Published July 20, 1999
Volume 7, Number 7

Foglight's RAPS is Network Insurance
Innovative Software Offers Extra Protection Against System Outages

Dan Callahan, president and CEO of Foglight , can count some of the biggest names in e-business on their client list.

By Jay Hipps
Network Editor

For many companies, a computer network is so intertwined with the business's operation that any downtime results in terrible consequences. With the dawn of e-business, a system crash can mean even more, since the network may be the company's primary way of earning income. 

"In those businesses if your system begins to slow down or break, you have hundreds of thousands of users that are impacted and you lose millions of dollars," explains Dan Callahan, president and CEO of Foglight Software. "In fact, if their Internet connectionis down for an hour, the average online brokerage company loses about $6.5 million." 

That's where Foglight's Real-Time Application Performance System (RAPS) comes in. RAPS consists of several elements. The first is a series of "lightweight agents," which are small software routines that measure a variety of network conditions. These agents send their measurements to a "correlation engine" that interprets these readings to determine the status of the entire network at any given moment.

"It has an ability to proactively take all of hundreds of thousands of factors into consideration and then initiate action before human involvement is required," he explains. "It runs all the time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and it can send out e-mails and pages."

In the few short months that the product has been available, some of the best-known online companies have been lining up to become Foglight customers, including Cisco Systems ("the largest e-business in the world," says Callahan), Netscape, eBay, Ascend, Sun Microsystems, AirTouch, and iVillage.com. 

RAPS is also a useful tool in the event that a failure does occur. "We have an historical record of all the details and all the factors that went into the outage that you could go back and diagnose," he says. "What were the indicators pointing to this problem before it occurred?"

Foglight's latest accomplishment further expands their market. Last month, RAPS was certified by PeopleSoft for use with release 7 and 7.5 of PeopleSoft's enterprise applications. 

"We elected to construct sort of a special version of our system that's deeply integrated with PeopleSoft's offerings," said Callahan. Foglight also offers a general systems version of RAPS.


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