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OPNET Technologies Delivers IP-Service Optimizer

OPNET Technologies, Inc. Monday introduced new network-management software that allows Internet service and application service providers a performance overview of their end-to-end infrastructure.

OPNET's Application Characterization Environment (ACE) for IT DecisionGuru 7.0 is designed to work with the software firm's IT DecisionGuru application. It provides a virtual proving ground for network optimization because it offers visual auto-analysis of the factors affecting end-user service levels.

With IT DecisionGuru, network administrators can evaluate the performance of existing infrastructures, predict the impact of proposed modifications, and validate new service proposals before committing to a plan of action.

The data derived by the software allows ASPs and ISPs to understand their networks key operational parameters, including network capacity and multiple communication protocol interactions. The software enhances a provider's ability to live up to its service level agreements by designing virtual fault-tolerant networks before they buy the equipment to build the infrastructure.

ACE extends this core capability by enabling service providers to visualize application packet flows in order to understand the root causes of slow response times. If the analyses uncover possible performance issues the software proposes remedies automatically.

Marc Cohen, OPNET Technologies chairman and chief executive officer, said it's a way for ISPs and ASPs to live up to their customers expectations and reduce the possibility of down time and service outages.

"Businesses and consumers alike expect their application, Internet, and hosting services to be as reliable as the public telephone system," Cohen said. "IT DecisionGuru helps ASPs and ISPs meet stringent service-level demands by predicting future performance."

Cohen added that the software is an invaluable resource for service providers that need to conduct proactive logistical planning before they tradeoff on network performance.

ACE acquires a fingerprint of an application by importing traces from network analyzers. The software graphically breaks down the response time into delays resulting from protocol effects, link throughput, network latency, processing at different tiers and inefficient application code.

The detailed understanding of application performance accelerates problem isolation and simplifies the task of designing or re-designing a network.

AppDoctor is one of the key features of ACE in that it analyzes packet traces and provides an immediate diagnosis of sub-optimal application-response times. Based on the diagnosis, AppDoctor provides a number of network remedies that can be easily explored through infrastructure simulation.

Cohen said that because IP services are growing in importance among many service providers, it's important that provides be able to quickly troubleshoot latency issues.

"AppDoctor offers an advanced capability to help service providers streamline and optimize their offerings by isolating specific, difficult-to-diagnose, application-performance problems," Cohen said. "This can reduce time to resolution considerably, minimizing disruptions of service and helping service providers build more cost-effective delivery systems."

The product release comes of the heels of OPNET Technologies filing its registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission relating to its proposed initial public offering in March. Bank of America Securities LLC will underwrite the shares, among others.