Product Reviews

Managing your Entire Enterprise with Heroix eQ

Complete soup-to-nuts management of your enterprise in a box

Shopping for a product that will allow you to manage and monitor your network from within a single window? Look no further because it's all here in the Heroix eQ Management Suite (HMS). This software has it all. I've installed and reviewed a lot of products for corporate use and magazine articles, but I've not run into as thoroughly thought out a product as this one

Let's start with the basic installation component. The product will operate across a network consisting of both Windows NT/2000 and UNIX platforms (including Solaris, AIX, HP-UX, Linux and Compaq's Tru64) as well as manage and monitor your Netware boxes. Impressed yet? Well what if I went on to tell you that HMS is capable of emergency access and repair of your Windows NT/2000 servers? Also you have full manage and monitor capabilities for your network infrastructure, databases (Oracle, SQL Server, DB2 and Sybase), Web and e-commerce installations (WebLogic, IIS, Apache), messaging servers (Exchange and Lotus Notes/Domino).

Still not convinced? Let me throw in the Development Studio, which allows you to customize HMS to your site-specific needs, HMS' granular reporting and graphic capabilities and the very cool ability to set up and monitor service level agreements (SLAs). This latter element is valuable because you can monitor Cisco devices, database DSNs, email addresses, Internet URLs, remote computers and system response time commands. In other words, it's aware of the main players on your network and can be customized to monitor other lesser-knowns.

HMS is based upon a three-tier client/server model. Tier 1 consists of the Heroix installation itself-the management and alert UIs and Heroix eQ daemon. The second tier is the database repository where all the information is kept-Microsoft Access or SQL Server (Heroix is a Microsoft Certified Gold Partner). Finally in Tier 3 you utilize agents on the computers that you want to manage.

Installation is MSI-based, quick and easy. HMS utilizes only TCP/IP (a problem for your Netware servers?) for communications. The manuals are extremely easy to read and comprehensive. Technical support is of high quality and Heroix is customer-driven-refreshing in today's climate. I especially liked the fact that the online installation readme told me where I would likely run into trouble (wrong version of MDAC, other system troubles) and told me how to fix it.

Heroix eQ Management Console
The Heroix eQ Management Console makes it easy to navigate to all the parts of the product (Click image to view larger version.)

The copy of the software I received for review installed and ran just fine on a dual Pentium 500 MHz box with 512 MB of RAM and 20 GB free disk space. Minimum recommendations include a Pentium 200 or better, 128 MB of RAM and 35-75 MB of disk. But monitoring computers are busy; you should definitely consider an enterprise-class box for this software: Multiprocessor computer, lots of RAM, enough disk for the alert repository, a fast NIC.

Keep in mind that the cost of deployment goes up as you purchase more agents. Additionally network bandwidth is impacted as more agents begin to report their data to the mother ship. Keep an eye on the installation and you'll find this to be a great tool for managing your network.

About the Author

Bill Heldman is an instructor at Warren Tech, a career and technical education high-school in Lakewood, Colorado. He is a contributor to Redmond, MCP Magazine and several other Windows magazines, plus several books for Sybex, including CompTIA IT Project+ Study Guide.


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