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Rollout: Fluke's OptiView Series III Integrated Network Analyzer

The Upshot

The OptiView Series III INA streamlines network troubleshooting, determines application-layer problems, and helps monitor security.
Troubleshooting network problems is time-consuming. Single-purpose tools place the burden of correlating data and reports from multiple devices on the admin. The Series III INA includes an integrated suite of tools for troubleshooting wired and wireless networks.
The INA's wired network features for active and passive analysis tie multiple tools into a integrated unit. However, the device cannot easily conduct passive and active network discovery simultaneously without special taps. On the wireless side, features such as showing multiple SSIDs per AP, login diagnostics, and new EAP types are old news, rather than leading-edge.

OptiView Series III INA

Picture the typical setup for a technician at Network Computing's Syracuse University Real-World Labs®. A laptop is loaded with WildPackets' OmniPeek, the open-source Wireshark network analyzers, the 47 diagnostic elements of SolarWinds' Engineer's Toolset, and a slew of other unrelated utilities. We need a fiber-to-copper media converter to connect to fiber ports, and if we ever suspect a cable issue, we have to eyeball the RJ-45 connections for wire mapping or rummage around to find a wire-mapping tool. None of these tools are integrated. There has to be a better way!

There's no need to look for anything other than Fluke Networks' OptiView Series III Integrated Network Analyzer (INA). Since Agilent discontinued its J6800 Network Analyzer in 2005, Fluke has become the only vendor to offer an integrated, wired and wireless network analyzer with both RJ-45 and fiber monitoring ports.

This device is the first in Fluke's Series III line of testing devices. An upgrade of the OptiView Series II INA, the new hardware includes a small form-factor fiber port, 1 GB of RAM, a 10/100/1000 RJ-45 monitor port, and hardware triggering and filtering. The Windows XP-driven Series III weighs 6.6 pounds, measures 10 x 9 x 2.5 inches, and features a 800x600 pixel screen--not exactly lightweight, but far more balanced than a laptop. The included network-measurement module, which does the capture and analysis, is an Intel dual-core 2-GHz processor with 1 GB of memory and FPGA (field-programmable gate array) chips for processing.

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