Server, Heal Thyself
Zenprise 2.0's diagnostics management add-on for Microsoft Exchange gets an update with self-healing capabilities, more integrated troubleshooting reference material.
Exchange administrators are constantly under the gun to keep
their messaging servers up and running without hiccups. And Zenprise is
giving those companies a bit more insurance in that regard, with the
latest release of the company's flagship product, Zenprise 2.0, the
service-management software for Microsoft Exchange. Among some of the
new features are a beefed up Symptom Database, self-healing
capabilities, and support for clustered Exchange environments.
The Symptom Database might seem like nothing more than a
repository of Microsoft Knowledge Base articles, but those types of
assumptions are dead wrong, says Zenprise Marketing Manager Ahmed Datoo
and the company has plans to license whatever Exchange-related
troubleshooting resources it can.
"Over the last few months, we've been focused on adding
content from third-party providers into the Symptom Database," said
Zenprise Marketing Manager Ahmed Datoo, "which houses all of our
knowledge around typical types of e-mail-oriented problems." He said
that the company has licensed O'Reilly Media's series of Exchange books
and encode them into the company's Symptom Database.
The O'Reilly inclusions is in addition to the content added
when Zenprise signed an agreement prior to the 1.0 release to license
and encode Microsoft's KB articles into the Symptom Database. Datoo
explained that the immediate access of both sets of content allows
version 2.0 "to identify issues, flag the appropriate articles, run a
series of diagnostics tests to validate [of] the cause of the problem,
and then go through the process of providing detailed resolution
instructions" to the admins from a larger set of well-researched
reference material. A nifty bonus: a Google-type, filtered search, that
admins can use to pinpoint e-mail issues on the fly.
Another key addition is what Datoo says is Zenprise's ability
to "proactively manage service levels." He says that this is often the
case with servers that seem to be running fine, but the typical
scenario often has users notifying admins that e-mail service has begun
failing. Zenprise 2.0 acts on problems dealing with service
levels by providing a heads-up prior to issues becoming critical.
"The advanced predictive capabilities give me the solutions
to problems even before my end users notice," says Paul Hinsberg, a
senior server engineer with the County of Alameda, who's already
happily deploying version 2.0.
Also new are the self-healing capabilities, wherein Zenprise
can be installed right out of the box and, adds Datoo, "without having
to supplement their [IT] support staff with people who are experts on
Zenprise software." The 2.0 version is also able to diagnose problems
within a clustered Exchange environment, where failover can be a
trickier troubleshooting issue.
Zenprise 2.0 is $15 per user for 1,000 users, which includes
support, subscription updates. Zenprise 1.0 users will receive the
update for free.
Michael Domingo has held several positions at 1105 Media, and is currently the editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine.