New Service Aims to Prevent Network Trouble

Monday Feb 14th 2005 by Dan Muse
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Seattle-based HyBlue today launched a Web-based network diagnostic and management tool designed to help small business consultants and resellers monitor PCs and servers to avoid potential problems.

More and more small businesses are turning to independent contractors to provide IT services. If you are one of them, you may want to let the company you work with know about a new hosted network management service that is promising to stop network and system trouble before it happens.

HyBlue, a new Seattle-based company, today announced availability of a monitoring service designed to provide small businesses with a proactive network management service. The service, which requires no additional hardware, consists of three elements, according the company's CEO Matthew Sutton:

A software sensor is added to each PC or server on your network. Sutton said the Secure Sockets Layer-based sensor is about 4MB and is not bothered by VPNs and firewalls. "It doesn't reach into your computer — it's like you are ordering from Amazon.com."

The sensor extracts data and reports events to HyBlue's expert system. The expert system is the heart of service and is what sets it apart, according to Sutton. He said it is different from other services because rather than telling you that a computer has failed, its uses predictive analysis based on thousands of hours of monitoring data and identifies potential issues. "It can predict that a hard drive is about to crash. It will tell you 'this is important,' that it's a precursor."

If the event of a critical problem, a high-priority alert can be sent both to your network service provider and you.

The third element is a customer portal that communicates any problems to you or your contracted network management firm.

Sutton said that service will require no up-front fees and that monthly service end-user pricing will be around $10 per desktop and $100 per server.

"Most network monitoring tools cost hundreds or thousands of dollars per month and return mountains of useless data or impose an awkward user interface," Sutton said. "HyBlue is inexpensive, filters irrelevant items and reports critical issues and suggested remedies."

The company's goal is to have 25,000 resellers of the service. Right now, the service has only 10, according to Sutton, but this due to the fact that company has been operating in stealth mode while it fine-tuned the service.

Dan Muse is executive editor of internet.com's Small Business Channel and EarthWeb's Networking & Communications Channel.

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