Fluke Networks tackles unified performance management

Fluke Networks this week unveiled the fruit of two acquisitions and quite a bit of integration work when it shared details around its unified performance management software, which the vendor says will help customers better manage application performance while tapping knowledge of the underlying network.

The company made the announcement at Interop New York, which is going on this week.

Visual Performance Manager is partly built on technology acquired with Crannog Systems and tools Fluke Networks bought with Visual Networks. For instance, the software combines Crannog's NetFlow Tracker with Visual Networks' Visual Uptime Select, among other technologies. The software is said to manage data, voice, video and other real-time streaming applications on distributed networks and across WANs.

"We brought together several solutions under one umbrella, integrated data sources, and developed a unified product to address customer needs to see a complete picture of application and network performance," says Jeff Lime, senior vice president of marketing for Fluke Networks. "The product ties together data from distributed sources in a meaningful way."

Visual Performance Manager installs on a dedicated server, or set of servers for scalability, and the software monitors network traffic, uses SNMP to pull data from routers and switches, and taps into existing agent software installed on managed machines to collect data on response times. IT managers use a Web application to view data and administer the product.

The management application is also designed to integrate with enterprise systems management products from BMC, CA, HP and IBM, Fluke Networks officials say, to help larger customers use the vendor's technology in more than troubleshooting scenarios. In addition, Visual Performance Manager offers customers three user-defined roles to enable technical, director and C-level IT staff to access the data collected and analyzed by the product.

"The software combines the visibility into application performance as well as root-cause analysis on the network, and that is very unique. Most companies provide one or the other," says Zeus Kerravala, senior vice president of global enterprise research at the Yankee Group. "Our research shows that when troubleshooting problems, 90 percent of the time is spent identifying it. This type of product should cut down that time."

Fluke Networks' efforts to enhance its product portfolio beyond its traffic analysis roots align with similar moves from competitors. For instance, NetScout recently acquired competitor Network General to converge application and network management technologies. NetQoS and Network Instruments partner via an OEM relationship to provide customers with similar capabilities from one vendor. And Opnet this week announced it had acquired Network Physics to add end-to-end application performance management capabilities to its product suite.

Visual Performance Manager is available now, and pricing starts at more than US$10,000 depending on the size of the managed environment.

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