SolarWinds unveils IP telephony monitoring tool

SolarWinds Worldwide LLC has announced an IP telephony monitoring product designed to manage service level agreements over wide-area networks on Cisco routers.

Austin, Tex.-based SolarWinds plans to ship Orion IP SLA Manager this week. The software is aimed at companies using voice over IP at more than one site, said Sanjay Castelino, SolarWinds’ senior director of product marketing. Although Cisco Systems Inc.’s Internetwork Operating System (IOS) already has a VoIP service level agreement monitor, SolarWinds Orion helps managers configure their network more quickly, Castelino said.

Without Orion, he said, administrators would have to use a command line interface to configure every operation they wanted to monitor and would get raw statistics.

“We’re automating the setup of the IP SLA across the routers you want to apply them to,” he said of Orion. “We’re giving you a dashboard view” of the statistics.

Castelino added Orion IP SLA manager lets administrators statistics on network connectivity, such as the HTTP, DHCP and TCP protocols.

“Customers are asking if I can do more to measure site to site performance beyond VoIP,” he said.

Orion IP SLA Manager will replace SolarWinds’ current voice over IP product, VoIP Monitor, which is designed to get statistics on network latency, jitter, packet loss and other quality of service indicators.

SolarWinds’ other products include Orion Network Performance Manager (NPM), which is required to install Orion IP SLA Manager. Orion NPM monitors networks gathering information on bandwidth use, packet loss, errors, disk space, memory use and the load placed on the central processing unit. It also gives information on devices such as IP address and machine type.

“We have offices in Cork, Ireland, Singapore and Brno in the Czech Republic,” Castelino said. “Let’s say a guy in the Czech Republic says the Web is slow. NPM may say there are no network issues from here to Brno but it doesn’t look at the perspective of the Czech Republic looking back at Austin. If we had testing from Czech Republic back here to Austin, it may identify that we have DHCP server issues and that is causing latency and delay.”

Last May, SolarWinds announced IP Address Manager, which is designed to report IP faults and traffic analysis reports and give administrators a view of complex, multi-vendor networks. It also lets users schedule scans and split those scans into subnets.

“I’m a big fan of SolarWinds,” said Mark Tauschek, lead analyst at London, Ont.-based Info-Tech Research Group. “Orion is reasonably priced. It has pretty much everything you need in a network management system.”

For Orion NPM users, Orion IP SLA Manager starts at US$1,495, which includes one year of maintenance. When purchasing Orion IP SLA Manager plus NPM, the license cost starts at US$2,475.

Other IP telephony monitoring tools include NetAlly, originally developed by Viola Networks and acquired by Everett, Wash.-based Fluke Networks.


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