BMC To Add Web Transaction Monitoring To Patrol Express


BMC Software Monday plans to introduce the latest upgrade of Patrol Express, a lower-end version of its flagship Patrol network management software.

Patrol Express 3.0, which adds capabilities for monitoring Web transaction performance, is BMC's "lightweight solution" for small and mid-size customers or branch offices of large enterprises, said Brandon Whichard, product manager of Patrol Express at BMC, Houston.

With the upgrade, Patrol Express can now create synthetic Web transactions to measure performance as it would be seen from the customer point of view, Whichard said.

Patrol Express utilizes standard network protocols instead of agents to collect data on the systems it monitors. "It's agentless, so you don't have to touch every system you want to monitor," he said.

Solution providers can sell the technology or use it themselves to provide remote network monitoring services.

By implementing Patrol Express, solution provider Alvaka Networks was able to consolidate and replace five other tools in its managed services infrastructure, said Oli Thordarson, president of the Huntington Beach, Calif.-based company.

"The energy we no longer have to put into managing all of those tools--that extra energy has been directed toward improving sales and service quality for our customers," Thordarson said. As a result, the company has seen a 57 percent increase in sales of its managed services, he said.

Alvaka Networks has been "eagerly awaiting" Patrol Express' new Web transaction monitoring capabilities because they will help highlight performance issues that sometimes go undetected by infrastructure management alone, Thordarson said. "You can monitor hardware performance statistics and everything looks great," he said. "Then the customer calls you all ticked off because something's not working, even though everything looks green."

Pricing for Patrol Express starts at $15,000 for the central management component, plus an additional fee for each monitored element. Monitoring for servers costs $400 each. Network devices cost $100 each, and applications cost $800 each. The software is scheduled for general availability in early August.