AppNeta | The Path

Posts Tagged ‘Application Performance

"Many customers looking to implement a VoIP solution for the first time have absolutely no idea how critical a clean data path is to its usability. We use PathView and PathView Cloud to get an in-depth look at a customer's network health. It's like an MRI for their IT departments." – Eric Knaus, president of RonEK Communications


How are you ensuring a successful transition before plugging in the first phone?

VoIP, Video and Unified Communications are highly cost-effective network services. While your wallet may be breathing a sigh of relief, your network is about to get the wind knocked out of it by the  weight of VoIP and video conferencing services. Network performance is dependent on existing applications and user activity so network engineers implementing VoIP must take this into account.

In the past, enterprise companies dedicated a separate network or connection specifically for VoIP. If the phones don’t work, your business stops. For many organizations, adding to the existing network demand and performance challenges is unrealistic.

Throwing VoIP onto a network without pre-assessing is like jumping into a pool without checking for water (ouch!). Without a full comprehensive inspection of your surroundings, the results will be painful.

As VoIP moves toward a standard application regardless of business size, network engineers are forced to piggy back VoIP onto the existing infrastructure. And for any network engineer who wants to maintain the performance of existing applications AND ensure the performance of the new VoIP services, a pre-deployment network assessment is critical

An Effective VoIP Assessment will:

• Measure the call load capability of the network

• Identify the faults and shortcomings of the network

• Provide a holistic view of the network’s ability to handle data and voice traffic

• Lower the project’s cost estimates

• Verify service level agreements (SLAs)

• Eliminate the network as a gating factor in the VoIP project

A functioning network does not always equal a prepared network. Issues in the infrastructure may not be visible until the weight of a VoIP implementation crushes it.

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But where are the problems that are going to obstruct VoIP performance?

Three key benefits to conducting Advanced Network Assessments:

1. Test how well the network will perform without deploying a single device. VoIP pre-deployment assessment should look at the current state of the converged network, evaluate its ability to support VoIP and identify the dysfunctions that are restricting performance and the requirements to meet call load need.

2. Look at the life-cycle of your network in relation to VoIP. Generate call loads over days or weeks to take into account on and off peak network services. See in real-time how scheduled back-ups, data uploads and periodic events will affect voice quality.

3. Simplicity. Take it one site at a time. If the company decides to bring on a new location, your assessment process should not start from scratch.

Pre-deployment assessments should be done prior to purchasing or deploying any VoIP equipment or making any upgrades. Get yourself a complete analysis of the end-to end data network, recording important measurements such as bandwidth, utilization, throughput, loss, jitter, latency and MOS. A proper assessment will identify and isolate faults on the network that currently inhibit application performance.

PathView Cloud will ensure a successful VoIP deployment and ongoing performance. PathView Cloud generates a series of packet bursts that are placed on the network in a proprietary manner and collect the information required for a full analysis of the involved network segment from end-to-end

Want to learn more? Visit AppNeta or do a FREE pre-assessment on your network today with the 14-day free trial!

The reach and popularity of video conferencing, telepresence and visual collaboration services is exploding, enabling business to happen 24×7 around the world. But, if you’re a consumer or provider of these increasingly business-critical applications, you know they depend entirely on one thing: network performance.

IP-based videoconferencing requires high-performance WAN links. This class of applications operates within a narrow Quality of Service (QoS) window. If network bandwidth, latency, packet loss and/or jitter move outside that limited range, performance is disrupted – and conferences dropped or disrupted.

How can organizations deliver the excellent network service quality that video conferencing – along with so many other crucial applications, like cloud services, VoIP, IP storage and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) – require? What does it take to ensure that network performance and QoS stays within that limited range, across an organization’s entire distributed network infrastructure and despite fluctuations in demand?

Many years of experience with customers, including service providers and some of the world’s largest enterprises, show that these are the four key capabilities required:

  1. The ability to continuously monitor all the key network performance metrics (bandwidth, latency, packet loss and jitter) relative to service levels from any location. This is the only way to understand what your users of video conferencing and other IP-based applications are actually experiencing, in real-time.
  1. The ability to monitor network performance all along the service delivery path – even over networks you don’t own. This capability enables you to pinpoint the exact location and cause of performance degradation. It also eliminates the confusion and finger-pointing that can typify network problem resolution. Also, like other IP-based services, the performance of video conferencing services is greatly impacted by the distance packets must travel. So the ability to monitor the entire path enables you to compare performance across multiple providers.
  1. Visibility into all the IP-based applications that are running on the network at any time, and what IP addresses are associated with them. This lets you see how many video conferences (and other bandwidth-intensive IP-based application instances; e.g., streaming audio, BitTorrent sessions, Skype calls) are consuming available bandwidth.
  1. Remote site packet capture and analysis. Relative to video conferencing performance, these capabilities help analyze network problems, monitor WAN bandwidth utilization, gather and report network statistics, and more. Of course, packet capture is also useful for detecting network intrusion attempts, detecting network misuse, filtering suspect network content, etc.

How can your organization quickly and affordably acquire these advanced diagnostic capabilities? Consider the complex network performance management challenges of a business like BCS Global, a leading worldwide provider of managed video conferencing, telepresence and visual collaboration services. This provider must ensure service quality 24×7 across its globally distributed customer base.

