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Posts Tagged ‘PathView

PathView customer Derek Abrams, a Certified Videoconferencing Engineer and Operating Systems/Network Analyst at Oregon State University, has shared some of the specific challenges he faces with visual communications.

With an extensive university network, Abrams and his team manage new challenges everyday across his various servers and clients. In this article, Abrams builds on his first article, and highlights the difference between knowing a problem exists, and knowing how to pinpoint it and fix it quickly.

Using the right tools and an innovative approach, Abrams shares how his team has uncovered issues and improved their network performance.
Read Derek Abrams’ full article here


I was recently reading an interesting article on Network World’s website about VoIP and SMBs.  Much of what they reported is consistent with feedback we hear every day from our PathView customers – namely, VoIP provides some great value to their business but there are some serious issues that give many companies pause before adopting it and provide challenges to those who have deployed VoIP.

So what are the values of VoIP? According to the Network World article, 31% said that cost savings is their top reason. Many small businesses are facing decreasing budgets and increasing demands from end users. VoIP solves both of these challenges for network managers – lowering costs and improving telephony services.

So, why aren’t even more SMBs making the move to a VoIP system? Respondents to the Synergy Research survey cited the lack of in-house expertise in managing VoIP networks as the number one barrier to deploying VoIP – lack of network expertise was even more worrisome than security!

Many small businesses, and even larger companies, cannot afford or maintain a full time in-house expert staff to pre-assess the network to know whether it can handle a VoIP deployment, provide continuous monitoring to ensure VoIP’s working properly once deployed and troubleshoot problems rapidly when they arise.  This is where PathView and the PathView microAppliance come in and where many of our SMB customers or MSPs servicing them see great value.  PathView offers IT organizations an expert tool with all of these capabilities bundled into a low cost, easy-to-use and easy-to-deploy solution. It provides the network expertise that is missing in many smaller organizations and reduces the risks of new VoIP deployments.

Interested in trying it for yourself? Sign up for a free PathView account trial here.

Read more about SMBS looking to VoIP deployment here.

LinkStatus, an Apparent Networks customer and large managed services provider in the UK, provides continuous monitoring and testing of network performance so that its customers can focus on more important, business critical issues. The company specializes in assessing and reporting traffic type and volume; implementing services for deployment and management of optimization technologies; and hosting pre-deployment WAN assessments and simulations prior to full deployment.

But, despite a varied portfolio, Cliff Chapman, Application Delivery Architect at LinkStatus, was continually looking for ways to expand revenue by offering new services to the existing customer base and new potential customers. He hoped to broaden his portfolio of services without losing focus on LinkStatus’ core WAN performance and optimization services. He identified network performance monitoring, reporting, and troubleshooting as a clear opportunity for expansion. His customers were already interested in getting the most out of their network through their purchase of WAN
optimization services and while these solutions enabled his clients to increase network performance, they were not able to identify and resolve the underlying issues that negatively impacted network performance to begin with….

Read more about how LinkStatus resolved these business challenges and generated new revenue?  

Learn more about how PathView Cloud helps managed services providers strengthen business by developing new, recurring revenue streams and adding services such as premium network management and monitoring.

Earlier this week, our Cloud Performance Center (CPC) detected a connectivity loss that occurred at Amazon’s EC2 data center in northern Virginia. The CPC is powered by our PathView Cloud tool, which monitors network path performance into and out of the key datacenters of several major cloud service providers across the U.S. As part of the free CPC service, we issued a Performance Advisory later that same day, informing cloud service consumers and other interested parties about the location, nature and duration of the problem. 

The point of this whole exercise is not some kind of ‘gotcha’ network management. In fact, Amazon and the other providers we monitor do a great job of providing reliable services. The point is that when the Internet is involved, stuff happens.

If your company is one of the many that has already moved critical applications into the Cloud, you need to know about that “stuff’ quickly and whether or not it’s affecting your operations.  You need to know what is going on not only at your provider’s datacenter, but more importantly, between your Cloud provider and your customers and employees. 

To gain that critical insight, you need the network-path perspective.  That’s what our PathView Cloud tool and our CPC resources deliver. 

Cloud computing is a great technological advancement that has already delivered lots of value.  But we’re only scratching the surface of what the cloud approach can do for us.  For cloud computing to live up to all the hype, we all need a greater understanding and awareness of the network paths that go to, through and from the cloud. 

Apparent Networks is already there!

If you work in enterprise IT, there’s a good chance you’re heading down the road to outsourcing some of your key applications to a cloud service provider. While considering your options, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

First, make sure that you know what you’ll need from the cloud provider. All the major providers offer a growing list of service options. Stay focus on your ‘must-haves’ and on the service levels your provider will commit to for them.

