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LiveAction buys Savvius to combine packet monitoring and NPM

LiveAction plans to combine its software for network performance management with Savvius' packet monitoring technology to deliver both in a single product.

LiveAction has acquired Savvius and plans to combine its packet monitoring software with LiveAction's technology...

for measuring network performance.

LiveAction announced the acquisition this week, but it did not release financial terms. The vendor said it would use Savvius' products to broaden LiveAction's offerings for enterprise networks.

"LiveAction and Savvius will deliver a powerful set of capabilities in a single platform that will simplify our customers' ability to manage their networks, while preparing for the ever-greater demands of software-defined infrastructure," Brooks Borcherding, CEO at LiveAction, based in Palo Alto, Calif., said in a statement.

Buying Savvius will make it possible for LiveAction to combine two types of products many network operators typically buy from separate vendors, said Shamus McGillicuddy, an analyst at Enterprise Management Associates, based in Boulder, Colo. Engineers often use a network performance monitor to spot problems and then switch to a packet monitoring product to perform in-depth analyses to pinpoint causes.

"A combined solution can deliver a lot of value," McGillicuddy said. "Having flow and packet monitoring side by side in one console will be very valuable to LiveAction users."

The majority of network managers use more than four separate tools to monitor and troubleshoot networks, McGillicuddy said. "This means that they spend a lot of time going from one tool to the next, trying to piece together answers."

Flow monitoring -- the core feature in LiveAction -- refers to tools that tap into the NetFlow data collection component built into routers and switches from Cisco and other manufacturers. The software uses the data to determine packet loss and delay and round-trip time, while also showing network administrators how well the network is delivering applications and services.

LiveAction is known for premium pricing

LiveAction analyzes NetFlow records and also sells a module called LiveSensor, which provides packet analysis and performance metrics for network components without the data collection feature. In July, LiveAction launched machine-learning-driven analytics and expanded its device support to 107 networking vendors.

The company's annual revenue from its network performance monitoring products is between $11 million and $25 million, Gartner reported in its February Magic Quadrant report on the NPM market. The report pointed out that LiveAction mostly focuses on Cisco infrastructure and "is frequently cited by end users as offering a premium-priced solution."

Formerly called WildPackets, Savvius, based in Walnut Creek, Calif., had embarked on a channel turnaround after being primarily a direct seller for more than 25 years. The vendor had set a goal of generating up to 95% of its revenue from channel partners by the end of the third quarter of 2018. LiveAction sales are mostly through channel partners.

Companies use Savvius packet monitoring for more than break-fix scenarios, according to the company. Its technology is also used to bolster security investigations. As a result, the company has linked its products to security offerings from Cisco, Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks.

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What are the benefits of combining packet monitoring with network performance monitoring in a single product?
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Packet monitoring is network performance monitoring. In this case, this is about combining different data sources which enriches the analytics. LiveNX already ingests flow, SNMP and API data from controllers. With Savvius' packet data the analytics become more granular. A user can diagnose and troubleshoot from a macro view across their entire global network to a micro view and located exactly where packets are dropping. The data is also real time which continues to improve an end user's situational awareness. Combining this all together makes the product more powerful and reduces tool sprawl.
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