Sniffer offers Investigator to small businesses

In a bid to expand its product line beyond the large enterprise, Sniffer Technologies, a division of Network Associates, has...

In a bid to expand its product line beyond the large enterprise, Sniffer Technologies, a division of Network Associates, has released Sniffer Investigator, a new network management tool aimed at small-to-medium-sized businesses.

Sniffer Investigator is a combination hardware and software product that allows administrators to manage and analyse the traffic on their network down to packet level, pinpoint trouble spots and bottlenecks and send alerts when certain behaviour is observed, according to Rich van de Groenekan, senior product manager with Sniffer.

The Sniffer Investigator software comes preloaded on a laptop that can be easily attached to the network it will monitor, van de Groenekan said. The laptop is an 800MHz Intel Celeron system built by ASUStek Computer and features 256Mbytes of RAM and a 40Gbyte hard drive, he said. Sniffer Technologies chose to pack the software with mobile hardware in order to allow administrators to plug the system in only when it is needed and take it to remote locations, he said.

The system offers administrators the ability to inspect, analyse and decode any packets flowing through their network, van de Groenekan said. Sniffer Investigator can capture and analyse each packet individually and inspect it for any problems or indications of security breaches. The software can perform such inspections for 280 application or vendor-specific protocols, including those from Cisco Systems, Microsoft, Novell and Oracle, he said.

The system can take a base line of network performance, Groenekan said, that allows it to send alerts to administrators via e-mail or pager if traffic hits certain thresholds. The software can also track application response time to aid in network design and management, he added.

Sniffer Investigator will be available worldwide from 13 February at a cost of $7,995 (£5,603).

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