HP last week announced it would by early next year incorporate IP route-analysis technology from Packet Design into its OpenView Network Node Manager software.The software combination will enable enterprise network managers to not only detect events and alarms on devices, but also track the network path of packets and traffic.Under the terms of the multi-year agreement, HP obtained a license for the software used in Packet Design's Route Explorer network appliance, just introduced last year. HP says it plans to create extensions that allow Network Node Manager to directly access data gathered by Route Explorer.The companies say the Packet Design technology will work with NNM by identifying logical network service failures that trigger OpenView to diagnose problems, identify the network source and speed problem resolution. Packet Design says its IP route analysis technology can identify Layer 3 (network layer) problems that Layer 2 (data link layer) software tools, such as NNM, didn\u2019t pick up in the past.Beginning in the second quarter of 2004, HP's worldwide direct sales force and reseller partners will sell the Packet Design software packaged in an HP-branded appliance.HP's route-analysis appliance will include full Route Explorer functionality, with the ability to \u201clisten\u201d to the network control plane, compute and display a Layer 3 topology map which would be updated in real time as network changes occur. Routing events are logged in a local database, and can be played back and analyzed to diagnose intermittent and hard-to-detect problems.HP competitor Computer Associates this past summer also announced plans to incorporate traffic management and route analysis tools into CA\u2019s Unicenter network management system. The technology is dubbed Sonar and is included in products such as Unicenter Network Forensics and Unicenter Network Forensics Mobile Edition, which perform traffic monitoring and packet analysis to diagnose and resolve network problems. CA acquired the technology from SilentRunner earlier this year.CA\u2019s technology would watch network traffic, identify what's talking to what and determine how to ensure mission-critical conversations continue if problems arise.Sonar, in terms of watching traffic, is similar to the likes of Packeteer and NetScout.