Product Reviews

Seeing Outside Your Scope

SiteScope 7.5 can monitor services and applications that reside even outside the reach of your domain.

SiteScope 7.5 from FreshWater Software is another comprehensive product. Like ipMonitor, SiteScope allows monitoring of a wide range of network services and applications. A main attraction is allowing installation on a computer that’s not part of a domain and creating mappings of usernames and passwords for each monitored node.

SiteScope has a slightly larger footprint than the other products, but it offers functionality the others don’t. Installation is as simple as running the setup program from the supplied CD. After installing the software you invoke it, which launches the SiteScope First Time Setup page. This is a good way to get started quickly, while allowing you to use the default configuration template, customizing it to your environment, or copying the configuration from an existing SiteScope server. In fact, SiteScope has a feature not found in other products—the ability to mirror one SiteScope’s definition to another SiteScope installation to allow for redundancy (a feature called High Availability).

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Use the Web-based interface to monitor status and to configure SiteScope further. You can create Groups, which are collections of similar elements to monitor (two exist by default: Network and Server). Within each group, you can configure services and other elements to monitor, including network services (DNS, HTTP, SNMP, Web Services, FTP and ODBC databases); servers (CPU, disk space, memory, network and Windows services); advanced monitors (directory and file availability, Windows Event Log entries and RADIUS); and many applications (CheckPoint, MAPI-Exchange, DB2, SAP, Sybase, Oracle 9i Application Server, Windows Performance Monitor counters and so on). Its ability to monitor many vendor-oriented applications makes SiteScope stand out.

SiteScope 7.5
With FreshWater’s SiteScope 7.5, you can monitor server elements, such as CPU, disk space and memory. (Click image to view larger version.)

The Web-based interface seemed a bit dated compared to offerings by DeepMetrix, SilverBack and RGE’s IPSentry. SiteScope and VisualPulse’s Web-based interfaces stood out during the review as not being terribly compelling. Maybe more (and better) graphics would help, as well as a more visual and less text-based approach to displaying monitoring and configuration information. That being said, if you need to monitor applications, you should consider this product.

SiteScope 7.5, $1,995, plus 20 percent customer care, for a 25-point license; Freshwater Software, (303) 443-2266, www.freshwater.com.

About the Author

Damir Bersinic, MCSE, MCDBA, MCSA, MCT, is an independent consultant, trainer and author.

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