Fluke offers network troubleshooting à la tablet

Networking equipment vendor Fluke Networks Inc. is offering a way for network engineers to troubleshoot network and application problems by delving deeper across the network to identify where among the application-supporting elements the pain point might really reside.

OptiView XG offers network admins an overview of switches, routers, servers and all those interconnection links so they can eliminate the network as the possible cause and focus on the real one, said Dan Klimke, global marketing manager for enterprise network analysis with Everett, Wash.-based Fluke Networks Inc.

“Inevitably, in the solving of application performance problems, one of the critical elements of getting to root cause is getting to the path of the actual packets, and that can be anywhere in the network,” said Klimke.

From a hardware perspective, there’s the capability for a “10-gigabit analysis” in portable form factor—a tablet—so engineers can easily maneuver around the data centre to troubleshoot.

OptiView XG conducts tests through network paths and collects and trends data across a 24-hour period and presents that performance information in a top-level dashboard.

Along the same vein, Waterloo, Ont.-based broadband network analytics vendor Sandvine Inc. released a traffic management dashboard for middle-level network engineers to view resource usage at a granular level.

The company’s product marketing manager, Lee Brooks, said that, very often, merely having visibility into network performance statistics at a local level isn’t enough because problems could exist much deeper than often assumed.

“You can look at a network at a high level and think that there isn’t any congestion there … but when we drill down, things like congestion actually impact subscriber quality of experience,” said Brooks.

As with Fluke Networks, a dashboard-type user interface has been built atop this deeper network analysis so that network engineers can perform tasks such as identify congested resources, compare usage metrics and user behaviour, and create management policies.

To be the most useful to users, Brooks said that Sandvine’s approach is to build dashboards that are role-specific. Two other dashboards offered by the company are for marketing-type roles.

Follow Kathleen Lau on Twitter: @KathleenLau

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