BMC, Altiris Upgrade Systems Management Tools

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BMC Software Monday shipped an upgrade of its event management system that simplifies the process of prioritizing events.

In addition, the Houston-based company unveiled a new version of its service level management system, which includes better reporting capabilities.

An event management system is software that monitors servers, workstations and network devices for routine and non-routine events. People logging into a network, for example, would be a routine event. Repeated log-on failures, on the other hand, could indicate someone trying to hack a network.

BMC Event Manager 4.1 includes a new graphical user interface that's meant to simplify the writing of rules for handling events. Among the examples of a set of rules, called a policy, offered by BMC includes "after 10 minutes, escalate the priority of any event from the payroll system after the 25th of the month unless the event has already been assigned."

Before the upgrade, a programmer was needed to add or change policies. The new GUI makes it possible for a non-programmer, such as an IT operations manager, to handle the chores through a "simple point-and-click process," BMC said.

Event management systems are typically made up of client agents that reside in the remote devices on a network, a central component for gathering events, an event database and a reporting system to deliver the results in various formats. To make it easier to understand complex IT systems, the Event Manager upgrade can provide a visual representation that draws the relationship between events and the affected IT components.

To expand Event Manager's monitoring capabilities, BMC has added adapters for collecting messages over several Internet protocols, such as TCP, UDP and Telnet, and translating them into events that can be understood by the software.

Besides the Event Manager upgrade, BMC also announced on Monday the release of Service Level Management Express 1.4. SLM systems, in general, manage the delivery of guaranteed levels of network services and application availability within an organization.

SLM Express uses data from Event Manager and its own reporting components to gather statistics and notify IT staff or managers to take action if service levels are falling short. The upgrade's new reporting capabilities include the ability to show how well an IT system met service-level agreements across multiple months.

For more comprehensive reporting, SLM Express templates can be used in BMC's Patrol Reporting software, which is a single reporting portal for all BMC systems management software. Patrol uses the reporting engine of BMC partner Business Objects SA.

BMC Event Manager 4.1 sells for a starting price of $50,000. Pricing for SLM Express 1.4 starts at $5,000.

In other systems management news on Monday, Altiris Inc., based in Salt Lake City, shipped an upgrade of its server-management software.

Among the new capabilities in Altiris Server Management Suite 6.0 is support for Dell Inc. computer servers. In addition, the software's patch management feature for Windows-based systems can automatically deploy each bug fix within a Microsoft security bulletin. Previous versions required IT staff to distribute each patch separately, Altiris officials said.

Pricing for Altiris Server Management Suite 6.0 starts at $253 per node, with volume discounts available.

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