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November 2011

Have service assurance tools finally come of age?

Here’s a concept: Whether or not a specific link on your network is healthy is the least of your worries. In fact, service assurance (SA) vendors warn that networking is only a tiny fraction of what can go wrong behind an application, yet poor user experience still falls at least partially on the shoulders of the networking team. That’s where SA tools come in. SA tools monitor across IT infrastructure and report into a single console where the information can be analysed to track both the root cause behind poor application performance and troubled end-user experience. The idea is to take monitoring completely away from specific infrastructure elements, such as networks, storage, servers, virtual machines and databases, and instead examine the interdependencies among these systems. “The problem is not just the network or the servers; it’s that and everything in between,” said Steve Shalita, vice president of marketing at management and monitoring company NetScout. Multi-tiered applications, for example, depend on a collection of ...

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