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

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

By , Network World
July 11, 2013 11:11 AM ET

Network World - 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.

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