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BMC Revs Patrol Express

Looking to provide its service provider customers with what it describes as a "sliding scale of tools," Houston-based infrastructure software vendor BMC will announce Patrol Express 3.0 on Monday.

The philosophy behind the newest version of its suite of system management tools, according to Jason Andrew, BMC's director of product management and development for Patrol Express, is that not all systems require the same level of management. Patrol Express 3.0, he said, allows BMC customers to deploy services ranging from lightweight monitoring to advanced proactive management through it Web-based Service Integration Portal (SIP).

BMC offers Patrol Express 3.0 in two flavors: Customers can buy and deploy it on their own premises or they can choose to use it as a service hosted at BMC's data center. BMC bills on a per-transaction based on the parameters set through SIP.

Patrol Express 3.0 also now encompasses what had been two separate Web-based products: GuardianAngel (for service level performance and availability monitoring for servers, applications and network devices) and SiteAngel (which focused on measuring user satisfaction).

One compelling new feature in Patrol Express 3.0 allows customers to measure Internet latency in more than 30 points of presence (POPs) across the United States. Andrew said this service is being offered through a partnership with Akamai, a Cambridge, Mass.-based application-delivery infrastructure provider. The service is designed to enable IT departments to quickly determine how infrastructure problems affect an end-user's Web experience.

Also new in Patrol Express 3.0 are notifications that will alert different recipients for different services and reports that can be sent at the account level or service level. Critical Alarm lets customers specify what conditions must be met for an element to be considered in "critical" status and therefore responded to more quickly.

For service providers, the faster they can deliver services, the faster they can bill -- a fact not lost on BMC. Patrol Express does not require agents to be deployed on the devices being monitored and is designed to remotely monitor a wide range of platforms and applications across firewalls, in a secure manner while greatly improving time-to-value, Andrew said.

For more critical business processes, Patrol Enterprise is a more advanced version designed to automate the management of a company's entire IT infrastructure with extensive control. Patrol is designed to increase application availability and reduce costs that may be associated with system bottlenecks across platforms, databases, storage, networks, security and middleware technologies that span both mainframe and distributed systems.

"This combination of Patrol and Patrol Express is very exciting because it allows customers to choose the solution or combination of solutions that fits their management and monitoring needs while giving them choice and control over licensing costs," said Mary Smars, vice president, Patrol Enterprise Systems Management for BMC Software.