These guys are real thinkers. They have hit on a problem that is worse in the virtual than in the physical - though it's no walk in the park there either - and come up with a creative solution. The problem is agents. No, Intigua didn't get rid of agents - though many of us probably wish they had - they made them manageable with a very simple-sounding solution. They didn't exactly get rid of the agents. Rather they got rid of most of them without getting rid of any functionality.
How? This is one of those aha! moments - at least it was for me. What Intigua has done is fix it so one agent of a particular type can be used for all of the virtual machines that need it, instead of putting an agent on each VM. They just virtualized the agent, exactly as the rest of the infrastructure is virtualized. That's all there is to it. Well, not quite all, but some of the rest is Intigua's secret sauce.
The problem in the virtual world is that agents deployed on a per-VM basis need to proliferate across the VM stack. They take up machine cycles, they require levels of administration that pose security risks, they raise the cost of compliance because of access to sensitive assets, and they require individual firewalls for security. By virtualizing all of the agents across the VM stack, you minimize these impacts.
This is another 2009 start-up with headquarters in Boston and engineering in Israel. They are priced right, provide flexibility - one size pretty much fits all since you don't need a special version for each agent you need to deploy - and they address both a virtual system administration issue and a security issue. Lots of bang for a reasonable number of bucks.
At a glance
Price: Starting at $75 per OS image (virtual or physical) per year for base product.
What it does:
Virtualizes the management layer allowing a single agent per product requiring an agent to be used across the application stack instead of putting an agent on each VM.
What we liked:
Clever, well-executed way to solve a host of problems, including regulatory and security issues in the virtual world.