Race Is On As Network Analysis Vendors Jockey For Position

Such is the case with the market for network analysis, said Douglas Smith, president of Network Instruments, Minneapolis. As a result, Network Instruments' version 10 of its Observer network analysis product is aimed squarely at enabling partners to execute successful rip-out strategies of rival installs.

Observer 10 builds on previous enhancements to the product such as application analysis capabilities and a hefty 4-Gbyte memory buffer. The upgrade also adds expert analysis tools and advanced network probes that speed analysis by preserving network bandwidth. Enhanced wireless and VLAN analysis tools are also included in version 10, Smith said.

A narrow field makes up the competition in the network-analysis space, Smith said, naming Fluke Networks, WildPackets and NetScout Systems as rivals. A fourth rival--Sniffer vendor Network General--is particularly vulnerable to displacement, he said, because Sniffer's previous owner, Network Associates (now McAfee), racked up a less-than-stellar reputation as a channel partner.

Bruce Warner, owner of Operative Software, Los Angeles, said he's displaced many a Sniffer product with Network Instruments gear. Of Sniffer, Warner said, "It's so typical of an industry leader to not keep up."

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