Singlestep Offers First Step Toward Autonomic Computing

Chris Noble, CEO of the Seattle-based company, is touting Unity 2.0 as the logical starting point for companies embarking on a path toward autonomic computing, in which an IT network self-detects problems and automatically remedies them.

"We have established a platform for autonomic computing," Noble said. "And the first step is automating the flow of information."

Unity 2.0 maps networks in relation to how business processes actually move across them, identifying network components such as servers, routers and storage devices and creating a central console for monitoring workflow and network alarms.

The addition of customizable interfaces, dubbed Unity Dashboards, gives version 2.0 the tools to offer realtime representations of a network layout that can be customized to meet the needs of either the boardroom or the computer room.

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Administrators can utilize Unity Dashboards and Unity's Viewpoint feature to quickly develop reports that analyze network trends and patterns, information that can help reduce repeat problems while allowing administrators to better target parts of a network that can be more easily be automated, said Noble.

"With Viewpoint's set of Web-based reporting tools, users can identify which events are causing the most staff intervention time and give people a clear target of what they have in the network that can be more easily automated," Noble said.

Victor Kellan, president of Lan Solutions, a Singlestep partner in McLean, Va., is already offering Unity 1.0 in an MSP fashion and is beta-testing version 2.0 for deployment as early as next month.

"With Unity, we are walking into customer sites and saying, 'Why don't you let us take care of system monitoring and management so your in-house people can handle vertical administration and end users?' " Kellan said. "It helps make us something of a CTO in a box, because we can provide proactive consulting and [tell] customers, 'Here's what's happening with your infrastructure, and here's your growth patterns for the year.' "