Ipanema Technologies delivers products to help IT managers troubleshoot performance problems on the WAN and optimize application delivery across the wide area.Recently Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), a research firm that often examines how to optimize network and application performance, evaluated Ipanema's Business Optimization Solution to see if it measured up to the heavy-duty requirements needed to ensure performance over the WAN. To start, I should include the limitations EMA detailed in current vendor offerings.For one, most network management products are costly and require ongoing administration, which can get complex for IT managers. Secondly, poor integration among tools makes it difficult to manage application performance over the network, EMA says. The report goes on to say that most products offer passive monitoring without proactive measures that could optimize performance based on business demand or application need. And lastly, EMA says those products that do offer "active control" do so on a link-by-link basis vs. an infrastructure-wide approach to optimizing networked application performance.Ipanema, EMA determined, is "distinctive in combining broad visibility of the network and the IP applications it supports, coupled with an active, systemic approach to WAN optimization." Business Optimization Solution can monitor every packet, according to EMA, rather than relying on a random sample of packets, which will deliver more real-time results to network managers and less speculation about actual performance. The company uses what EMA describes as a "patented mechanism for synchronization for different points of packet capture across the network, in order to enable more effective coordination of its collection."While EMA says Ipanema systemic approach to WAN monitoring and control offers advantages, the company's Quality of Experience metrics are limited in that they are very network-centric."It is not focused on end-station transactional experience in it purest forms, as the end user would see it, but it approximates this based on application performance at critical network demarks," EMA writes in the report.