Networking

Packet Design extends reach into MPLS WANs

Packet Design introduced a product the company says will help network managers monitor service provider performance across enterprise wide-area links.

Oftentimes monitoring tools fall a bit short when it comes to reporting on service provider behavior, leaving network managers to wonder how well their networks perform beyond the local area. But according to Packet Design executives, MPLS WAN Explorer extends the company's route analytics reach to the WAN — helping network managers determine if service providers are deploying MPLS VPNs according to enterprise policy.

“Network managers need visibility into the level of reachability and connectivity service providers are delivering,” says Jeff Raice, executive vice president of marketing and business development at Packet Design.

A single appliance installs in the network operations center and works with one router at each remote location. The appliance monitors connectivity between routers and remote sites and confirms for network managers that routers and links have the ability to move IP traffic between two sites. The appliance peers with routers and passively listens to routing protocols to learn both WAN and internal network routing. It then creates a routing map, including MPLS VPN architectures. Network managers can model routing changes to learn the impact they could have.

“Network managers can pose what-if scenarios to do more than isolate and solve problems and perform failure analysis; they can have this forward-looking capability,” Raice says.

Packet Design competes mostly with Iptivia (formerly Ipsum Networks) and Alcatel-Lucent, but Raice contends by coupling MPLS WAN Explorer with Traffic Explorer, the vendor's flagship product, network managers will get the most complete view of their network routing infrastructure and be better equipped to optimize performance.

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