Dan's Take

The Unsexy, But Necessary, Work of Network Monitoring

An update on Ipswitch products WhatsUp Gold and MOVEit.

I recently got updates on Ipswitch's network management product, WhatsUp Gold, and its secure file movement software, MOVEit. Ipswitch's catch phrase for WhatsUp Gold is "Network Monitoring Made Easy," and the company is doing its best to live up to it.

The software is able to monitor networks, network traffic, industry-standard x86 servers, virtual machines and applications. The software provides a flexible dashboard showing lists of networks, devices and even maps showing resource locations. IT administrators can click on a resource and immediately see the results of monitoring, settings and other useful information.

The product offers the following capabilities:

  • Monitor Windows, Linux, Apache, Java and custom applications. Offers many profiles for easier enterprise setup.
  • Discovery and network monitoring.
  • Network traffic analysis. Ipswitch can analyze flow records from Cisco NetFlow, NetFlow-Lite and NSEL, Juniper J-Flow, sFlow, and IPFIX protocols.
  • Configuration management. It supports compliance requirements for HIPAA, SOX, FISMA and PCI DSS and other regulations. It provides alerts and an audit trail for any changes to network device configurations, authorized or not.
  • Monitor vSphere and Hyper-V. It can discover, map, monitor, alert and report on VMware and Hyper-V performance, and resource allocation and consumption for hosts and guests and clusters. The company plans to soon extend its capabilities to include Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure.

Ipswitch has been focused on simplifying licensing and purchasing by making it possible for enterprises to purchase a license to monitor everything, rather than selling functions piecemeal. As the enterprise's needs grow, it's easy to upgrade to another tier to support monitoring a larger number of resources.

Management can be done via a Web browser, allowing admins can work remotely from nearly any networked device.

MOVEit
Enterprises face an increasingly challenging environment in which important data is distributed on many different  types of devices and used in different locations. And they need to move this data from remote devices to the enterprise datacenter; from the enterprise datacenter to the datacenters of cloud service providers; and all the while, continuing to maintain security and regulatory requirements. Ipswitch MOVEit can transfer data in this environment manually or automatically to meet enterprise requirements.

The product also offers analytics and reporting to demonstrate where the data was located, when it was moved, and other details allowing enterprises to comply with data sovereignty regulations.

Ipswitch says it has more than 42,000 customers in 116 countries. The company has a vibrant ecosystem  that includes partners such as Microsoft, Cisco, Amazon Web Services, VMware, HPE, Fujitsu, and a long list of others.

Dan's Take: The Value of Boring
The challenge Ipswitch and its many competitors face is that network management, configuration management, data movement, and backup and recovery software are all very important, but not considered exciting. Unfortunately for the industry, about the only time enterprises get excited about products in these categories is if they've experienced a product failure and the business is facing disaster.

Ipswitch is doing its best to make its products easy to use, easy to install and reliable enough so that they can quietly do their stuff without becoming exciting. Maybe that approach is just what many enterprises need.

About the Author

Daniel Kusnetzky, a reformed software engineer and product manager, founded Kusnetzky Group LLC in 2006. He's literally written the book on virtualization and often comments on cloud computing, mobility and systems software. He has been a business unit manager at a hardware company and head of corporate marketing and strategy at a software company.

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