Network General Snatches Up Fidelia

Network General hopes to provide a clearer view of network and application management with the Fidelia purchase.

Network General on Feb. 6 sought to extend its reach beyond packet capture-based network and application performance management when it announced its acquisition of Fidelia Technology.

Network General adds to its Sniffer-based protocol analysis capability new views into how business services are impacted by infrastructure outages or performance problems with its acquisition of the privately held company.

"With Fidelias service management, you can correlate the impact of IT infrastructure and its performance to the health of the business services. With [Fidelias NetVigil] you have enterprisewide dashboards and alerting to facilitate service level management," said Ken Boyd, CIO and executive vice president of products at Network General in San Jose, Calif.

NetVigil allows users to create multiple, real-time status views that cascade in a series of containers that include all of the elements that make up a defined business service, location or business unit.

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Overlapping containers can share elements without conflict. The tool collects status information from a variety of different sources and correlates problems in the infrastructure to the business services they affect.

It uses DGEs (Data Gathering Elements), which each has its own database, to automatically discover problems and establish baselines and thresholds for the applications, systems and networks they monitor.

Network General acquired the privately held Fidelia last week. The company would not discuss the acquisition price, but Boyd said that Fidelia was profitable.

Fidelia, based on Princeton, NJ, brings to Network General an installed base of 60 customers, including large companies such as DHL, Verizon Wireless, Sony Online and Yale University.

Network General intends to bring Fidelias management team onboard in San Jose, including Fidelia CEO Vikas Aggarwal.

Network General intends to integrate Fidelia technology in two stages. In May, Network General will deliver the ability to drill down from within a NetVigil console to an offending network switch or router port when a network problem occurs and then use Network General technology to get more detailed information.

"You could determine based on a top 10 [usage] lookup whos consuming that bandwidth now—such as what client/server pair or application is consuming it," said Boyd.

In the second phase, users will be able to drill down into Network General instrumentation that is strategically placed in an enterprise network and get a view into specific packets. That integration is due in the fourth quarter.

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