Owl™ Architecture

Enterprise-Grade Performance, Flexibility & Scale

Owl™ is designed to monitor and control business services and applications. It is specifically oriented toward networked applications in complex environments using many vendors and technologies. It features an efficient, Zero Administration approach, an active topological reasoning model to represent services, applications and their inter-connections and a real-time web-based graphical user interface.

Owl is factored into five functional layers (click for larger view)

The architecture of Owl is factored into five functional layers to provide a simple, efficient and scalable system. Starting from the user interface going toward the business application, the layers are

  • Presentation
  • Distribution
  • Organization
  • Data Collection
  • Data Capture

The Data Collection and Capture Layers include an instrumentation package called Blackbird™. The Blackbird technology provides a robust scheme for discovering and communicating with business applications over wide area networks. The Blackbird instrumentation library (BBL) serves as a key building block for many different data capture schemes.

Data Capture Layer — The purpose of the Data Capture Layer is to extract health, performance and event information from an application without affecting the logic or performance of the application. The information obtained is held locally and provided to the Data Collection Layer on demand. The Data Capture Layer includes the following functionality./p>

  • Active assertion of an application’s presence while it is running
  • Capture of application-defined metrics and events at production speed
  • Capture of standard system metrics on demand
  • Invoking application-defined controls while the application is active
  • Remote-controlled logging and tracing

Data Collection Layer — the Data Collection Layer is responsible for periodically collecting information captured in business applications and forwarding it to Owl™’s active reasoning model. It incorporates policies to do this in an efficient, timely and stable manner. Functionality includes

  • Application discovery
  • Application filtering
  • Application authentication
  • Information collection (routine and priority)

Organization Layer — the health, performance, and event information from individual applications is recorded, sorted, correlated, evaluated and published in the Organization Layer. A transactional, in-core object database is used to represent the monitored applications, their interconnections and user settings. This in-core database is manifested externally in the form of a memory mapped file. This database provides for quick startup after software or machine failures.

Distribution Layer — the Distribution Layer uses a publish-query-subscribe mechanism to provide on-demand distribution of Owl information to various client processes such as the User Interface and Notification Managers.

Presentation Layer — the Presentation Layer includes web browsers, email clients, wireless devices and any other means of communicating to the user. Most of the Owl user screens are dynamic; they are continuously updated through a Java Applet with its own TCP/IP connection to the User Interface Manager.

Self Monitoring — Owl monitors its own key services and processes. A predefined Owl™ view provides a schematic of the Owl topology along with the health, performance and events of individual components.

Security — Owl employs a user-role-capability model for security. Each user is assigned one or more roles. In turn, each role confers a set of capabilities on the corresponding user. For each user request, Owl requires the user to possess a specific capability; otherwise the request is denied. Owl integrates with corporate single-sign-on systems for authenticating users, if such systems are available. Otherwise it uses a default scheme.

Communications — the Data Collection and Capture Layers utilize XML/UDP/IP and XML/TCP/IP communications in the discovery process. The Distribution and Organization Layers use XML/TCP/IP for communications. The Presentation Layer uses the XML/TCP/IP scheme as well as others such as Web Browser specific approaches as necessary.