article

NDG Launches AppLevel Partner Program for Remote Network Management

Posted: 10/2003

NDG Launches AppLevel Partner Program for Remote Network Management
By Tara Seals

Someday corporate information networks will be a utopia of
open-source technologies where all topologies and protocols have been
standardized in other words, problems of interoperability and intricate,
time-consuming management will be things of the past.

OK, now back to reality. Todays IP-based wide area networks
often are a jumbled mess of transport technologies (including the public
Internet, frame relay, private lines, ATM and virtual private networks), which
involve multiple vendors and service providers, require different CPE types,
support various applications and rely on disparate management processes.

In an effort to produce clarity from such muddy waters,
National Data Group Inc. has launched AppLevel, a network and router management
service for different types of network technologies, along with a new partner
program. The offer allows companies to see and manage all aspects of their
network in one online location and with a single interface, says NDG.

This is a managed router service that controls the network
at the application level, a.k.a. Layer 7, says Mark Fuller, vice president of business
development at NDG.

The solution was launched eight months ago and counts
companies such as Coca-Cola Industries and Lowes Home Improvement as clients,
while New Edge Networks Inc. and Expanets Inc. are channel partners. In the wake
of the launch NDG decided to create an initiative for the small to medium-sized
businesses, and in August formally announced an agent program to tackle that
market.

My bailiwick is to get this into the SMBs with five to 100
frame locations, say, says Fuller. Agents are going to be driving this. They can sell it on
top of the frame, so the pitch becomes not about the network, but about what you
can do with it. It changes the sales cycle.

The SMB offer is a solution in a box that costs $150 to $200
per month, per node. Agents will earn 10 percent to 15 percent residual
commissions, Fuller says.

Essentially, AppLevel offers round-theclock remote monitoring
and operation of the WAN using proprietary Layer 7 tools that monitor the status
of IP device interfaces and applications in real time and perform
troubleshooting as needed. The company says the typical fault identification
process occurs in less than one-tenth of a second.

This does it all. It produces a report on every SLA breach,
you can see every device on the network, and it has a sniffer/traffic shaper
that looks at every IP header that travels, says Fuller. So you can see
the failures. It gets rid of the finger-pointing.

AppLevel also provides classification and application
management. It eliminates network management at the router and employs
algorithms that ensure application bandwidth limits and guarantees. It forces
all traffic speed to the available bandwidth speed to minimize congestion in the
routers. And the company says it can distinguish between more than 700
applications, letting more critical applications take precedence when congestion
is noted.

So you can just throw voice-over-IP modules on a PBX and
manage that as an application on the WAN, says Fuller. Youll never have
to upgrade the router. This is a whole new ballgame.

Links
Expanets Inc. www.expanets.com
National Data Group Inc. www.applevel.com
New Edge Networks Inc. www.newedge.com


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