NetSocket shifts gears from managing unified communications to enabling software defined networks

NetSocket software helps sort out underlying physical cause of virtual network problems

NetSocket this week shifted gears from monitoring the quality of unified communications applications to enabling software defined networks, with an initial focus on automating tuning in order to accommodate business performance policies.

NetSocket this week shifted gears from monitoring the

quality of unified communications applications to enabling software defined

networks, with an initial focus on automating tuning in order to accommodate business

performance policies.

With its NetSocket Virtual Network software suite the

company is presenting tools that give businesses the ability to move toward

SDNs without ripping out their current traditional networks. NVN can centralize

orchestration and management of both virtual and physical network

infrastructure, allowing current infrastructure to remain in place while

virtual infrastructure is added.

[BACKGROUND: Understanding

Software Defined Networking

AT A GLANCE: SDN FAQ

FORECAST: SDN]

market about to explode

More importantly, NVN can correlate network service issues

to the underlying network infrastructure so IT departments can better

troubleshoot problems, says Tom Nolle, president of CIMI Corp. consultancy.

Faults detected in virtual network performance don’t reveal

the underlying infrastructure problem causing them, but that is a necessary

tool. “You can’t send a real technician to fix a virtual device,” he says. This

is an issue NetSocket is trying to address by correlating network service

issues with network infrastructure problems.

The main component of NVN is vFlowController, which runs in

a virtual machine and can interoperate with legacy networks as well as virtual

networks to facilitate Layer 3 flow control. This is done via components of

vFlowController called vRouter, vTunnel and vFirewall.

A separate networking element is vFlowSwitch, a virtual

Layer 3 switch that integrates with Layer 2 virtual switches. Connecting

vFlowSwitch to Microsoft’s Layer 2 vSwitch can be automated through

vFlowController.

The net capability is to overlay a virtual network on top of

both virtual and real infrastructure.

In addition, NetSocket includes two applications with its

NVN, vNetCommander and vNetOptimizer. vNetCommander is central management for

NVN that installs, provisions and orchestrates the network. NetOptimizer

analyzes performance of network services and can automatically optimizes the

network for individual applications. 

NetSocket is offering up a one-site version of NVN for free

to give potential customers the chance to test the product. Nolle says this

makes sense since similar open source controllers such as Open Daylight cost

nothing. “They have to be able to compete with free,” he says.

Businesses that decide they want to deploy NVN across their

enterprise will be able to buy an enterprise version of netCommander this fall.

netOptimizer will also be available this fall and pricing hasn’t been set yet

for either, the company says. Pricing will vary based on size of networks and

the number of connections among branch offices, the company says.

NVN builds on NetSockets other product Cloud Experience

Manager, which gives insight into performance of services on routed physical

networks with the idea of assuring service levels.

The company was founded in 2007 and has $22 million in

venture funding from Venture Investors, with Sevin Rosen Funds, Silver Creek

Ventures and Trailblazer Capital.

Tim Greene covers Microsoft and unifiedMostly Microsoft blog.tgreene@nww.com and@Tim_Greene

communications for Network World and writes the 

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