Hyperic Enhances Its Web App Diagnostic Tool

Hyperic is offering a new version of its open source management solution for large-scale hosted Web applications. Hyperic HQ 3.2 incorporates improved monitoring and reporting features. It also supports migration options for those using popular open source management solutions such as Nagios.

Hyperic HQ 3.2 helps to discover, monitor and manage any type of IT-related resource that might be used in support of large-scale Web applications, including hardware, virtualization infrastructure, storage networking components, databases, middleware and Web servers. It's typically used by operations personnel with 24x7 oversight responsibilities in the data center, helping them to detect and solve problems.

"The product can tell you that you have 2,000 servers out there [and] each of those servers has components that are being managed by HQ," said Javier Soltero, Hyperic's CEO. "And you need to present that information back to a user in a form that ideally allows them to diagnose problems and prevent them."

Hyperic's solution can collect a million and a half metrics per minute, Soltero said. It lets the user select the kind of information they want and display it in a Web-based application.

One of the improvements in version 3.2 is a feature called Live Exec Data, which reports information in real time from various diagnostic tools.

"In the Windows world, it involves launching any number of tools, all in the hope of diagnosing the runaway element," Soltero explained "We have a product that as part of its design collects all of these statistics around load averages and memory consumption and sends that information back into a central management server."

Prior to version 3.2, you couldn't invoke those same types of commands to get details about what was happening on all of those machines and have that information be seamlessly integrated in real-time into a Web application, he added.

Another important feature is the integration of Nagios with Hyperic. For those running Nagios, there's no need to rip and replace it. You can augment it instead using Hyperic, which was one reason why CNET Networks selected Hyperic to monitor and manage its worldwide data center operations, Soltero explained.

"CNET Networks has agreed to purchase Hyperic with the aim of deploying it across all of their operations," he said. "The nature of this environment involves something like 15 of the top Web properties in the world with an excess of 150 million unique Web visitors per day. And this is all flowing through infrastructure that is very dynamic and very different."

Soltero said that a lot of Web companies use mostly home-grown solutions. "They tend to use a lot of open source and roll their own management tooling to deliver their IT operations," he explained.

In CNET's case, they use a mixture of technology stacks, including LAMP, Java-based solutions and Windows elements, he added.

"The reason why [CNET] eventually came to us is that they started noticing that their home-grown solution wasn't scaling and they were spending more time trying to manage [it]," Soltero said. "[They were] really indirectly in the business of developing management software, which is not trivial."

With Hyperic 3.2, CNET will be able to augment their Nagios solution, enabling a smooth transition from their home-grown infrastructure, he said.

Hyperic is an open source cross-platform diagnostics solution that is distributed under GPL licensing. The company also offers a Hyperic 3.2 Enterprise edition that is distributed under a commercial licensing agreement for large-scale operations that includes technical support. More information on HQ 3.2 is available here.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor, Enterprise Group, at 1105 Media Inc.