Viola Rolls Out Assessment Tool For VoIP Networks

The software, dubbed NetAlly VoIP, is Viola's first VoIP-specific offering. The company also offers VoIP testing capabilities as an optional module to its NetAlly OpSuite network monitoring tool.


>> COMPANY: Viola Networks
>> HEADQUARTERS: United States: Somerset, N.J.; International: Yokneam, Israel
>> FOUNDED: 1998
>> VC BACKERS: Concord Ventures, Ampal
>> MAJOR CUSTOMERS: WorldCom, Nortel Networks, Fujitsu

NetAlly VoIP uses software agents to send synthetic traffic over the network, measuring whether the network has sufficient bandwidth to deliver high-quality voice calls without delay, jitter or packet loss. The product also measures the impact that the additional burden of VoIP would have on the performance of other applications running on the network and pinpoints any problems so solution providers can fix them, said John Rooney, president of Viola, based here.

End users can remotely load the agent code through a Web browser to generate traffic between their systems and others on the network without having to install the agents on their computers. The agent disappears once testing is completed and the browser is closed, said Brion Feinberg, vice president of product management at Viola.

The "perishable" agent represents a major time-saver for solution providers implementing NetAlly VoIP and eliminates concerns IT departments have about installing new software on their systems, said Nate Seybold, president of Seybold & Associates, a Plano, Texas-based solution provider specializing in network and telecommunications testing solutions.

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Also, Viola offers a single tool for assessment and troubleshooting, while NetIQ, Viola's most direct competitor, offers similar functionality through a suite of products requiring multiple licenses, Rooney said.

With NetAlly VoIP, solution providers can not only provide assessment services but also generate additional revenue streams by developing post-deployment testing services or by selling the software to their customers so they can monitor VoIP performance internally, Rooney said.

Predeployment network assessments by solution providers are critical to the burgeoning IP telephony market, Feinberg said. "Equipment vendors don't want [partners] going in without doing assessments because the equipment gets blamed if there's a failure and they get a bad name," he said.

To get NetAlly VoIP into solution providers' hands, Viola is working to make deals with IP PBX vendors to approve the software and offer it through their own channel partners. At the same time, Viola plans to add solution providers implementing IP telephony to its own channel roster, which currently includes about 10 partners, Rooney said.