VitalSuite monitors proactively

VitalSuite monitors proactively

VitalSigns Software's recently released VitalSuite 2.0 is a slick, extensive help desk tool and network monitoring suite for IT managers. It includes the latest version of VitalSigns' network monitoring tool, VitalAnalysis, and a help desk tool, VitalHelp. Although neither VitalAnalysis nor VitalHelp are complete solutions, together they comprise a set of top-notch tools for the enterprise.

Both VitalAnalysis and VitalHelp servers tie themselves to VitalAgent, a passive client that monitors applications, network traffic, and latency - pushing that data to both servers. This gives IT and help desk staff the ability to monitor end-to-end applications and network performance. Monitoring is done through a browser-based GUI that makes it easy to drill down into the details.

It provides a detailed view of the network and application server performance from where it matters most - the end-user's perspective. Other products take this approach, but none quite have the comprehensiveness of VitalSuite. Jyra's Intranet Service Monitor uses a synthetic agent to create network tests and report to a server, whereas VitalAnalysis uses data from real clients. Candle's ETEWatch and PerformanceWorks from Landmark also monitor application-level performance from the end-user view but not as smoothly.

Although the VitalAnalysis server is not meant to take the place of a true enterprise network-management tool such as Tivoli's Tivoli Enterprise or Computer Associates' Unicenter TNG, it provides a unique perspective on the enterprise network. VitalAnalysis uses a "cool-to-hot" chart to give a high-level view of a server and network performance. It does not have a network server monitoring tool.

Similarly, VitalHelp will not replace a comprehensive help desk solution, such as McAfee's Help Desk Suite.

Although VitalSuite may not be a comprehensive solution for network monitoring or help desk support, it definitely makes enterprisewide management much easier.

The Bottom Line

VitalSuite 2.0

VitalSuite includes VitalHelp, a tool for help desk environments, and VitalAnalysis, offering innovative end-to-end network and application monitoring.

Pros: Informative Web-based interfaces; good overview of network and client health; assists help desk staff with client PC health data; end-to-end traffic monitoring; works well in a switched network environment; easy to use.

Cons: Only supports Windows clients.

Platforms: Server: Windows NT 4.0 with Service Pack 3; Client: Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT 4.0.

Price: Price is available on applicationVitalSigns Software(

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