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Extreme, Virtela Go Into Net Monitoring

A couple of product releases this week could signify a new phase for the networking industry, one where monitoring and management become the moneymakers for vendors.

Yesterday, Extreme Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: EXTR) took the wraps off its Premier Services Program, where the company monitors the performance of a customer's network. And today, service provider announced its Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) offerings, with services ranging from simple watchdog monitoring to hands-on network management. (See Extreme Intros Premier Services and Virtela Offers RMM.)

In both cases, the companies would watch for signs of performance failures in a LAN or WAN -- which nodes are getting underutilized, for example, or which parts of the network will need upgrades to keep up with traffic growth rates.

These kinds of services have been around for years. But more companies might start getting into the managed services business, including equipment vendors.

For one, it's a path to recurring revenue streams at a time when equipment margins are under serious pressure, thanks in part to low-cost Asian competition. On a more immediate front, enterprises and even service providers need to keep a tighter rein on their Ethernet and IP networks as real-time traffic -- voice and video -- becomes more prevalent.

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