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3/26/2002
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New SilverBack InfoCare Offers System-Monitoring Tools

A Web-based interface shows a configurable view of IT networks, systems, and applications, suitable for both tech staff and management.

It's never been easy for business executives and their IT colleagues to speak the same language, but the latest version of SilverBack Technologies Inc.'s IT monitoring hardware and software should be a step in the right direction. SilverBack on Tuesday launches InfoCare 3.0, with a Web-based user interface that offers a configurable view of IT networks, systems, and applications.

Executives can get a high-level view of their IT systems, while their IT employees can access more detailed information, says John Stehman, principal analyst for Robert Frances Group. InfoCare is a technical combination of hardware and software that can also provide meaningful information to nontechnical employees. "Executives want to know if their systems are meeting service-level requirements but not every time a line or a modem is down," he says.

InfoCare consists of an InfoNest 650 device that resides at the customer's site, runs on Red Hat Linux 6.1, and uses XML- and Java-based applications to integrate its monitoring technology with the apps and devices it monitors. A Dashboard interface shows performance, availability, and security across several networks, systems, and applications from a Web browser. The new version also includes customized reports with up to 12 months of historic data. In addition, network administrators can monitor application performance by setting predetermined thresholds for latency. SilverBack charges an annual fee of $300 for each application, server, or network InfoCare monitors.

Eagle Bank, an Everett, Mass., chain of banks with about $360 million in assets, has been piloting InfoCare 3.0 for the past month. The latest version offers a greater variety of Web-based reports that help VP and senior IT officer Paula Chesbrough quickly find the source of problems that degrade her IT environment's performance. Last March, the bank's E-mail system went down for three days, before Chesbrough could isolate and correct the problem. It turned out that a drive in one of the bank's servers had overloaded and crashed, but Chesbrough says initially she didn't know whether the problem was at the bank or its Internet service provider. "InfoCare's Dashboard gives us one place to look for information," says Chesbrough, who manages IT systems for about 100 users at six Eagle Bank branches in Everett, Medford, and Lexington. "Before SilverBack, if you were suspicious that something wasn't right, you had to go to the individual server."

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