Network Associates Inc. is expanding its Netasyst line of network management tools for SMBs with a pair of new distributed network analyzers.
The Netasyst D and Netasyst DX tools obviate the need for portable protocol analyzers. Both provide remote troubleshooting of 10/100M-bps Ethernet LAN segments from a central location and let operators see what kind of protocol traffic is traversing WAN links from remote LAN locations. The Netasyst DX option adds expert protocol analysis and diagnostics to the base Netasyst D. Both run on Microsoft Corp.s Windows XP.
"The system takes knowledge accumulated over 17 years, looks at network traffic and picks out problems. It runs off rules that cover the data to the applications layer," said Steve Finegan, product launch manager at Network Associates, in Santa Clara, Calif. Netasyst DX can decode applications such as Microsofts Exchange and SQL Server.
"This will allow us to have a client at a remote site and track what kind of bandwidth use we have on our WAN," said user J.R. Williams, network system engineering lead at Uline Shipping Supply Specialists, in Waukegan, Ill. "A program like this will be a great help to see if problems are local or over the WAN.
"For example, if someone were streaming live music or doing a very large download from the Internet, wed be able to see that traffic going over the WAN link. Itll give us much more in-depth WAN diagnostics that we dont currently have," Williams said.
By continuously monitoring network segments, operators can get a base line of normal network performance and traffic behavior to watch for and head off performance problems and security breaches and plan for capacity increases to accommodate growth. At the same time, operators can use the tool to verify that network capacity can handle new applications and that recently deployed applications are behaving as expected and minimize the effects of security breaches, according to Finegan.
The network analyzers can be used to identify overused or underused links, spot poor server response due to a lack of CPU or memory resources, spot non-business-related traffic as well as inefficient and chatty applications, see server backups occurring during peak usage times and find unauthorized protocols traversing the network.
The network analyzers will compete with similar tools from WildPackets Inc., of Walnut Creek, Calif., and Network Instruments LLC, of Minneapolis. They are due late this quarter. Netasyst D is priced at $1,995, and Netasyst DX costs $4,995.