Visual Networks monitors DSL, VPN links

Visual Networks Inc.'s monitoring software will soon make it easier for service providers and enterprises to troubleshoot problems with DSL and VPN services.

Visual's Visual IP InSight software this summer will include software that distinguishes IP problems on a connection from problems with the physical link itself, the company announced at NetWorld+Interop.

The software consists of an agent that runs on an end user's Windows PC and on a server in the provider's network where customer data is gathered and stored. Network managers can access summaries of traffic in and out of a customer's machine.

The company says enterprises might use the VPN monitoring to sort out problems remote users encounter when they connect to corporate headquarters through VPN tunnels. For example, a customer connected via a DSL link to a VPN might have trouble connecting. Using Visual IP InSight 5.5, the provider can see whether the problem is caused by the DSL link to the Internet or with the VPN tunnel being created across the Internet.

Earlier releases of the software could perform similar analysis on dial-up connections.

The same data collected in reports can verify whether service providers meet service-level agreements on DSL and VPN services.

The DSL software, called Broadband Advisor, determines whether a connection is PPP over Ethernet or PPP over ATM, how fast the connection is, the number of call failures, the time to connect to the network, and information about the hardware and software configuration of a user's PC.

The VPN package, called IP-VPN, determines whether connections are PPTP or IP Security and determines how well the VPN tunnels are performing.

Available in August, IP InSight with the Broadband Suite and IP-VPN costs US$193,000 for a service provider with 10,000 users.

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