NetScout Gives Visibility into Virtualized Environments

NetScout is rolling out its nGenius Virtual Agent, which gives businesses greater visibility into the applications running within their virtualized environments. Virtualization has made it more difficult to monitor, analyze and troubleshoot applications, which can reside within virtual machines on a single physical system and can be moved between virtual machines. The new NetScout technology gives businesses real-time visibility into those environments.

NetScout Systems wants to give IT administrators greater visibility into their applications that are running in a virtualized environment.

NetScout Oct. 7 unveiled the nGenius Virtual Agent, software designed to enable IT professionals the same packet-flow monitoring and analysis capabilities that they get from using the vendor's nGenius Probe in the physical world.

The rapid adoption of virtualization technology in the data center has enabled businesses to reduce costs and improve efficiencies, but it's made it more difficult to track and analyze the performance of their applications on those virtual machines, according to NetScout officials.

Applications used to run on physical machines housed in racks and connected via networking cables, they said. Now a single physical system can be hosting several virtual machines, which in turn are running various applications.

Adding to the challenge is the fact that applications can be dynamically moved from one virtual machine to another, making it even more difficult to monitor and troubleshoot them.

"As enterprises continue to drive data center and server consolidation initiatives and increasingly leverage virtualization technologies, all the challenges associated with optimizing, protecting and troubleshooting applications apply to virtualized networks, but with exponentially more complexity and urgency," Steven Shalita, vice president of marketing for NetScout, said in a statement.

The company's nGenius Virtual Agent is integrated with its nGenius Service Assurance Solution, giving businesses real-time visibility into virtual environments. The nGenius Virtual Agent is installed as a virtual appliance on a VM, or in the case of a VMware virtualized environment, is connected to the hypervisor's virtual switch.

The product offers visibility into all application activity within or across virtual machines, according to NetScout, helping businesses track, analyze and troubleshoot the applications.

Like NetScout's Probe technology, the nGenius Virtual Agent can either grab packets on demand or according to pre-determined triggers. It also be used to mirror all virtual server traffic to an external nGenius InfiniStream appliance, for continuous monitoring.

The nGenius Virtual Agent software is available now for VMware ESX and ESXi deployments. The continuous iDPC (intelligent Deep Packet Capture) TAP mode will be supported later in the fourth quarter.