• United States
Neal Weinberg
Contributing writer, Foundry

Allot’s WiseWAN

Nov 13, 20033 mins

* The Reviewmeister tests Allot's WiseWAN

While some Allot WiseWAN models include DSU/CSU functionality, the model 401 units we tested were pure monitoring devices. An Ethernet tap connected the 401 to the link between the local network and router.

Allot also offers a WiseWAN unit for monitoring broadband (DSL) connections. The WiseWAN WANXplorer Server software collected and displayed (via a browser interface) a wealth of statistics on the health of the WAN link and showed us who uses the most bandwidth and link utilization.

Network protocol distribution reports showed the relative traffic levels of WAN protocols. The primary reports reveal line availability and service-level agreement breaches (both summary and detailed versions). Other WAN link-related reports show line statistics, Data Link Connection Identifier traffic by bandwidth consumption, permanent virtual circuit by committed information rate (CIR) load, DLCI performance and response times.

We found that Allot’s WiseWAN WANXplorer has a well-designed tree-view interface that contains an intuitive and clearly presented display of network devices. We could move objects via drag-and-drop and sort columns of data by clicking on the column header. Right-clicking an entry displayed WANXplorer’s easy-to-understand pop-up menus. Best of all, WANXplorer color codes currently set alarms to show a rising status (red) or a falling status (gray).

Network Instruments Observer

Network Instruments’ Observer is more than just a protocol analyzer or packet decoder. It also can accumulate network activity statistics and display them in useful ways. When you put the vendor’s hardware or software probes on remote network segments, Observer collects network activity statistics from those probes. Observer polls these probes every 5 seconds (by default), and you can increase this to every 2 seconds.

Observer presents the latest, average and maximum overall bandwidth utilization statistics, maximum and average utilization by DLCI, top talkers and congestion metrics, which include notifications when congestion is occurring, even when bandwidth utilization is below the CIR. Observer also works with probes from other vendors, such as Netscout.

Observer uses a tree-view main window and multiple concurrently open child windows to show devices and events. Drilling down to get more data is simply a matter of double-clicking an item in the tree. Observer also displays a window containing a graphical view of network conversations. Alongside each conversation pair are statistics showing packet-to-packet delay times, retransmissions and lost packets. Clicking on a conversation pair drills down to a list of packets exchanged by the nodes. Each display of network activity is a child window that updates in real time, and you can have as many concurrent windows open as you wish.

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