Verizon is offering tools for its VPN customers to add bandwidth and mark traffic for priority treatment as it crosses the service provider's network.Part of Verizon's Private IP VPN service, the new capabilities are designed to give customers better control over performance of the VPN in general, but also of specific applications.The service includes monitoring tools that let customers gauge how well individual applications are performing and how the addition of new applications to the VPN alter the performance of traffic already part of the VPN. Data is gathered from managed routers that are part of the service and is available via a Web portal.Customers also have the option to mark packets for priority treatment at the desktop so that it will be handled appropriately by the MPLS routers in Verizon's network. These class-of-service options can help ensure that key applications perform as required. The alternative would be configuring routers at each customer site to do the marking instead, which would require administrative time.In addition to tuning VPNs, the tools make it possible for customers to better determine when they need to buy more bandwidth and when they need to adjust service qualities, instead, to make their networks perform the way they want them to.The price of these tools varies. For instance, the ability for devices to mark packets for class of service costs $3.50 per month per device to analyze performance and $4 per month to actually prioritize traffic. Tools to analyze WAN performance ranges from $15 to $50 per month, and the ability to call up more bandwidth on demand costs up to $50 per site.If customers are interested in an outsourced VPN and can afford it, these tools can make for a better managed and more responsive network.