WildPackets Monitors Diverse Networks

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 across a broad spectrum of industries, including AT&T Wireless, Boeing, Deutsche Telekom, Harvard University, Motorola, PG&E, Safeway, and UCLA, plus over 80 percent of the Fortune 1000. WildPackets solutions are sold in over 60 countries in all industrial sectors, with the company stating an average 43 percent growth rate over the last five years. In addition, the company has been self-funded, growing and profitable for the past 15 years, and claims a customer renewal rate of 90 percent. WildPackets has developed strategic relationships that include joint development, co-marketing and product licensing agreements with companies including Aruba, Avaya, Azimuth, Cisco Systems, Intel, Mitel, NetOptics, Motorola, Telchemy and Xirrus.

WildPackets offers portable network analysis products which are designed for use on enterprise networks and in test and measurement labs, plus distributed network analysis solutions for enterprise-wide applications. The WatchPoint system is a comprehensive network monitoring and reporting solution that collects and aggregates data from multiple network resources on an enterprise-wide basis. The system can collect and summarize data from a variety of architectures, including NetFlow-supported devices from Cisco Systems and sFlow-supported devices from Foundry and others, and then aggregate the information from all those sources into a single network view. The entire network can then be monitored from a single console anywhere there is network connectivity, so that operational trends can be observed and responded to before they become problems.

The OmniPeek Distributed Analysis Suite is a comprehensive platform used by network managers for network monitoring, network analysis/troubleshooting and performance monitoring/optimization including VoIP and Video. Packet-level data collection and analysis as the foundation of the product suite, which allows users to analyze the network at any layer, and to reconstruct the data to whatever level required to meet their monitoring and analysis needs.The suite includes OmniPeek Network Analyzers, as well as distributed OmniEngines and Omnipliances, which analyze data at remote locations on the network. Each OmniEngine performs full seven-layer packet analysis including expert analysis locally, so the only OmniPeek traffic crossing the network is the packet data (not a full packet stream) requested by the console. The system can collect, monitor and analyze data from LANs (1-Gig and 10-Gig network segments), WAN, WLAN (including 802.11n), VoIP and video. 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 management information displays are quite strong, including a dashboard that provides a quick summary of the network operations (see Figure 1) and detailed views that drill down into network specifics, such as network utilization (see Figure 2).

Four different system options are available with the OmniPeek product line. OmniPeek Basic is a full-featured, stand-alone network analysis tool, which can collect network data from a single network interface. This solution is designed for consulting engineers who solve network problems for others, or for small businesses or remote offices where analysis is confined to a small number of low-speed (no Gigabit, 10 Gigabit or WAN) interfaces. OmniPeek Professional expands the capabilities of OmniPeek Basic, and extends its reach to larger networks with support for multiple network interfaces, and no limit on the number of network flows that can be analyzed. OmniPeek Enterprise is the company’s flagship product, combining all of the features of the product line in one solution, including support for local captures from multiple interfaces and connections to an unlimited number of distributed OmniEngines. It supports data collection from any network topology, and also provides advanced Voice and Video over IP functionality including signaling and media analysis of voice and video, VoIP playback, plus voice and video expert analysis. OmniPeek Connect manages an organization’s OmniEngines, the distributed network probes, and provides all the console capabilities of OmniPeek Enterprise. This solution is targeted for network operations center applications, that require the monitoring of multiple remote locations.

Further details on the WildPackets network management solutions can be found at www.wildpackets.com. Our next tutorial will continue our examination of vendors’ network management architectures.

Copyright Acknowledgement: © 2009 DigiNet Corporation, All Rights Reserved

Author’s Biography

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.

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