Streamcore emphasizes WAN visibility and reporting

* New StreamAccess tools make it easier for enterprises to share WAN data reports with different end-user groups

WAN application performance is one of those IT areas that are of interest not only to IT staff but also to business managers, since application delivery is so closely tied to employee productivity. But the metrics IT managers are interested in monitoring may differ -- not surprisingly -- from those business managers want to track.

To satisfy different reporting tastes, Streamcore this week unveiled StreamAccess, a set of tools designed to help customers deliver relevant statistical data on network and application performance to both IT personnel and business unit managers. The tools are geared for enterprise users of Streamcore’s application acceleration and performance management products, as well as service providers that want to pass along WAN monitoring capabilities to their customers.

StreamAccess lets IT build customized Web portals for different groups or individuals to view WAN data reports. Technical staff at a multinational company might want to view the service status of all T-1 links, around the world, from a specific service provider, for example, while business staff in a specific division might want to see network metrics pertaining only to their division, says Eric Jeux, Streamcore’s CEO. “We make it really easy to match the metrics and measures you get with the various business activities,” he says.

StreamAccess also helps with charge-back processes by allowing companies to quantify and present bandwidth consumption by each business unit. “Each business unit can have a view of what it is using, and how it is using the network,” Jeux says.

StreamAccess is part of the company’s StreamSense management platform, which combines monitoring features with provisioning and configuration tools that let users control the resources dedicated to business applications. StreamSense tracks performance indicators such as response times, number of sessions and traffic volume analysis. For example, it can determine which country consumes the most data center bandwidth, what business unit has the most users on the ERP system, or what group is experiencing the worst application response times.

A key capability of StreamSense is that is combines business reporting and troubleshooting with automated application performance controls, Jeux says. If an IT manager isn’t using the same tool to both measure and control application conditions, there can be disconnect between the two activities. “You never really know if you’re measuring what you’re doing,” he says.

StreamSense also includes rights-management capabilities so enterprises and service providers can control users’ access to management data and provisioning controls.

Other network optimization players also have been working to improve their monitoring and management wares. For example, Exinda Networks in May unveiled Service Delivery Point, a Web-based application for centrally configuring and monitoring its WAN optimization gear. 

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