Compuware Tool Tracks Network Usage

New release of NetworkVantage tracks network utilization by IM applications and KaZaA.

By monitoring their use of expensive WAN resources, organizations can usually find new ways to save costs. But keeping tabs on such resources requires WAN probes that can recognize new traffic types.

With that in mind, Compuware Corp. next week will introduce a new release of its NetworkVantage monitoring tool that can track network utilization by instant messaging applications as well as the peer-to-peer file-sharing program KaZaA.

"A remote office with a number of people doing peer-to-peer file sharing will load up WAN links," said Lloyd Bloom, product manager for the Farmington Hills, Mich., vendor.

The new release also allows network operators to manage the impact of IM by identifying both ends of the conversation and the amount of traffic IM generates. NetworkVantage can discover and track IM from America Online, MSN, Yahoo and IBM. Understanding how much WAN bandwidth such applications use up and which links are used most often guides network operators in their decision to allow the traffic or reroute it, said Jasmine Noel, an analyst with Jnoel Associates, in Boston.

"People who use it dont understand they are using the WAN backbone to communicate with other people. Depending on how the enterprise has set up their WAN backbone, that could be really expensive. So you can either kill that traffic or find cheaper paths for that traffic," she said.

NetworkVantage 8.2 also adds support for Multi-Protocol Label Switching, used by an increasing number of carriers to improve quality of service at a lower cost. By being able to monitor and analyze application traffic transported by MPLS, enterprises can validate that the MPLS services deliver against service-level agreements for throughput and performance.

Because the tool collects and maintains historical traffic usage data, it can also be used to analyze security breaches. The data it collects can be examined to determine when unwanted traffic occurred, the source and the destination of the traffic, and how much data was moved.

The new release, available now, also supports Microsoft Corp.s Windows XP.

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