Brix device monitors core network quality

Brix Networks stepped up its quality of service (QoS) monitoring capabilities to serve core data centres and Internet service...

Brix Networks stepped up its quality of service (QoS) monitoring capabilities to serve core data centres and Internet service provider (ISP) peering points, unveiling a larger version of its hardware platform and a new release of its management software.

Brix makes systems that ISPs and their customers can use to verify continually that the promised performance of a voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), virtual private network (VPN) or traditional ISP service is being delivered. They include devices that both monitor real traffic and send simulated traffic types over the network, as well as BrixWorks software that lets network administrators view the gathered statistics and act on them.

The Brix 2500 Verifier is Brix's most powerful device to date, according to Jamie Warter, vice-president of marketing and business development company.

The 2500 is available with 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet copper or fibre interfaces that can be attached to ports in a switch or router to monitor high-speed traffic.

It is designed to monitor traffic in and out of a major data centre, Web hosting facility or ISP peering point.

Brix last year unveiled the 1000 Verifier for smaller ISP points of presence and in 2000 introduced the 100 Verifier for customer premises.

The 2500 Verifier can create streams of traffic that simulate voice calls, video conferences, Web transactions and other kinds of activities on an IP network.

By sending those streams at all hours of the day, it can keep administrators aware of how well the network is functioning and whether it will be able to provide the desired service when requested.

The system can be set to resend the simulated traffic every few seconds or at another interval, Warter said. The device can also monitor actual traffic running over the network.

Brix also rolled out BrixWorks 2.0, the latest version of its management software. Although certain statistics that the Verifier products collect can be integrated into third-party management applications such as Hewlett-Packard's OpenView, BrixWorks can also be used alongside the third-party products to provide additional information.

The latest version of Brix's software adds several new capabilities, including new troubleshooting tools and high-level report types. One added feature is a view that displays information on a variety of functions in a single graph, Warter said.

The Brix 2500 Verifier is available immediately with a base price of $16,500 (£11,580). BrixWorks 2.0 Central Site Software is available for $60,000 (£42,000), and a pack of 25 licences for Verifier devices costs $10,000 (£7,000).

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