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Senior Editor

Start-up debuts with app management appliance

Jul 06, 20042 mins
Application ManagementData Center

* Start-up nLayers and its application management appliance

A newcomer to the market says it’s going to help enterprise IT managers revamp their application management techniques.

San Jose start-up nLayers says its appliance can comprehensively map the network components comprising an application infrastructure and provide intelligent analysis on how to optimize performance. NLayers, which has received more than $4 million in venture funding since its inception about a year ago, this week will officially launch the company and unveil its InSight product suite.

Company CEO and founder Gili Raanan says InSight can build a dynamic model of elements supporting applications and alert network managers when a change in the infrastructure will adversely affect application performance.

“We model physical servers and application dependencies. We simplify a very complicated system so customers can make better use of it,” Raanan says.

InSight uses a rack-mountable data center appliance loaded with software that passively monitors traffic using multiple network cards to connect to servers and switches. InSight collects copies of packets and other traffic metrics, which it stores in a database and uses to model application behavior and create baselines of typical behavior. Instead of SNMP polling, the product uses proprietary algorithms and APIs to gather information from network components.

Lynn Nye, president of APM Advisors, says nLayers’ InSight can give users a comprehensive view of their application network and let them know in advance how changes, such as adding software to a Web server or rerouting traffic, could affect application performance.

While passive monitoring is a good way to start, Nye adds, the company will eventually need to upgrade its product to include active polling and data gathering if it wants to compete with vendors such as Computer Associates, IBM Tivoli and Mercury Interactive, which are also looking to manage application infrastructure.

Available now, pricing for nLayers InSight starts around $2,500 monthly with the subscription payment model, or $45,000 for a perpetual license. The company also offers a one-time hosted service called InSight Snapshot, which costs $8,000.