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PerformanceIT Inc. hopes to take on larger network management providers vying for the attention of small and midsize business customers by bringing more advanced functions to low-end tools.

The Atlanta-based company will take on the likes of Hewlett-Packard Co.’s OpenView Network Node Manager Starter Edition and BMC Software Inc.’s Patrol Express by adding features such as intelligent alarms that prevent false positives, a notification rules engine and alarm management workflow that provides built-in diagnostics and repair tools.

The new ProIT Express gets smaller customers into proactive monitoring and root-cause analysis at a very low price, according to ProIT officials.

One early user, who compared ProIT Express to the full-blown OpenView Network Node Manager, found the tool to be competitive with such offerings.

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“I had looked at OpenView and [IBM’s] Tivoli. They were outside our reach, but I wanted to compare it,” said Gavin Galtere, director of IT at Benchmark Brands Inc., in Norcross, Ga. “In this pretty light version, I had almost all the functionality that these guys had except for trouble-ticket tracking. To be able to alarm and alert all the processes on my routers and switches—this had at least the core functionality and, at best, the same functionality as some of the more pricey systems.”

Deployment of ProIT Express, priced starting at $4,995, was also streamlined to help less technical users in quickly making the network monitoring and management tool useful.

ProIT Express automatically discovers and identifies more than 1,000 network devices from major networking vendors. It can discover and identify routers, switches, firewalls and servers. It also automatically applies best practices for monitoring key metrics. Alarm thresholds are predefined.

“Having worked with OpenView before, configuring this compared to OpenView is a world of difference in terms of simplicity,” Galtere said.

ProIT Express also provides reporting and includes more than 30 built-in reports that cover such areas as availability, mean time to repair, the top 10 problem devices and the top 10 problems, as well as performance reports that provide linear regression analysis for forecasting potential problems.

ProIT Express is available now.

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