Startup Ipsum Networks Inc. this week will up the ante in managing IP routing when it releases its flagship Route Dynamics tool with the ability to automatically perform root-cause analysis for IP routing failures.
Traditional enterprise network management systems address the physical connectivity of network nodes, including routers, but do not detect logical network traffic flow across hundreds or thousands of routers, officials said.
Frank Hayes, vice president of business development for Ipsum, in Philadelphia, said, "You dont see if you have 2,000 routers what the real-time effect is of 2,000 routing tables working together."
"We know how data should be flowing through the network, but Route Dynamics shows us how its actually flowing through the network. If something goes wrong and it changes to a backup path, we might not be able to detect that [with SNMP polling-based network management tools]," said early user Katherine Stroud, network and systems technology manager at Bloomington Hospital & Healthcare System, in Bloomington, Ind.
With the automated root-cause analysis function, Route Dynamics acts as a Cisco Systems Inc. Certified Internet Engineer "in a box," Hayes said.
Ipsums IP Routing Protocol Monitoring technology provides passive monitoring of Internet routing protocols. It is implemented in an IP Listener appliance that automatically discovers the logical flow of a network and draws a logical topology map (see screen). The map details routing redundancy, path cost and tuning parameters.
Although IP routing faults contribute significantly to application and service performance degradation and failures, only a handful of startups are addressing management of Layer 3 logical connections. But those players will eventually be joined by large-enterprise network management vendors such as Hewlett-Packard Co. and IBMs Tivoli unit, among others, according to Elisabeth Rainge, an analyst with International Data Corp., in Mountain View, Calif.
Route Dynamics, available now, initially monitors Open Shortest Path First routing protocols. Ipsum plans to support Border Gateway Protocol in the next release; support will eventually be added for Ciscos proprietary routing protocol.