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Viola Networks' NetAlly 5.0.19A

NetAlly is a distributed network performance and assurance system designed to help enterprises implement and maintain high-performance networks and reliable business applications using active network testing and performance metrics, such as delay, loss and jitter. It includes VoIP analysis using a baseline MOS (Mean Opinion Score) to assure enterprises that their networks are capable of implementing and maintaining a VoIP system.

Effectively running voice-over-data networks requires a new set of tools and expertise. Many vendors are stepping up to fill the need for tools. Viola's NetAlly faces competition from Apparenet, NetIQ and others.

NetAlly's central test center and distributed traffic agents provide active measurements of network metrics such as latency (delay), packet loss, jitter and throughput to keep VoIP projects on track from pilot to production. With call-detail and call-management records from Cisco Call Manager and Mitel's Enterprise Manager, Netally provides a complete picture of network and VoIP performance that will improve the manageability of a VoIP rollout. NetAlly's ability to stay relevant to enterprise deployments will require a fully functional SNMP-based discovery tool to root out and interrogate SIP-based phones for performance-analysis metrics.

Viola Networks NetAlly 5.0.19A,

$20,000 for base system, VoIP assessment and five traffic agents.

Smart enterprise network managers know they should determine the impact of a voice-over-IP system--i.e. responsiveness and reliability--on existing applications before deployment. Viola Networks' NetAlly 5.0.19A helps network managers do this by letting them analyze in-depth reports on network and VoIP performance using simulated voice traffic and detailed call records from Cisco Systems and Mitel Networks setups. NetAlly then continues assessing VoIP impact, monitoring and troubleshooting the network to ensure applications operate at optimal levels. Although the vendor could fine-tune its discovery and reporting features, the product is otherwise well-suited to support VoIP deployments.

Data Collection

Unlike Apparent Networks' AppareNet Professional Voice app, NetAlly works with passive data stored in the call detail and management records of major IP PBX switches. This data provides information on delay, loss and other troubles between calls. That info, plus the product's traffic agents, help deliver a well-rounded picture of performance.

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