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NetQoS system troubleshoots WAN optimised applications

Solves end-to-end response monitoring

By CBR Staff Writer

NetQoS Inc claims to have overcome the performance monitoring limitations created by WAN optimisation and produced a system that can accurate monitor application delivery.

The Austin, Texas-based vendor said it has collaborated with Cisco to create end-to-end response time measurement software for Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) devices that overcome issues encountered with WAN optimisation.

Use of the technology for application acceleration is becoming more widespread as a means of delivering LAN-like performance to all application users. It also helps eliminate latency and bandwidth issues. 

“Trends like data centre consolidation and virtualisation at the enterprise level, and MPLS migration among the carriers are increasingly having an impact on application performance over the network” company chief Joel Trammell, explained. “They effectively are moving resources further away from an application end-user.”

The situation needs constant monitoring. One problem according to NetQoS, is that some of the WAN optimisation devices themselves can cause problems, because they apply optimisation techniques on application packets that affect the network and application tools used for monitoring and reporting. 

It said this can lead to difficulty in troubleshooting and identifying the true bottlenecks throughout an enterprise network, and a loss of visibility into application response time, server response time, data transfer time and protocol distribution metrics.

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This is something the company now claims to have resolved.

Application performance at the edge of the network is now critical to the success of most companies, providing the basis for improved productivity and better usability. It has caused a significant shift in nature of network management.

“Network management is midway through a period of transition,” the company chief told us. “It’s had to broaden out its traditional focus on networked devices towards the control of application delivery and end-to-end performance management.”

Trammell explained that network management used to be a relatively simple concept, and concerned itself with making sure the routers, the switches and the network devices were up and running. “But the field has moved on from being focused on those aspects of network availability to where it is now, where the issue is all about performance. It’s complex because the issue of performance is a relative concept,” he told us.

In some scenarios, a three-second delay in an application response time would be considered acceptable but in others it immediately triggers calls to the helpdesk. “There are thousands of shades of grey.”

He said, “The bigger the company, the more distributed the geography, the bigger the problem, but network performance is important to almost every organisation in every vertical sector because applications are now so dependent on the network.”

Network professionals rely on the accuracy of their monitoring and management tools to ensure applications and networks operate effectively. They use products like NetQoS Performance Center to help deliver consistently high application service quality to end users, and contain infrastructure costs.

“We detect bottlenecks and identify where the problem is and if it is with the network, with a server or with the application. Then we can help quantify some of the trade-offs to be made in buying extra bandwidth or consolidating servers. The e purpose to NetQoS technology is to be able to look at how and where to optimise.”

As such, the company chief sees the network optimisation technology of Cisco, Juniper or RiverBed as complementary, rather than competitive to its own. NetScout Systems Inc is the closest thing NetQoS has to an out-and-out rival in its segment, with the likes of Seattle-based start-up ExtraHop Networks also nudging into the market.

After 10 years in a business he founded with CTO Cathy Fulton in 1999, Trammell said the company had just hit the 1,000 customer mark with its products.

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