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Tool bridges Web site, backend gap

Resonate, a software start-up, will announce a new management tool intended to bridge the gap between commercial Web sites and the backend systems that support them.

Resonate, a software start-up, will next week announce a new management tool intended to bridge the gap between commercial Web sites and the backend systems that support them.

The company will on Tuesday launch Commander, a performance management tool that gives administrators a peek into the inner workings of large-scale Web servers used in e-commerce applications, and the mainframes, business applications, and databases that support them.

Resonate executives said the company is among the first to wed both functions. Several vendors sell separate tools for Web site management and for backend system administration. But in order to see an overall picture of a total system, or to pinpoint a performance bottleneck in any one part of the system, internal IS developers have often resorted to knitting together systems with script files and other hand coding, said analysts.

Commander can do that out-of-the-box, claims Ken Schroeder, the company's chief executive.

The company has so far found success with its initial products, Central Dispatch and Global Dispatch, which are used to balance loads on Web sites, and to manage multiple Web servers as a single system.

Analysts said the company needs a product like Commander in order to stay alive in a fast changing management tool market dominated by huge competitors, such as Computer Associates and IBM, through its Tivoli subsidiary.

"To avoid becoming a past tense, these companies have to move into new areas," said Mike Gotta, an analyst with the Meta Group. "Resonate, right now is on the short list of the software players [in this market.] The problem is that the business they have is being pressured by the network hardware people, such as Alteon and Cisco. Those companies offer the lower-level administration tools for their hardware.

"Resonate has to offer broader services than just load balancing. They don't want to get involved in the sheet metal, so they are going up into the systems management area," Gotta said.

The company is also partnering with potential competitors and with enterprise resource planning software makers to broaden their distribution channels. Schroeder said Resonate will next week announce deals with Tivoli, BMC Software, and services provider Intraware.

Last month, Resonate announced a licensing deal with enterprise relationship management software maker Siebel Systems. Siebel plans to offer Resonate's Central Dispatch with its Siebel 99 software package.

Commander includes three core modules: Monitor, Controller, and Reporter. Monitor performs resource monitoring of sites using the company's Central Dispatch or Global Dispatch products. Controller provides policy-based automated site control, the company said. And Reporter collects and maintains historical statistics.

The package is priced from $25,000 to $30,000, Schroeder said.

Schroeder said the company plans to sign up additional systems integrators and ERP vendors in the coming year. An initial public offering may also take place within the year, he said.