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MSP (Management Service Provider)

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An MSP is a service provider that offers system and network management tools and expertise. An MSP typically has its own data center that runs advanced network management software such as HP OpenView or Tivoli. It uses these tools to actively monitor and provide reports on aspects of its customer's networks, including communication links, network bandwidth, servers, and so on. The MSP may host the customer's Web servers and application servers at its own site. The services provided by MSPs have been called "Web telemetry" services. The MSP Association defines MSPs as follows:

Management Service Providers deliver information technology (IT) infrastructure management services to multiple customers over a network on a subscription basis. Like Application Service Providers (ASPs), Management Service Providers deliver services via networks that are billed to their clients on a recurring fee basis. Unlike ASPs, which deliver business applications to end users, MSPs deliver system management services to IT departments and other customers who manage their own technology assets.

TriActive is an example of an MSP. It provides management and monitoring of PCs, servers, networks, and Web sites from its own NOC (network operations center), which is hosted by Exodus Communications. Exodus ensures that the NOC has fully redundant power, network connectivity, routing, and switching to ensure maximum reliability and integrity. A "microagent" interacts with customer systems to provide system management. The agent is lightweight and designed for use over the Internet. It acts as a universal agent invoking and managing other agents and programs as required for specific actions

The service is delivered via the Web through a secure Internet portal that lets customers view management information, based on their role in the organization. For example, CIOs can view overall management information while help desk technicians can check call queues, escalations, and open ticket status. Systems analysts can conduct asset inventories and view virus reporting.

Objective Systems Integrators is another management service provider that provides software solutions for unified network, service application, and process management. OSI was recently acquired by Agilent Technologies. A list of other MSPs may be found at the MSP Association Web site.

Copyright (c) 2001 Tom Sheldon and Big Sur Multimedia.
All rights reserved under Pan American and International copyright conventions.