Argent Software Extended Technologies

Extended Technologies excelled in virtually every area of our testing, from discovery to the graphical display of the network, from monitoring to alerting and from corrective actions to reports. Running on a Dell Latitude notebook, it closely monitored 20 servers and 12 network devices in the lab with ease.

Extended Technologies' accurate discovery feature gleaned device data from ICMP ping operations, SNMP queries and DNS lookups to enumerate our routers, switches, servers and clients. We entered ranges of IP addresses to define the network, and it was able to import a spreadsheet of network definitions we built. When we pointed Extended Technologies at a particular router, it found the network links, nodes, devices and computers connected to that router.

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Extended Technologies' monitoring capabilities use a sophisticated set of thresholds to detect network problems. Argent includes more than 2,000 predefined application- and device-specific rules in Extended Technologies, which made it useful right out of the box. Modifying these thresholds let us specify abnormal traffic levels and unhealthy server behaviors by time of day and day of the week. Argent's central software examined traffic as well as Windows PerfMon protocol streams.

Extended Technologies can monitor a range of server operating systems, including Windows, Solaris, HP-UX, SCO, AIX, NetWare and a wide variety of Linux flavors. On each server, Argent offers application-specific monitoring modules that watch over, for example, Oracle, SQL Server or Exchange.

Extended Technologies is equally good at monitoring BlackBerry servers, Lotus Notes, Brocade storage switches, Legato backup servers, Check Point firewalls; Cisco, HP, Nokia and Nortel network gear; Compaq and Dell servers, Intermec hand-held bar-code scanners, Liebert UPSes, Omnitronix environment monitors, SonicWall firewalls, and the WebSphere and WebLogic application servers.

For all servers, Extended Technologies notified us of CPU use, disk space, low memory and network adapter issues. On Windows servers, it monitors Windows services, Active Directory and system registry health. Argent's True Round Trip Time measurement feature, which tests an Exchange server by sending and receiving real e-mails and noting elapsed times, gave us early warnings of potential Exchange faults and performance problems.

Like all the products tested, Extended Technologies can take corrective actions, either by running a program, running a script, restarting a failed Windows background service or rebooting a server. Impressively, Argent Extended Technologies also can issue SQL statements (to trigger, for example, the running of an Oracle process).

Extended Technologies uses Argent's concept of SuperMaps to graphically depict the network. This feature let us supply a variety of underlying maps, which could contain any images we chose (such as Google Earth satellite photos, schematics or campus and building drawings), as well as the location on the maps of the network's devices and servers.

We used SuperMap hot links to designate hierarchical maps. As it monitored the network, Extended Technologies encoded device or server status in color. Drilling down through the various SuperMaps revealed a wealth of data regarding each trouble alert. Extended Technologies also offers a completely customizable dashboard to give you at-a-glance information on the health and level of network activity.

Extended Technologies supplies its customers with a run-time version of Crystal Reports, and designing new custom reports is a breeze. Out of the box, Extended Technologies' reports are perfectly suitable for tracking problem resolutions, following historical trends and planning for future network capacity.

Extended Technologies' documentation is comprehensive, easy to follow and accurate, though it's presented in an online rather than a hard-copy format. Extended Technologies installed in less than 10 minutes.

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