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Software start-up focuses on Web

Micromuse will provide a daily view of Web-based services with management applications that track availability and performance.

Software start-up Micromuse will provide a view into the daily performance of Web-based services with a set of management applications that track availability and performance.

The new software targets an ever-growing concern of administrators: how to get a handle on the variety of Web traffic--whether it is based on Web page downloads, email, or administrative protocols--constantly zipping across their networks.

Micromuse's new set of tools will be sold as a set of add-ons for the company's already shipping NetCool/Omnibus suite of management applications and will roll out at next week's ComNet trade show in Washington D.C.

The monitors focus on seven different sets of popular Net and intranet traffic: HTTP from Web servers; FTP for file transfers; SMTP and POP3, two widely used email protocols; NNTP for news; DNS for directory services, and RADIUS for secure connections across the Net.

The software is targeted at service providers (ISP) and corporate networks that require precise views of usage. A service provider might even provide a tool like Micromuse's service monitors to a corporation outsourcing services so that traffic levels on the network can be accurately determined.

Micromuse executives said the new tools complement the company's existing software by collecting a wider variety of information in a more precise way. "These tools can help you pinpoint whether it's an ISP problem or a network problem," said Jill Huntington-Lee, vice president of marketing communications at the company.

The NetCool Internet Service Monitor applications will ship this quarter, with standalone applications priced at $7,000 each and the entire suite priced at $20,000.