Proficient Tool Bases Routing Decisions on Cost

Software option allows users to base routing decisions on the cost of using a particular ISP link.

Proficient Networks Inc. this week expanded the software options for its network optimization appliances to allow them to route traffic based on cost.

Proficient Networks, of San Francisco, launched the Cost-based Load Sharing feature on Tuesday as part of an enhanced version of its software for its Network Policy Engine network appliances. The feature allows users to base routing decisions on the cost of using a particular ISP link, officials said.

Cost-based Load Sharing can account for the various tiers of pricing among an enterprises multiple ISP connections, the billing cycles for those ISPs and other aspects of complicated ISP billing to determine where to best route traffic, said Allan Leinwand, president and CEO of Proficient Networks.

"It has the ability to compute the cheapest possible path for sending traffic and predict what the bills will be in the future," Leinwand said.

The feature is called a "policy engine" and is a software option for customers of Proficient Networks two Network Policy Engine devices, the NPE1010A and the NPE510A.

Proficient Networks introduced the NPE1010A in early 2002, its first product in the Network Policy Engine family. The NPE510A followed in April, targeted at smaller offices and the network edge.

Pricing for the Cost-based Load Sharing option starts at about $15,000, Leinwand said. For $5,000 more, users can choose to use the policy engine with stateful failover capabilities.