It is equally important for you to understand how those services will work where you’ll actually be using them. That means not just inside the cloud provider’s ultra-modern, over-provisioned data centers, but past their firewall all the way out to your company’s key locations. This includes geographies where most of your customers are and where you have office locations.

In a way, it’s similar to buying a car. That Ferrari Testarossa in the dealer’s showroom sure is an awesome machine. But if you’re always going to use it to get to your mountain cabin at the end of a logging road, you’ll be much better off making a different choice.

Therein lies the key question: How will it work for my particular purposes in my specific locations. Up until today, it was very difficult to get specific metrics on cloud service provider performance over distributed networks, and it was impossible to get such measurements for the specific destinations that matter to you.

But today, Apparent Networks has changed the status quo with the launch of our Cloud Performance Center. With the new free service, we’re delivering cloud service provider performance information in context – where the context is your business.

The Cloud Performance Center (CPC) is truly a first-of-its-kind service. CPC visitors get instant access to real-time and historical data on how well – or how poorly – leading cloud services providers Like Amazon, Google GoGrid perform not only inside their firewalls, but all the way out to your end points – where the rubber meets the road. As part of the CPC, we’re also providing reports and advisories on topical issues that can impact users’ abilities to interact with the Internet and cloud service providers. Learn more by reading the press release.

There’s nothing like driving a Ferrari – but not if you wind up in a ditch every day. The same goes for cloud-based services. They can be great if you pick the right vendor with the best service delivery in the areas that matter to you and your business.

Our new Cloud Performance Center will give you the information you need to make the best choice – and move fast and safely on the network roads that drive your business.

Software industry has changed; free PathView Cloud tool shows how

Not long ago, lots of software companies were focused on developing big solutions and selling them to the biggest customers they could. Board members and senior management wanted deal sizes that were high and trending higher. So field sales people went big game hunting.

With the focus on “big,” sales processes were long, involved and expensive affairs. They often involved expensive marketing programs at the front end. Next came multiple, in-person sales calls, six-to-nine month pilot programs and months-long implementation processes.

It all added up to a lot of time, money and energy being put forth before people actually experiencing a problem got the help they needed from the software that could solve their problem.

Over the past two to three years, this enterprise software sales model has been completely turned on its head. Companies are succeeding today by making more software – albeit in smaller packages – directly available to more people, more quickly and easily.  And these smaller tools are being offered at way more affordable price points – or often for free. It’s the democratization of the old enterprise model.

With our new PathView Cloud network management tool now available as a free hosted service, Apparent Networks has fully embraced the new software sales model.

For those who are not familiar with PathView, PathView is a new network management tool that measures the performance of complete network paths from source to destination, including segments that pass through service providers’ and carriers’ networks. PathView Cloud provides all the unique network visibility and management capabilities with the convenience and affordability of a hosted service.

We firmly believe that once customers experience what PathView Cloud delivers, they will eventually upgrade to our higher-level PathView product offerings.  But in the meantime, we’re perfectly happy to put the free PathView Cloud tool in customers’ hands so they can quickly get value form the product and solve some of their nagging network difficulties.

We think a little democracy in the software sales process is a very good thing.  It will let users resolve their problems more readily.  And it will ultimately help software development companies like Apparent Networks.

When companies were using virtualization technology to consolidate IT infrastructure that wasn’t truly real-time in nature, the network performance of these virtual machines was not a major concern. Generally, all they had to do was put a Gig E card into the host and everything would work itself out fine. All of the VM monitoring and management tools focused on CPU, memory and disk utilization and did not pay much attention to network performance. Sure the network performance for each VM was still atrocious, but that was overshadowed by all of the other efficiency gains of implementing VM technology.

With VM based deployments becoming the standard for infrastructure, the performance of virtual networks is becoming more critical. In PathView 2.0 we have filled a critical hole in the tools available for monitoring your VM infrastructure. Because our monitoring techniques traverse the network – both physical and virtual  and the same as users and applications accessing these VMs – we can accurately tell you how well, or poorly, your VM network performance is.

We spent a considerable amount of time tuning our monitoring and diagnostic capabilities so that our results are as accurate to VMs as they are to physical operating systems, and they are done in a way that does not impact production application performance. And because we can monitor to targets over networks that you do not own and or control, these same VM enhancements benefit our monitoring of cloud-based systems which are using virtualization technology at their core.

So for people running production VM environments or responsible for the network in VM-centric IT environments, PathView 2.0 should be a key addition to your monitoring tools. The capability to see through the cloud of your physical network, virtual switches and virtual network cards to monitor the true network performance of VM infrastructure and diagnose network problems anywhere along this path closes a critical gap in your IT toolkit.

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