Next week Netscout Systems Inc. will deliver the first fruits of its purchase three and a half months after the acquisition of a provider of unified communications monitoring data.

The release of the nGenius Voice-Video Manager (VVM) dashboard marks the first step of Netscout’s integration of the technology from Psytechnics Inc., which it bought in April to enhance the company’s network and application monitoring tools.

VVM is an evolution of Psytechnics’ Experience Manager, said Steve Shalita, Netscout’s vice-president of marketing, and will work with his company’s InfiniStream appliances for gathering network traffic.

However, for the time being, the data pulled by the appliances will appear in the separate VVM console apart from other Netscout applications. Integration with Netscout software such as Service Delivery Management suite will come later.

“The goal’s been to get it [the ability to capture metrics on unified communications triggers like jitter and packet delay] out as quickly as we can to our customers,” Shalita explained.

VVM will be delivered as a software update to current InfiniStream customers, or purchased separately by new customers.

Netscout says VVM will deliver application-specific details of video and voice session transmission and conversation quality to show real-time service performance. With the visibility, the company says, IT organizations will be able to better build a service delivery management platform.

Not only can unified communications data be analyzed, metrics can be collected through what Netscout says are specialized low-impact agents embedded into soft-devices, such as Microsoft Lync, as well as Call Detail Records (CDR) from call managers such as the Cisco System Inc.’s UC Call Manager, and session border controllers such as Acme Packet.

In future releases, the data will be integrated into NetScout’s Adaptive Session Intelligence (ASI) technology, the company says, to be leveraged by the entire nGenius product line. That will enable Service Delivery Manager to provide an early warning for UC services with consistent metrics.

Netscout is just one of a number of network and application monitoring tool-makers promising to pull and analyze more performance data than ever, raising the question of whether network managers will deluged in it.

“I think they’re [already] drowning in data,” Shalita replied. One problem, he added, is that many organizations have their IT staff split into network, applications and security units, which separately pull performance data from their systems without co-ordination.

“What they need is a very simplistic view of service and user experience to cut through that noise, and triage and understand there is a problem and where to focus to solve it.”

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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