Application management company Quest Software has launched a single-console tool to manage deployment and use of Oracle-based systems.
The console and basic management tools are free, as the company plans to build an integrated solution as reliance on such tools increases. The free product includes a console and a database administration product. Additional packs for storage, performance management and availability, which will be launched from the console, are to follow -- but at a price.
Quest Central, which will contain these extra packs, will cost £9,200 for a perpetual licence per low end server, with charges of around 20 percent per year for maintenance and support. To extend beyond the company's own focus, Quest has deals with other companies such as MicroMuse for network management.
Quest's contention is that the time has come to pull together the point products that automate parts of the management of applications, behind a centralised console. Quest Central manages and monitors multiple Oracle instances, sessions, objects and users. It is a concerted effort to take business away from the big players, said Gil Asherie, European product marketing director.
Future products will include Quest Central for SQL Server, and the company has already launched a Quest Central for IBM's DB2 database. Quest's management products for Siebel are in use at the Siebel-managed service provider (MSP) Aspective. The company delivered Siebel applications to six customers using 24 servers, replacing a manual management process with Quest, said Asherie: "The complete implementation took 13 weeks, compared with at least six months using Computer Associates."
The big application systems, Oracle, SAP, PeopleSoft, Siebel and others, tend to require a lot of administration, which has been an opportunity for small companies such as Quest to create specialist application management products, and larger broad-based enterprise management companies such as Computer Associates and BMC, to create practices around the management of such applications at end users.
The model for Quest Central follows Quest's experience with Toad (tool for Oracle application developers) which the company has been delivering a free version of since it bought the producer, Toadsoft.
The biggest threat to such a niche business might be the big application vendors themselves, but Asherie thinks they have bigger fish to fry, and will not be upgrading their own management products enough to make Quest and its rivals redundant: "Oracle's best and brightest developers are fighting DB2, which has resurged in the market."