InfoVista Aims to Improve Wi-Fi Management

By Paula Musich  |  Posted 2003-04-27

InfoVista Aims to Improve Wi-Fi Management

InfoVista S.A. next week at Networld + Interop will bring more comprehensive performance management to Wi-Fi environments when it launches its new Wireless Fidelity Service Level Management suite.

The new suite, which can automatically discover Wi-Fi access points, measure those points for bandwidth usage and signal strength, collect performance metrics and actively test Wi-Fi connections, is intended for both service providers offering Wi-Fi as a service as well as enterprises running mission critical applications over Wi-Fi.

InfoVista integrated the Wi-Fi support across its portfolio of foundation products, including its InfoVista Server, VistaPortal, Vista Plug-in for IP Services and its brand new VistaDiscovery.

For example, InfoVista added Wi-Fi specific reports to its VistaPortal user interface, Wi-Fi VistaViews in the InfoVista Server that can show how many people are connected to an access point and allow operators to apply thresholds to that number and then generate a trap if it is more than 80 percent utilized. Wi-Fi VistaViews also allow users to determine what data they want to collect on Wi-Fi usage and performance, what kind of analysis they want to perform on that data and determine what actions to take.

The new VistaDiscovery automated discovery component can find access points, determine what they are, what kind of reporting can be done on those elements and turn on monitoring of those elements. In the Vista Plug-ins for IP Services, InfoVista added Wi-Fi tests that allow users to actively test Wi-Fi services to determine what the end user experience is for the access points tested. Active agents in the Plug-ins can test to see if users can talk through the wireless link to backend Web servers, and the agents can "actively monitor whether a Wi-Fi access point can support the quality necessary to run voice over that infrastructure," said Dave Chapman, director of worldwide marketing for InfoVista in Columbia, Md.

Such comprehensive performance monitoring and management of Wi-Fi puts InfoVista in the lead among management tools providers, believes Joshua Beil, an analyst with Tier 1 Research Inc. in Minneapolis. "InfoVista is out there in front in coming to market with something like it. Im fairly confident there are others that can do various monitoring on the Wi-Fi side, but as a service level management tool, I believe theyre leading the charge on that," he said.

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Along with the new Wi-Fi support, InfoVista at Networld + Interop will also debut its new Service Level Navigator, a dynamic graphical user interface that can link real-time performance of network elements to quality of service measurements grouped by geographic region, by customer or by line of business. The new interface can pull together management data collected by a variety of third-party tools, allowing operators to use a single, common interface to more quickly and easily troubleshoot problems. That can help improve productivity and lower costs, believes early user Ralph Cramer, business unit executive at German systems integrator Danet GmbH in Weiterstadt.

InfoVista will also introduce its new VistaOperations Center, based on flow measurement technology from Network Physics, which can identify potential performance problems, determine whether a problem is in the network, server or application, and then determine what resources are associated with the problem.

"It lets us understand whos talking to whom. We can tell if there is one group getting slow response times, we can see which business flows are affected by a hardware or component level problem and vice versa," describe Chapman.

All the new offerings are available now.

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