Cloud computing
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The appeal of cloud computing is considerable for some organizations who see the advantages of efficiency and security. However, unlike client-server applications, control and monitoring of cloud performance isn’t simple.

NetScout Systems today announced an offering it says can remedy that. Called nGeniusPulse, it tests SaaS, cloud-hosted, on-premise applications, voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services and network health to identify current and potential connectivity and performance problems.

By simulating user interactions with an application, the company says IT staff can produce reports of cloud and SaaS services that can be shared with providers to ensure availability and high-quality delivery of these applications – and meet service level agreement (SLA) compliance.

Pulse is part of NetScout’s nGenius service assurance platform, which gives network administrators views into applications, service enablers, server transactions, user communities, and the network.

“The combination of nGeniusPulse with the nGenius platform, with its ability to test cloud-based services for availability, responsiveness, and adherence to service levels, gives enterprise IT leaders the actionable insight to migrate with confidence,” Netscout chief operating officer Michael Szabados said in a statement.

Pulse is deployed in a data centre on a virtual server running VMware vSphere version 5.5 or later. Instrumentation agents, called “Pulses” can be placed anywhere to run active tests and send results to the server. Results are displayed through dashboards, drill downs and alerts, as well as configuration and administration functions.

It can test up to 50 different business services (Web, VoIP, and network tests) on a single virtual server.

There are two deployment options; hardware or software (or both) depending on monitoring requirements. The hardware Pulse 2000 is a micro-appliance that can simply be plugged into PoE (Power over Ethernet) branch offices, warehouses, individual floors in a building, server closets, or other remote locations. The applicance can be deployed when users don’t have access or rights to download something to a laptop or server; or when they have laptops that might be shut down at the end of the day, which stops 24×7 monitoring

The software Pulse, called a Virtual Pulse, is a small (12MB) software based agent that can be downloaded to Windows or Linux machines. NetScout says it can be used for monitoring from a specific PC or server, especially in remote offices or locations. Virtual Pulses can be simply emailed to a user or location to begin monitoring and troubleshooting within a matter of minutes, the company says.

Pulse can monitor the availability and performance of any URL, even if the traffic does not go through the organization’s data center.

For testing VoiP, Pulses act as VoIP endpoints in SIP-based systems. Each Pulse can automatically place phone calls at regular intervals to an internal peer (Pulse-to-Pulse) or to an external phone number. Each phone call is completed within the VoIP system including call set up, phone call, and tear down to make an actual phone call. Set up includes the option to run the test at intervals from every 2 minutes to once every hour to ensure VoIP service availability and call quality.

It measures Mean Opinion Score (MOS), loss, latency, and jitter of VoIP services during each call. Ondemand test calls can be run to get current availability and a detailed view of the call flow and SIP details. Performance thresholds can be set to drive alerts when VoIP service availability or performance is degraded.



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