Changing the Economics of IT Management Tools

Michael Vizard
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As more business processes move out onto the Web, there are more transactions to be processed than ever. But with that shift in business models comes a lot more complexity, especially when you think about the number of applications any given transaction has to touch.


While Fortune 1000 companies have a lot of experience when it comes to managing transactions, the rest of the enterprise IT universe is only just now really starting to comprehend what really needs to happen to optimize transaction processing on the Web. The problem is that a lot of the tools that IT organizations use to monitor transactions have been, up until now, prohibitively expensive.

To address this issue, SolarWinds this week rolled out both a free Web Transaction Watcher tool that IT organizations can use to capture a single transaction based on synthetic tests they set up using the tool, and a commercial offering, called SolarWinds Synthetic End User Monitoring, that records multiple transactions.

According to Sanjay Castelino, SolarWinds vice president of product marketing and product management, a major reason that most IT organizations don't optimize transaction processing is because the tools they need to accomplish that task are too expensive. In contrast, Castelino says SolarWinds is trying to make such tools broadly available by pricing Synthetic End User Monitoring at $1,995.



Castelino notes that another way that IT organizations have been trying to address this cost issue is by relying more on tools that are delivered via a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. But even then, once you add up all the costs associated with using those types of tools on a yearly basis, they are a whole lot more expensive than $1,995. SolarWinds, for example, allows customers to record any number of transactions regardless of their location or length, which is a claim that he says SaaS providers won't make.

In addition, Castelino says that the SolarWinds tools have been specifically designed to be easy to use, which means they don't require the hiring of dedicated specialists to master.

In general, SolarWinds has been driving the cost of IT tools down across the board. The transaction processing monitoring tools launched this week, says Castelino, represent the company's latest attempts to drive that strategy up into the application management layer of the IT stack.

There are a lot of tool choices in the IT chest these days. But IT organizations as a rule would rather spend more money on the application than the tools needed to manage it, which is one reason why the use of commercial IT tools is relatively low. It would appear that SolarWinds is one of a handful of IT tool providers out to change the economics of the IT management tools equation, which in theory should make these tools a whole lot more accessible to the people who need them.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Aug 18, 2011 8:20 AM Howard Baldwin Howard Baldwin  says:

Based on what I've read in other publications (see this article from UK's Microscope:, Solar Winds isn't just about economy; it's also trying to make virtualization less complex. That's an admirable goal that more in the industry should aspire to.

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