Xangati Detects Application, Network Problems with New Appliances
June 26, 2007 Alex Woodie
A new company called Xangati this week launched its first product: a rapid problem identification (RPI) appliance designed to pinpoint the sources of application and network performance problems, so administrators can fix them before they affect worker productivity.
Getting a good jump on application performance problems can make the difference between a fruitful interaction with the help desk and the beginning of a trouble-ticket nightmare. According to industry analysts at the Yankee Group, about 90 percent of the time spent troubleshooting network problems is used to identify and locate the sources of problems, completely dwarfing the time it takes to actually resolve those problems.
The folks at Cupertino, California-based Xangati decided that a different tact was needed to accelerate problem detection. Instead of trying to glue together the results from traditional troubleshooting products that look at specific IT categories, such as servers, storage, or applications, Xangati decided a “top down” approach–one that monitors each and every application or IP end point–would offer a better return on investment.
The result of this analysis and development effort is the Xangati RPI line of appliances. The Linux-based devices are available in three models–the X100, X500, and X1000–which offer different amounts of processing power and memory to address organizations of different size.
The appliances work by identifying all the IP endpoints in an organization–the product maxes out at 100,000–and then monitoring their activity. After a while, the product creates a profile of all the endpoints and assigns them values that describe the activity, including their bit rate, packet rate, “burstiness,” interactions, endpoint affinity, application affinity, location affinity, and time affinity.
With this profile in hand, the appliances can then immediately spot any unordinary endpoint activity and notify the administrator of the potential problem. The product also correlates all behavior so it can perform root cause analysis of potential problems.
Paul Roybal, the CIO of Bernalillo County, New Mexico, who tested an early release of the Xangati appliance, says what separates Xangati from other products is how it monitors the interaction of all endpoints, including desktops, servers, storage, VoIP phones, video cameras, and PDAs.
“Almost right away, my team could see the sources of multiple complex application responsiveness issues, which included a sluggish e-mail server, an intermittent DNS failure, and an endpoint hijacked for spamming,” Roybal says. “Already our problem-identification cycles have shrunk by at least one-third, and trouble tickets are being closed 20 percent faster.”
The Xangati appliances are available now. The product is operating system agnostic and works with practically any type of application. Prices start at $35,000. For more information, visit www.xangati.com.