Proficient Tool Bases Routing Decisions on Cost

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2002-07-25 Print this article Print

Software option allows users to base routing decisions on the cost of using a particular ISP link.

Proficient Networks Inc. this week expanded the software options for its network optimization appliances to allow them to route traffic based on cost. Proficient Networks, of San Francisco, launched the Cost-based Load Sharing feature on Tuesday as part of an enhanced version of its software for its Network Policy Engine network appliances. The feature allows users to base routing decisions on the cost of using a particular ISP link, officials said. Cost-based Load Sharing can account for the various tiers of pricing among an enterprises multiple ISP connections, the billing cycles for those ISPs and other aspects of complicated ISP billing to determine where to best route traffic, said Allan Leinwand, president and CEO of Proficient Networks.
"It has the ability to compute the cheapest possible path for sending traffic and predict what the bills will be in the future," Leinwand said.
The feature is called a "policy engine" and is a software option for customers of Proficient Networks two Network Policy Engine devices, the NPE1010A and the NPE510A. Proficient Networks introduced the NPE1010A in early 2002, its first product in the Network Policy Engine family. The NPE510A followed in April, targeted at smaller offices and the network edge. Pricing for the Cost-based Load Sharing option starts at about $15,000, Leinwand said. For $5,000 more, users can choose to use the policy engine with stateful failover capabilities.
Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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