Review: IM Logic's IM Manager
IMlogic IM Manager: An enterprise-level instant messaging (IM) monitoring and control system that supports public, private, and hosted IM services by capturing all IM conversations and offering the tools to review them.
Whether IM presents a security problem or a competitive opportunity depends on an organization's ability to manage IM traffic.
To that end, IMlogic's IM Manager provides a well-organized set of server-based tools to control, record, and review IM conversations. Its thrust is toward heavy-duty enterprise use of IM, but the product is scalable (as is its price) for midsize businesses.
Although various modules comprise IM Manager, it is marketed not as suite of products but as a complete package with all the key elements of IM control and review. The collection of modules include: relay service (a routing component), content logging service, database (support for Microsoft SQL Server), message and recovery queues, and a content query Web interface (for administration and review).
Because an IM control server sits between clients (users with usually pre-existing IM software) and public or private services, support for specific clients and services is very important.
This is one of IM Manager's strong points. It supports three types of clients and services: public (e.g., AOL Instant Messenger, MSN Messenger, and Yahoo! Messenger), private (e.g., IBM Sametime, Microsoft Live Communications Server, and Microsoft Exchange 2000 IM), and hosted (e.g., Reuters Messaging).Installation
As should be expected from any monitor and control type of server, the installation and configuration of IM Manager involves many connections and fairly complex network administration. This is especially true for heavy-load installations where multiple servers are required.
Proof of IMlogic's commitment to enterprise-level installations can be found in an excellent section of the documentation called 'Sizing and Scaling', which contains very useful information (including performance figures) about throughput for various segments of the IM Manager configuration. Anyone evaluating or planning an installation should check this resource out.
We found the actual installation of the software to be straightforward, and it took place without a hitch.
IM Manager operates in a strongly Microsoft environment: it requires Windows 2000 or 2003 Server, SQL Server 2000, Microsoft Core Services XML 4.0, and Microsoft Message Queue, and it supports only Microsoft SQL Server as a database manager. IM Manager supplements the usual message caching with its own cache (ranging from a default of 256 MB to one half of the system memory) to provide a kind of failover protection, should the connection to the archiving database be lost.See the complete review at ServerWatch.com.