As Ipswitch expands its suite of free tools with new offerings for managing four of Microsoft's most popular products, we spoke to Alessandro Porro, vice president of international sales at Ipswitch. We wanted to determine why the company is giving away tools and what difference this move will make for systems administrators and IT teams.
TechRadar Pro: What free tools is Ipswitch making available?
Alessandro Porro: Ipswitch is providing systems administrators and IT teams with free tools to monitor application availability and performance for Microsoft Active Directory, Exchange, IIS and SQL Server applications.
These free tools are designed to be as easy to download and use as apps from the Apple or Google app store. They comprise of the following:
- WhatsUp Active Directory: Monitors and tracks Microsoft Active Directory availability and performance
- WhatsUp IIS Monitor: Monitors Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) and identifies performance issues
- WhatsUp Exchange Monitor: Ensures application availability in a Microsoft Exchange environment
- WhatsUp SQL Server Monitor: Monitors and keeps Microsoft SQL Server running smoothly
TRP: Why give away something for free?
AP: Our mission is to take what's complex about IT and make it simple. Part of achieving that mission is arming IT professionals with tools that allow them to quickly identify issues anywhere across their infrastructure. System administrators thrive in an open source world and these tools are designed to help them confidently pinpoint issues on four commonly used applications.
Of course, in the long run we want to help IT professionals understand the power of Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold products – however, there are no strings attached. We believe that these free tools will simply help develop trust.
TRP: What is the market need that these free tools address?
AP: These free tools are helpful resources for IT teams charged with protecting business critical applications. They provide the ability to simply and concisely identify the root cause of an application problem that can save IT professionals hours of guesswork and troubleshooting when issues appear.
TRP: What is the business impact for system administrators and IT teams if they don't have a set of tools like this?
AP: The real impact is wasted time. IT teams could, and often do, spend hours trying to identify the root cause of a network slowdown and never find it. This means the problem can recur and continue to impact users while the IT department follows various scenarios trying to troubleshoot. These free tools are designed to pinpoint problem areas fast and save time.
TRP: Is this a freemium model – i.e. you only get basic functionality unless you pay?
AP: No, the free tools provide full monitoring functionality based upon the particular technology they are designed to support.
TRP: Why only Microsoft?
AP: Organisations across the world rely on Microsoft products to help create the best experience for their users. These four free application performance monitoring tools focus on applications that are commonplace across a wide variety of organisations and can impact the speed of business when issues arise.
TRP: Will the range of tools be extended to cover other environments?
AP: In the future, as we identify additional high value applications, we will consider additional free tools to support them.