Logistics company TNT Express is using network modelling software to help applications make the best use of network bandwidth.
TNTExpress, which is half-way through a three-year global roll-out of SAP, is using IT Guru from network tools company OpNet. OpNet's e-Back Office System is a key component of the SAP project. It uses uniform processes in finance and administration, purchasing and human resources.
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ITGuru allows TNTExpress to assess how best to deploy new applications depending on bandwidth constraints.
The company's network provides mainframe access, web front-ends for new applications, intranet access, datawarehousing, SAP and the Lotus Notes e-mail system. Although these applications performed well in development environments, they frequently under-performed and sometimes failed when deployed on production networks.
ITGuru has helped to overcome IT support problems relating to poor application performance. It provides a model of a network, including its routers, switches, protocols, servers, and the individual applications they support.
Julie Elliot, network project manager at TNT Express, said the tool is being used to understand the relationship between network traffic, allowing network engineers to make use of Cisco functionality, such as queuing, to improve network efficiency.
"Our networks vary from 5mbps to 64kbps," she said. "When we rolled out new applications our users complained of inadequate performance."
IT Guru has helped TNT Express understand the bandwidth requirements of applications and allowed the IT department to set users' expectations.