NetScout ups the service management quotient

Next-generation dashboard promises end-to-end view of user experience, plus anomaly and threat detection

NetScout Systems is continuing its way down the evolutionary path toward a services-oriented world with the recent release of its next-generation nGenius Service Delivery Manager. This service dashboard provides a real-time view into service delivery, end-to-end and in business context.

The goal is to provide enterprise IT a way to manage the user experience more effectively despite today's siloed environments, says Steven Shalita, vice president of marketing for NetScout.

Of course, NetScout, with its many years of experience in network performance management, comes at the problem from a network vantage point.

"The network is the single, common element across IT that brings all components of the IT infrastructure to do service delivery, and the packets flowing across the network are what the user is consuming -- the application. We've unified both pieces to get to the user experience, organized and delivered in a meaningful way," Shalita says.

With this dashboard, IT managers of any ilk can get real-time and historical views into user-defined service domains. NGenius Service Delivery Manager automatically detects not only service quality problems but also security threats across physical, virtual and cloud-based services.

This blended security piece, which NetScout calls Integrated Threat Management, is one of the dashboard's highlights, says Jim Frey, research director at Enterprise Management Associates.

"Under the covers network security and network performance monitoring technology are similar. They both use the same type of data to draw conclusions, and it's quite easy for a company like NetScout that has a rich data set to feed data to security folks and say, 'by the way, there's some interpretation of data that might be worth looking at,'" Frey says.

NGenius Service Delivery Manager represents a significant step beyond nGenius K2 predecessor, Frey adds.

"It really moves NetScout forward on the level of sophistication it's bringing to bear on putting service-oriented views on top of its system and providing a dashboard that makes it easy to track key resources and elements that contribute or come together to make up a particular IT service," he says. "It's a nice step forward, with tight integration with the core platform."

In general, adding service-oriented interfaces to network performance management is a good for "just about anybody trying to manage networks the most efficient and effective way possible," Frey says. "But IT organizations that are committed to transitioning to IT service management across all silos will be the most interested in product of this nature -- they'll be the ones to say, 'Look, we want to get together all the relevant viewpoints and roll them up into a high-level view so we have a good, accurate understanding of the health of IT services."

The dashboard will be available as part of the 4.9 release of the nGenius Service Assurance Solution due in early July. NGenius K2 users are eligible to receive upgrades to the new product at no cost if they have a MasterCare agreement.

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