Raxco Delivers NT Management Suite

Whereas administrators familiar with UNIX or AS/400 environments often rely on integrated management suites from a single vendor to accomplish administrative tasks, point products have long been the rule in the immature Windows NT marketplace. With instaNT Pro , a suite of Windows NT system management tools, Raxco Software Inc. (Gaithersberg, Md., www.raxco.com) hopes to change this reality.

Raxco’s instaNT Pro suite incorporates a number of Raxco utilities under one common hood, a move that according to Raxco provides Windows NT system administrators with the Holy Grail of distributed computing: centralized system and network management capabilities.

InstaNT Pro provides remote control, disk management, security, registry management and event log management functionality. The product's remote control capability allows IS managers to troubleshoot glitches on remote workstations, and its disk management capability leverages Raxco’s PerfectDisk NT product to defragment and optimize hard disk subsystems for peak performance.

As far as security functionality is concerned, InstaNT Pro provides a password checking/cracking utility, in addition to providing administrators with an easy way to add, clone, remove or change account permissions to files, groups of files, or directories and propagate changes without affecting other accounts’ permissions.

InstaNT Pro includes a GUI-driven registry management tool that allows administrators to add, remove or modify permissions on registry keys without affecting other registry permissions. The GUI tool can also view and modify registries on multiple computers simultaneously. InstaNT Pro’s event log management tool consolidates event log entries from multiple computers across an entire network and can store them in an ODBC-compliant database.

Peter Plourde, an IS manager with Guilsford Pharmaceuticals (Baltimore), says that while there are other best-of-breed products available that separately provide functionality similar to that found among the tools in the InstaNT Pro suite, none of them are integrated under one common hood. "The problem is that I run into difficulty if at some point I want to integrate three or four dissimilar products. Some will be in Oracle, others in SQL, and others in Btrieve, so it would be very hard to get them nicely integrated," Plourd says. "InstaNT PRO is already integrated. That makes training for my staff easier, because the interface is the same for every application."

Phillip Mendoza, a system management software analyst with International Data Corp. (Framingham, Mass., www.idc.com), says that as Windows NT matures in complexity, the need for integrated management tools -- as opposed to discrete point products -- will likewise become more important. ""Even though there are some fine system resource utilities available for Windows NT, they are limited because they are generally point products, and cannot be remotely distributed or managed throughout the enterprise," Mendoza observes. "As Windows NT matures and becomes accepted as an enterprise operating system, the need will be for more comprehensive, integrated, enterprise-manageable suites of system utilities."

Raxco is hoping to strengthen the hand of its InstaNT Pro product by introducing it under an innovative pricing scheme that charges a single price per node, without regard for whether or not the node in question is a client or a server. Most software licensing schemes commonly charge a base price for each client license and a much heftier license for server-side software. "We don’t care if it’s a server; we don’t care if it’s a workstation," Nolan affirms. "You simply pay a single price per seat."

Raxco will also implement a new electronic software distribution schema for InstaNT Pro customers that the company says will reduce software costs and facilitate easier software upgrades.