BCS Global recently named AppNeta as its network monitoring and WAN performance partner for video conferencing services delivered to thousands of managed endpoints. They made this choice because only AppNeta’s award-winning PathView Cloud suite of performance management services offers all four levels of insight needed to ensure optimal network performance. As an AppNeta partner, BCS Global will leverage PathView Cloud to ensure optimal performance of video conferencing services — offering its customers unmatched insight and time-to-value, while also making sure they get maximum value from their video conferencing investments.

To learn how AppNeta technology can help your organization meet the performance demands of today’s distributed network infrastructure and network-dependent applications like video conferencing, visit www.appneta.com or sign up for a free trial!

As a managed services provider (MSP), your clients look to you to keep their business services up and running. With the advent of cloud computing, SaaS, virtual desktops, VoIP, IP-based storage and other trends, more and more of those business-critical services depend on the performance of IP-based networks.

MSPs face new service delivery challenges, including:

  • Old-school, break-fix approaches to network management aren’t good enough anymore. MSPs need a way to proactively address network issues.
  • When IP-based services crash and ISPs, telcos and other providers start pointing fingers, how can MSPs know what is and isn’t their responsibility?
  • How to monitor and meet meaningful service levels that reflect client user experience?

SNMP-based tools can tell you about the condition of individual network devices you own. But what’s much more critical to network health is a “packet’s eye” view of the flow inside the network bloodstream.

And what about all the networks you don’t own, but have a huge impact on the quality of service your client users perceive? Not even the priciest network instrumentation (e.g., traditional netflow analysis solutions) can help you there

AppNeta’s PathView Cloud service enables MSPs to proactively manage network performance end-to-end between their data centers and service consumers. With PathView Cloud, MSPs can strongly differentiate themselves from competitors around issues of IP-based network and application availability – and also cut back on truck rolls and on-site visits.

AppNeta’s PathView Cloud service and free, zero-administration microAppliance, offers an easy-to-deploy, cost-effective remote monitoring and management service

  • Proactively monitor the performance of any network against customizable performance levels – from any location
  • Continuously measure key performance metrics (bandwidth, packet loss, jitter and latency)
  • Conduct pre and post deployment assessments for customers, to ensure the successful rollout of network performance sensitive applications like VoIP and Unified Communications (UC)
  • Receive e-mail notifications when your service levels are not met

With PathView Cloud MSPs can quickly and effectively solve real-world problems their customers encounter everyday.  AppNeta’s MSP partners attest to  rapid identification and resolution of even long-standing network problems. For example, PathView Cloud enables service providers to detect network bottlenecks so faulty equipment can be replaced, and also helps to determine whether ISP and telecom providers are providing contracted levels of bandwidth.

To learn how more about PathView Cloud and how to build a managed service around the remote network performance service, visit AppNeta or sign up for a free demo.

The stampede to cloud computing is rapidly altering the design and delivery of IT services. From lower startup costs to lower total cost of ownership to scalability on demand, cloud-based deployments are increasingly considered the most cost- and time-effective approach to rolling out new IT services.

But the move to the cloud is not without its challenges, particularly from the standpoint of the network. When your business services are in the cloud, every user is a remote user and every office – including data centers and the corporate headquarters – is a remote office.

By definition, every cloud-based application is a network-dependent, remote application. So is any other IP-based service, from VoIP to virtual desktops to virtual storage. Therefore, to reap the benefits of cloud computing you need be able to predictably and efficiently manage network performance.

As Debra Curtis, IT Operations Management Analyst at Gartner, Inc. noted: “The transition to cloud-based services is raising the importance of network performance management. Today, it is imperative to monitor the end-to-end network performance from the business user’s perspective, as well as have visibility into whether cloud providers are satisfying their service level commitments.”

Your ability to conduct business from the cloud depends entirely on whether you can guarantee acceptable levels of application performance and uptime from the perspective of all those “new” remote users. In order to do this well, you need to:

  • Continuously ensure the real-time, end-to-end performance of the delivery path from the cloud service environment (whether it’s managed by you or a third party) to your users and back – even over networks you don’t own.
  • Rapidly pinpoint the exact location and cause of performance degradation — even within the virtualized cloud infrastructure itself.
  • Verify that a cloud service provider is meeting service level commitments, and/or compare performance at your location(s) across multiple cloud providers to determine where to host your critical applications.

Are you considering deploying cloud services? If so, join AppNeta on June 9th for the “How to Ensure Your Network Can Handle Cloud Services” webinar, or contact us directly for a live demo to talk more about this transition

To learn more about how AppNeta technology can deliver instant value and immediate insight into your network and readiness for cloud deployment, visit http://www.appneta.com/Cloud-Services/.

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Application development and network teams are collaborating more on how to improve application performance, according to survey results recently released by BT in North America. Network World reported on the survey this week.

While the collaboration is happening, it’s striking that application performance has not improved, either at first deployment or later in the application’s life, according to the survey’s creators.

The problem is, while they are getting along, application development and network teams do not know who to point the finger at when performance is the question. The network performance solutions they rely on do not provide a look at how an application traverses a network.

Apparent Networks approach focuses on the path, and can pinpoint exactly where the problem is. So the various teams involved know how to fix the problem. As we move toward more distributed applications, and cloud delivery models, insight into the application path will become critical. In the days ahead, you will see posts here about specific service providers that have adopted Apparent Networks solutions to provide this insight.

Sean Armstrong

Director of Product Management


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