Ready for VoIP: Network Management Architectures: Wildpackets
WildPackets, Inc., headquartered in Walnut Creek, California, develops network and application analysis solutions that enable organizations of all sizes to analyze, troubleshoot, optimize, and secure their wired and wireless networks.
Founded in 1990, WildPackets has amassed more than 6,000 customers including AT&T, Boeing, Motorola, Safeway, and Siemens—plus over 80 percent of the Fortune 1000.
Wildpackets solutions are sold in over 60 countries in all industrial sectors, with the company claiming to have averaged a 43 percent growth rate over the last five years. In addition, Wildpackets has developed strategic relationships that include joint development, co-marketing and product licensing agreements with such companies as Avaya, Azimuth, Cisco Systems, Intel, SysKonnect, 3Com, Symbol Technologies, and Telchemy.
WildPackets offers a broad range of portable analysis products for use on enterprise networks and in test and measurement labs.
The OmniPeek product family is comprised of OmniPeek network analyzers and consoles, as well as distributed OmniEngines, which analyze data at remote locations on the network. These solutions are designed to meet the ever-changing needs of network engineers and system administrators responsible for the convergence of data, voice, and video over wired and wireless networks, as well as performance optimization of mission-critical applications such as ERP, web, e-mail, and virtualized environments. The OmniPeek products gives network engineers real-time visibility into every part of the network—simultaneously, from a single interface—including Gigabit and 10Ggigabit Ethernet, 802.11 wireless, VoIP, and WAN links to remote offices.
OmniPeek Enterprise is WildPackets' flagship analysis product. It combines all of the features of the OmniPeek product line in one product, including support for local captures from multiple interfaces and connections to an unlimited number of distributed OmniEngines. It provides advanced voice- and video over IP functionalities, including signaling and media analyses of voice and video, VoIP playback, plus voice and video expert analysis. The analyzer also supports data collection from any network topology, including 10 Gigabit and Gigabit networks, WAN links, and local matrix switches. OmniPeek Enterprise is targeted for IT organizations responsible for network analysis and network service level agreements (SLAs) for the entire organization.
Wildpackets asserts that the OmniPeek Enterprise is the only network analyzer offering both network and multimedia troubleshooting and analysis. It provides real-time traffic diagnostics on Ethernet, 802.11 a/b/g/n, 10GbE, Gigabit, WAN, and voice- and video over IP.
OmniPeek detects problems in VoIP media streams such as dropped packets, out-of-order packets, poor compression, excessive jitter, voice quality degradation (via MOS and R-factor scoring), plus inadequate Voice Activity Detection (VAD).
Call signaling, another important component of VoIP traffic, is also a major focus of OmniPeek's VoIP analysis. The Expert view provides in-depth analysis of latency, throughput, and numerous network problems in a conversation-centered display. Many of the test elements have user-defined settings and thresholds, allowing technicians to fine-tune the Expert System to suit the network environment.
OmniPeek Enterprise can also analyze open calls without requiring any expensive voice and video processing hardware, providing unsurpassed capacity for post-deployment troubleshooting. It associates all the signaling (including RTCP status reports) and voice and video streams (RTP) on a per-call basis, and provides a flow of the signaling messages and endpoints that participate in that call. The system provides comprehensive signaling analysis of SIP, Cisco Skinny, MEGACO, Q.931, RTSP, and other protocols.
The OmniEngine is a distributed network analyzer and monitor that performs real-time network analysis on traffic from one or more network interfaces, including Ethernet, 802.11 a/b/g/n wireless, Gigabit, 10 Gigabit, and WAN.
OmniEngine captures and analyzes data in real-time, and records data for post-capture analysis, allowing network engineers to investigate network problems without leaving their office.
The OmniEngine Desktop product is a Windows service that runs on desktop computers and captures packets for analysis. Once a capture is complete, network engineers can transfer the packets into OmniPeek for analysis, and can collaborate with other engineers by sharing the packet files.
OmniEngine Enterprise is designed for data centers, network operations centers, and large application servers, extending network analysis capabilities to any network segment or function, even remote locations. Each OmniEngine can perform data capture and network analysis on multiple network interfaces, and over many network topologies, including networks running WiFi, VoIP, Gigabit and 10 Gigabit segments, plus WAN links.
Further details on the Wildpackets' architecture and products can be found at http://www.wildpackets.com/. Our next tutorial will continue our examination of vendors' network management architectures.
Mark A. Miller, P.E. is President of DigiNet Corporation®, a Denver-based consulting engineering firm. He is the author of many books on networking technologies, including Voice over IP Technologies, and Internet Technologies Handbook, both published by John Wiley & Sons.
Article courtesy of Enterprise VoIP Planet, © 2008 DigiNet Corporation, All Rights Reserved