WAN Managers Open Up Lines, Reports

By Paula Musich  |  Posted 2001-08-27

A pair of WAN management vendors are adding options to their bandwidth and service-level management tools that could catch the attention of IT managers looking to improve return on investment.

NetReality Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif., will allow network managers to get the most out of expensive broadband links such as ATM (asynchronous transfer mode), DSL (digital subscriber line) and fixed wireless by extending the traffic shaping and monitoring capabilities of its WiseWan bandwidth manager to those connection types.

SLA (service-level agreement) reporting provider InfoVista S.A., for its part, will allow less-experienced NOC (network operations center) workers to generate reports on demand for customers when performance issues arise on a network.

NetRealitys WiseWan broadband support extends its traffic prioritization, traffic monitoring and reporting beyond narrowband links such as frame relay, officials said. At the same time, it will allow quality-of-service policies for a variety of links to be created and pushed out to the network access points for enforcement. Network Application Priority Switches installed at those network access points provide the mechanism for enforcement and collection of utilization data.

WiseWan user Curtis Ringwald sees the new broadband integration as a way to support remote users accessing mission-critical applications over more cost-effective virtual private networks.

"People at remote sites are connecting over cable modems, DSL and other connections. Were definitely interested because we still need to control that traffic from a central location on our networks," said Ringwald, program manager for network operations at communications systems manufacturer Andrew Corp., in Orland Park, Ill.

The broadband support, which will be unveiled officially at the NetWorld+Interop trade show in Atlanta next month, is due by mid-September.

InfoVista at N+I will demonstrate how NOC workers who are not trained on SLA reporting tools can still generate reports when users complain about performance.

Using the Columbia, Md., companys new PowerView SLA reporting tool, offered in the new VistaNext bundle, service providers will be able to generate problem-specific reports in minutes using templates and a simplified interface.

Users inexperienced with the tool can easily edit polling on specific paths to gather management data on affected areas. The administrator needs to know only the IP address, SNMP community string and SNMP port of the affected network devices.

Service providers can also use the PowerView reporting option to create value-added reporting services for their customers.

The bundle, which comprises InfoVista PowerView, InfoVista RunTime Server and VistaPortal, is due by late next month.

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