This is the odd one out in our review. It is not a standalone product, but a plug-in for the WhatsUp network monitoring system. However, it is the only product that enters the realm of application support, while the others concentrate on administering and supporting the network.
Application support is generally left to the in-house support teams, usually backed up by external suppliers, and network support staff are not normally involved much beyond the first call to the helpdesk.
As a result, networked applications - particularly database systems - are not normally given any special treatment in network management software. Since database management systems are now well-evolved products, the tendency is to forget them. After all, for network administrators, databases are everywhere, and just carry on working.
This is what database administrators want, and the systems are reliable enough for this to be the case. So why would a network administrator, who already has more than enough to get on with, want to monitor database systems?
The reason is because databases do not exist in isolation. They underpin most applications, and that often includes the administration systems themselves. Of course, if an in-house application starts misbehaving because of a database problem, the helpdesk telephones will soon start ringing, so monitoring these databases is not much of an issue in administration terms.
However, databases are also often associated with web servers, and a problem in this area can often go unnoticed. After all, if an internet customer's attempt to order products fails because the back-end database is down, they will probably take their business elsewhere rather than send a complaint to the webmaster.
In this case, knowing the current state of the associated databases can be very important, and something that a network administrator really needs to know so that the situation can be restored to normal as quickly as possible.
The monitor requires WhatsUp Gold 8.01 or above, and works with Microsoft SQL Server 2000. Earlier versions are not supported.