informa
/
Commentary

Another Network Management Startup Challenges The Status Quo

PacketTrap becomes the latest startup to take on CA, IBM, and Hewlett-Packard in network management with the beta release of its pt360 management dashboard. Rather than being deterred by deep-rooted competitors, brash newcomers are taking them on.
PacketTrap becomes the latest startup to take on CA, IBM, and Hewlett-Packard in network management with the beta release of its pt360 management dashboard. Rather than being deterred by deep-rooted competitors, brash newcomers are taking them on.PacketTrap's founders spent the past two years developing pt360, which lets network administrators choose from a mix of open source (Nagios, MRTG, Cacti) and PacketTrap-developed monitoring and diagnostic tools. The company formally launched in October, having secured funding, and went beta with its system just last week.

PacketTrap joins Spiceworks and Zenoss in taking on the network management establishment. While Spiceworks is building its business around an ad-supported software model, PacketTrap's plan is more akin to that of Zenoss -- hook customers with a free version of its product, then get some to pay for a more fully featured version.

How will PacketTrap differentiate itself? The dashboard with integrated open source tools is the starting point. PacketTrap touts pt360's ease of use and claims network management can be done in a third of the time and a fraction of the cost compared with the big vendors' enterprise platforms. Its target market: companies with networks of 250 to 5,000 end points.

PacketTrap's founders are Steve Goodman (CEO), Sal Sferlazza (CTO), Matt Bolton (VP of product development), and Anna Yen (VP of corporate development and marketing), all of whom worked together at Lasso Logic, a data backup company acquired two years ago by SonicWall.

Development work remains to be done. PacketTrap's product road map calls for virtual server monitoring, key server monitoring, and Cisco configuration support by the end of January. The company also plans to integrate more open source tools and beef up reporting functionality.