Interop 2014: News and trends from the Interop conference
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Fluke Networks is introducing its own flavor of network-based application performance management by integrating its Visual TruView network appliance and its OptiView XG tablet at Interop 2014 in Las Vegas.
No matter what the performance problem may be, the network is the epicenter of troubleshooting triage -- or at the very least, the starting point, said Doug Roberts, director of enterprise products for Fluke. Many vendors have consequently integrated the network perspective into their application performance management (APM) tools.
While the network vantage point is important, the root of performance problems can be anywhere -- within a server, application or firewall -- so a combination of tools and visibility is necessary for application-aware network performance management, dubbed "AANPM" by Fluke, he said.
The Everett, Wash.-based vendor's new integration between its TruView application and network monitoring and troubleshooting platform with its network analysis XG tablet will allow IT teams to analyze their entire network infrastructure -- including both wired and wireless environments -- for a more complete picture of performance, the company said.
"Fluke is marrying technology from some of our core offerings -- particularly our network analysis and troubleshooting OptiView tablet -- to bring [application-aware network performance management] AANPM to the next level," Roberts said.
Disparate tools expand network-based APM visibility
While some vendors' network-based APM strategies center around collecting packets, Fluke has a broader approach that takes in data from multiple sources -- like flow records and synthetic testing -- in addition to packet-level analysis, said Jim Frey, vice president of research and network management at Enterprise Management Associates.
"Fluke is bringing together data that is across the whole organization, [is] collapsing it into a common set of views, and [is] using multiple sources to do that, as opposed to one specific set of data points," Frey said.
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The integration between Fluke's TruView platform -- which was introduced in 2013 -- and the OptiView XG tablet will eliminate the need for disparate tools for end-to-end network visibility. The Visual TruView appliance looks for traffic flows, availability and application performance, while the XG is focused around understanding the health of the network and infrastructure, Roberts said.
With Fluke's OptiView XG network analysis tablet, engineers can study network activity, like connectivity, in a local area, such as a branch office. "Fluke has an opportunity that none of the other [APM] vendors have. They can connect with these tablets when they are out on the field and pull data about the local situation for a broader [AANPM] view. Most tools are pretty blind to what happens outside of the data center," Frey said. The integration will be helpful for network capacity planning, understanding unified communications, and VoIP quality of service and end-user experience.
As wireless networks become the predominant network for many enterprises, the ability to analyze the wireless environment is also a unique, helpful vantage point for IT, Frey said. "Being able to understand the full path of how someone is getting to an application includes understanding the health of the Wi-Fi, in addition to just looking at links coming in and out of the data center," he said.
The vendor's year-old Visual TruView offering was recently named a leader in Gartner's first Network Performance Monitoring and Diagnostics Magic Quadrant, according to Fluke.