Compuware Tool to Support ATM OC-3 Links

Compuware Corp. last week took steps to help WAN managers better understand their expensive ATM WAN links.

Compuware Corp. last week took steps to help WAN managers better understand how their expensive ATM WAN links are being used by adding support in its Network Vantage performance management tool for 155M-bps ATM OC-3 links.

The Farmington Hills, Mich., management software provider has created an add-on probe module for Network Vantage along with a kit that includes a network interface and the cables necessary to passively tap into the asynchronous transfer mode link coming into a users switch or router.

The network performance tool allows users to monitor traffic flowing across the link, distinguishing among thousands of applications and protocol traffic such as FTP. Network Vantage also lets users identify home-grown applications. Once data is collected, it is classified by application and can show response times, latencies and other performance attributes.

An interactive viewer in Network Vantage provides views into top users, top servers and clients, and so on. The tool also provides historical usage trends.

The new ATM module reports traffic volume by access circuit, as well as volume, throughput and usage by virtual circuit. Virtual circuit reports can show either all applications or only specified applications. The module supports OC-3 multimode links but will add support for single-mode links later this year. Compuware also intends to extend its passive WAN monitoring to 44M-bps DS-3 links by years end, officials said.

The ability to determine whether noncritical applications are using up expensive ATM WAN bandwidth can be a cost-savings mechanism for enterprises looking to get the most out of those expensive links, said Lloyd Bloom, product manager for Network Vantage.

"If youre trying to manage the cost of the link, you have to know how the traffic breaks down to implement policies to reduce the traffic demand," Bloom said.

"Often you will find that the traffic is not all critical, and you can even reduce the speed of the circuit [to save money]," he said.

Bloom and others acknowledge that Compuware is late to market with its ATM support, compared with competitors such as NetScout Systems Inc.

"Clearly guys like NetScout as far as understanding the ATM protocol have a jump on [Compuware]. If theyre going to have a cohesive story, they have to support the ATM infrastructure thats out there," said Glenn ODonnell, an analyst at Meta Group Inc., in Palmerton, Pa.

The Network Vantage ATM WAN module is available now and is priced starting at $19,000.