ClearSight Offers Graphical View of Network Protocols

The company's new protocol analyzers offer a visual representation of the application layer to speed identification of network problems.

ClearSight Networks, formerly AppDancer Networks, on Monday will launch new protocol analyzers that provide visibility into the application layer for less sophisticated users.

While most protocol analyzers operate at lower layers of the network and require expert network engineers to understand the protocol decodes, the new ClearSight Analyzer Visual provides a visual representation of complex data to speed the identification of network problems at the application layer, according to Tom Orr, president and CEO of ClearSight Networks in San Mateo, Calif.

"Were providing an end-user view of the problem so network administrators can see and hear what the user experienced at the time the problem occurred. We focus at the application layer where most of the problems are occurring," he said.

The tool provides troubleshooting for a variety of applications, including voice over IP, and it can serve as a mechanism for greater collaboration between network operators and applications managers, according to Chip Mesec, director of marketing in San Mateo. "You dont have to be a wiring closet jockey to use it, and you can take decodes to the (database administrator) and show him what his code is doing to the network," he said.

"We can monitor Domain Name Service, File Transfer Protocol, Telnet, HTTP, Simple Message Transfer Protocol, POP, SQL, Oracle, Exchange and even voice applications like H.323 protocol," described early user Warren Hill, senior network engineer for Indus Corp., a contractor for the Department of Transportation Federal Highway Department in Washington, D.C.

"If you have any problems, it has an indicator that lets you know you have problems with these message flows. I can just click on a particular applications icon, and itll bring up a long screen where I can look at the conversations between two hosts. A novice can see the conversation in plain English instead of all the hex codes," he added.

Included in the real-time monitoring and troubleshooting tool is an application flow analysis capability that diagrams client-server conversations; a content flow analysis function that pinpoints the source of the problem at any layer of the network; and the ability to test response time and availability against service level agreements.

ClearSight, which also received an undisclosed amount of venture backing from Japanese distributor Toyo Corp., will also announce the ClearSight Analyzer 10/100 Full Duplex, ClearSight Analyzer Gigabit, and ClearSight Remote protocol analyzers. Within the next year, the company will add wireless support, further application decodes and enhancements to its remote offering.

All four offerings are due within 30 days. ClearSight Analyzer is priced at $5,995 through the end of the year, when the price will rise to $7,995. The other offerings range from $7,995 to $34,995.

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