management tools, using an architecture that combines preconfigured plug-and-play hardware appliances with software delivered as a hosted service.
Investors: $5.1 million in funding from Apple Core Holdings and Opticality Ventures in June 2006.
Management team: Irfan Khan, president, CEO and co-founder, previously co-founded Agosto, an infrastructure and operations outsourcing firm; Rick Baker, interim COO, general counsel and co-founder, previously oversaw worldwide strategy and operations for HB Fuller Company; Rob Bajorek, director of technology, previously worked as senior systems engineer at ING Financial Services.
Origins of company name: From an original concept that the product interface should be almost game-like — it should be so easy to use that you would jump to use it. The term "node" refers to the boxes.
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“In our environment, uptime and availability is so very important, and while we had other tools in place that worked, we wanted something that could do more trending and reporting, and that was very resilient,” Lair says.

Lair had been depending on Ipswitch’s WhatsUp Gold software to keep network and Web site services available and working smoothly for some 31 state lottery groups. The software worked, but required more maintenance and updating than Lair wanted and didn’t do as much reporting and analysis as Lair says he needed to do capacity planning across the multiple Web sites his organization hosts for member lotteries. Like fellow newcomer Klir Technologies, Jumpnode provides and performs the analytics that time- and budget-strapped network managers can’t always do.

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