Network Tools Give Global Data View

By Paula Musich  |  Posted 2004-09-27

Network Physics Inc. will give network managers more ammunition in the battle to pinpoint the source of performance or security problems in complex networks when it launches distributed versions of its network application management tools.

The move comes as enterprises, which have seen success using individual NP-2000 application flow-based appliances to troubleshoot problems, have started adding more appliances to other parts of the network.

In an effort to help scale the technology, Network Physics, of Mountain View, Calif., created the NetSensory Enterprise Architecture to provide global application response-time visibility, reporting and centralized configuration of the NP-2000 intelligent probes.

The architecture is implemented in a new distributed version of Network Physics operating system, dubbed NetSensory OS 4.0, which runs in a new centralized appliance, dubbed the NP-Director. The NP-Director draws on pre-processed data collected and analyzed by distributed NP-2000 appliances, each of which maintains performance databases.

NetSensory OS 4.0 adds the ability to create a real-time service topology map from end-to-end application flows traversing LANs, WANs, VPNs and shared-services networks. It adds enterprise reporting, unified administration of NP-2000 appliances, an enterprise database and global application performance troubleshooting.

"They extended intelligence out to the probes, which only send back enough information to get a high-level view of performance," said analyst Lynn Nye of APM Advisors, in Portland, Ore.

"We only need one console for a global view, and we can go to a particular site from that console," said Henry Yiin, a user and manager of network administration at CDC IXIS North America Inc., a financial services company in New York.

The NP-2000 appliances track application flows according to their TCP or UDP (User Datagram Protocol) ports. They can also identify activity associated with worm or virus attacks and isolate hot spots.

The new operating system version and NP-Director are available now. A typical deployment ranges in price from $150,000 to $250,000.

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