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.


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.

Article courtesy of Enterprise VoIP
Planet
, © 2008 DigiNet Corporation, All Rights Reserved

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