WildPackets partners with Ralink to ensure quality control for laptops and smart phones accessing wireless VOIP networks.
Taking aim at the spotty connectivity of wireless VOIP, network analysis
software maker WildPackets claims it has found a way to capture and analyze
wireless data from multiple channels in real time.
This is a key ingredient to helping businesses monitor and manage wireless
voice-over-IP applications. Networking vendors Cisco Systems, Vonage and Avaya
sell their VOIP apps to thousands of corporate offices, but neither these
product providers nor other network analysis and management vendors provide
adequate tools to ensure service quality, according to WildPackets.
Click here to read about how IBM and Nortel are bringing VOIP to IBM's Power Systems.
The problem is that delays of more than a few hundred milliseconds lead to
poor quality, or even to the dreaded dropped calls. This particularly happens
as mobile devices roam from one channel to another.
This can be a huge problem for corporations with multiple mobile workers
roving from remote office to remote office, trying to access the network via
their laptops or BlackBerry, Nokia or Treo smart phones. Employees who can't
access the network wirelessly are often stuck in no man's land.
Answering the call of the wild, unmonitored network
Up to this point, network management products for wireless VOIP were only
able to scan one channel at a time, flitting from channel to channel. This left
up to 90 percent of wireless data unmonitored, which means detecting problems
in the service was practically impossible, WildPackets said.
To answer the call, WildPackets reconfigured its OmniPeek network analysis
software, which lets network engineers find faults and fix problems to maximize
network uptime, to offer real-time capture, aggregation and analysis across
WildPackets had help for this solution. The company partnered with WLAN
(wireless LAN) chip maker Ralink Technology,
whose MIMObility technology allows Wi-Fi applications to be extended from PCs
to cell phones, PDAs and print servers, to hash out OmniPeek's support for USB
These cards serve as wireless packet capture devices. OmniPeek interfaces
directly with multiple wireless cards configured to capture data from individual
channels. OmniPeek then executes several captures concurrently and aggregates
the channel data in a rolling graphical display.
WildPackets faces competition from EMC's
Smarts product line,
which offers VOIP availability, management and
reporting capabilities, but so far not the multichannel protection for wireless
gadgets that WildPackets is touting in OmniPeek.
IBM also offers network performance management for VOIP via the Tivoli Netcool line
it gained from its 2005 purchase of Micromuse.