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ADARA Networks Looks To Virtualize Entire Networks

In a development that the company claims will give IT organizations the ability to virtualize the entire network, ADARA Networks has launched its Unified Dynamic Management for Network and Data Center Optimization software--which has previously been sold only to government agencies such as the Department of Defense--to the commercial marketplace. The company has a particular expertise in the electronic medical records industry. ADARA Networks says the software can be deployed on essentially any third-party hardware, while its overall control software, such as the service-level agreement manager and policy engine, can be run on PCs or servers.

"We have electronic medical records, and it lets us have redundant network paths from each of our remote locations," says Brent Baldwin, CIO of the New Lexington Clinic in Lexington, Ky., which has been using the product with 1,400 people at 30 locations since 2005. "If we lose network connectivity, we have no ability to see patients. ADARA lets us take private networks and an internet backup and function over both of those separately or simultaneously. It allows us to prioritize and use multiple network paths at the same time." For example, if the clinic is performing a backup, ADARA gives the information technology department the capability of diverting around the backup path and keeping the primary path operating at the performance level that physicians need in order to use it, he says. The clinic has not implemented the new version of the product but expects to in the first or second quarter of 2012, he says.

Because the product is capable of taking essentially any hardware device, including routers and switches, and controlling them in a virtualized fashion, users are able to substantially reduce their operational expenditures to one-tenth to one-twentieth of that compared with other proprietary network management products, says Eric Johnson, CEO of the San Jose, Calif., company. Its virtualization capabilities are similar to those of VMware, except where VMware virtualizes just servers, ADARA virtualizes everything, he says. The increased amount of virtualization enables user organizations to make better use of unused resources, meaning that they can perform more transactions, increase sales and reduce expenses, he says. For example, instead of having the hardware 5% utilized, it can be 100% utilized. Consequently the value of the virtualization magnifies, he says.

This version of the software has added functionality, such as TCP/IP acceleration and dynamic mission control. It also has a policy engine that gives service providers and enterprises the ability to control the system using either SNMP or a command-line interface and reprogramming it dynamically, including dynamically virtualizing it for cloud computing, Johnson says.

Pricing for the product, which is available now, starts at $500 to $1,000 for small boxes up to million-dollar devices that can run an entire network, says Johnson. It works with all forms of virtualization technology and hypervisors, including VMware, Oracle Virtual, Kernel-based Virtual Machine and Microsoft’s Hyper-V, he says.

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