A Monitor Of Performance

Citrix partners Convergence Technology Consulting and IntelliSuite Technologies each have entered into reseller agreements with the Rockville, Md.-based maker of network and application performance management solutions, and both partners are seeing growing customer interest in the new product.

“The VAR channel is where we really see a lot of great opportunity with Citrix to allow us to expand our penetration there. We&'re looking for the best and the brightest around the country—as far as Citrix expertise—and we&'re really happy with these first two that we&'ve signed up,” said David Peikin, director of marketing and corporate communications at Visual Networks. Select Bandwidth Manager for Citrix Presentation Server software allows administrators to see how much bandwidth is consumed by both Citrix and non-Citrix applications being deployed over a network. The software also provides administrators with a centralized management console to keep track of application infrastructure to identify and remedy performance issues.

The product expands on Visual Networks&' sweet spot: performance monitoring. The company&'s flagship products are its Visual UpTime Select line of VoIP and network performance monitoring tools. “Being an infrastructure specialist and selling Citrix for so many years, bandwidth is becoming a more important part of delivering applications,” said Larry Letow, COO of Convergence Technology, Bowie, Md. “You have data constantly going across a line, and there are bottlenecks that occur. This [product] allows you to dig deeper into that information to find out where … [and] how to resolve them. That&'s where this product works for us.”

About 60 percent of the solution provider&'s business involves Citrix deployments, Letow said.

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Bandwidth degradation monitoring is also a selling point for IntelliSuite, Schaumburg, Ill. “The really intriguing piece of this bandwidth manager is the ability to actually determine in a network where the degradation is happening,” said Bobbi Afable, director of sales at the company. “This product takes you to the application level, which is intriguing to some of the customers who I&'ve already spoken with about the product.”

While the software has yet to hit the market, IntelliSuite&'s Afable said several customers—particularly in the health-care, manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries—have expressed interest in the product as well as in participating in the beta-testing process.

“I think it&'s a great add-on product,” Afable said. “My target is Citrix customers. But while it assists Citrix customers, if you put this tool in, you can cover other applications that aren&'t [Citrix applications]. “Time will tell when it really gets out there into several different accounts. Right now it looks really good, and I think it&'s something that people have been looking for,” she said.

The bandwidth monitor also can help with project sales for solution providers because it assists in planning for bandwidth requirements before doing a Citrix deployment, Afable said.

Convergence Technology&'s Letow said, “There aren&'t that many tools out there that can do this. It allows us to provide a level of service to a client that we weren&'t able to before.

“Our sweet spot is for companies that range from 100 to 1,000 employees, like government agencies. We see it fitting very nicely into our client base,” he said.

Both solution providers are also happy with Visual Networks&' channel program. “It&'s been great for us. It really has. They&'ve taken the time to introduce us to all of the players. … You want to know who&'s involved,” Letow said. “What drew us was that they were investing as much in us as we were in them. The bottom line is this is a partnership,” he said. Pricing for Select Bandwidth Manager for Citrix Presentation Server begins at $2,500 per site.