Masergy Monday is introducing a way for customers to monitor the performance of the WAN services they buy from Masergy without reconfiguring or adding probes to their networks.
Called Masergy Network Analyst, the add-on service provides customers with a view of their network traffic and how much bandwidth it is using based on IP addresses, protocol, service plane (quality of service), port and application. So customers can see whether it has an application that is using up too much bandwidth, for example, and adjust its use accordingly. Or they can buy more bandwidth if they see it is required.
An advantage is that customers don't have to buy software or a combination of hardware and software to add this type of reporting to their networks. But the downside is that the Masergy service does not yet provide all the features of these third-party products, says John Burke, an analyst with Nemertes Research. Vendors making such products include NetScout and Visual Networks.
Still, the service is a start. "They're putting their foot in the door, and they'll have to work their body through later," he says. According to Masergy, this is just the beginning of a broader service that will include historical reporting and tools to compile formal usage reports as opposed to the screen shots of data that are offered today.
Having a service provider take over the task should be attractive to large businesses, Burke says, rather than customers supporting hardware and software they bought. "The bigger you are, the more odious the burden of propagating these other solutions in your network," he says.
Many businesses don't have this capability at all yet, either from their service providers or from software and hardware they have bought and installed themselves, he says.
The service requires no additional hardware or software because traffic is gathered from Masergy's Alcatel service switches. The switches permit mirroring of the traffic that passes through. Masergy has developed a server architecture that can capture the header information from these packets and display it to customers.
Customers log into Masergy's Service Control Center to view records of the past 30 days of usage.
The service costs US$100 per month per network connection up to 2 Mbps, US$200 per connection up to 45 Mbps, and for larger links the service is custom priced.