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NetScout Adds Service Delivery Management Capabilities for Telepresence, Video and Voice Environments

Date: Tuesday May 10, 2011

nGenius Voice | Video Manager Provides a Unique Level of Visibility into Unified Communications Service Performance to Assure the User’s Quality of Experience with Collaboration Applications

Las Vegas, Nev. – Interop 2011. – May 10, 2011 – NetScout® Systems, Inc. today announced nGenius® Voice | Video Manager – the first integration of technology from its recent acquisition of Psytechnics. nGenius Voice | Video Manager significantly extends NetScout’s Unified Service Delivery Management strategy by providing comprehensive real-time service management for IP Telepresence, video and voice services. Built from deployment-proven technology, nGenius Voice | Video Manager delivers application-specific details of video and voice session transmission and conversation quality to reveal real-time service performance and the true user experience. As a result, IT organizations can now achieve unmatched actionable visibility into the behavior of Unified Communications (UC) applications and the resulting end-to-end service quality. When deployed in conjunction with other nGenius Service Assurance Solution modules, IT staff can assure UC services alongside business application and data services, resulting in one of the industry’s most comprehensive service delivery management platforms.

Enterprise organizations make significant investments in UC technology with the hope of improving business productivity and removing borders across their organizations. The adoption of UC services to enable better collaboration assumes that service quality will be sufficient for end users to interact effectively. UC implementations, however, are highly complex; they traverse a number of different networks and require uncompromising interoperability between multiple vendor products. While traditional assurance approaches have focused on the network-related performance of these services, there are a myriad of issues that can impair video and voice quality. Just as with other business applications, the IT organization should consider the performance of the application and network to accurately assure service quality. Consequently, to achieve a true user experience representation, IT organizations must look beyond basic network performance to understand how UC applications behave.

“A proactive management strategy is key to driving productivity from telepresence and video conferencing deployments on both dedicated and converged networks,” said Robert Mason, Research Director for UC and Network Services at Gartner. “While network performance attributes are a reasonable proxy for video performance, IT organizations need to consider measuring application level attributes like frame-rate, frame delivery and image-size to more completely characterize quality of the video experience.”

Part of the comprehensive nGenius Service Assurance Solution, nGenius Voice | Video Manager is a specialized service management module architected to address the challenges of assuring diverse, real-time communication services. Supporting a broad compliment of UC services, technologies and vendors, the module combines proactive service management with intelligent troubleshooting to enable IT staff to understand application-level behavior and its impact on service quality – empowering the IT organization to precisely assure the delivery of Telepresence, video and voice services end to end.

Using packet-flow analysis, UC performance metrics are collected in real-time along call paths, from mid-point and end-point measurements, to deliver a highly accurate assessment of UC media stream quality. nGenius Voice | Video Manager leverages this data to report user-specific, per-session Quality of Experience (QoE) metrics to provide a unique view into UC service behavior. Granular visibility into bi-directional session streams allows the IT organization to easily isolate problem origins by assessing each direction of a user session to quickly determine where impairments may have been introduced. For video and Telepresence environments, the solution supports dual-party and multi-party conferences, providing a combined view into the conference session as well as “per-leg” metrics. Rich quality measurements for voice services include echo, voice level, noise level, voice distortion, and conversational quality. Video-related measurements identify the impact of IP impairments and include frame-rate, bit-rate, applied encoding techniques, network transmission characteristics, and type of frame impacted, giving an accurate view of a users’ perception of quality for a session. Innovative device-specific calibration enables the adaptation of measurements to match the unique characteristics of specific endpoints, optimizing measurement baselines to allow for the true representation of a particular device’s performance.

An integrated dashboard provides real-time service level alerting and quality indicators for all video and voice sessions within the monitored network. Active call monitoring capabilities allow IT staff to view any voice and video session in progress, with real-time updates to identify problems with video and voice sessions as they occur. Intuitive and flexible workflows enable powerful analysis and troubleshooting activities that support a wide range of proactive and reactive service management tasks. IT staff can quickly progress through large call volumes, with guided diagnostics, into a specific user call to quickly identify quality problems, triage impact and isolate the root cause of degradations. For less technical IT staff, automated diagnostics enable a guided troubleshooting workflow that dramatically simplifies and accelerates problem resolution.

Initial Integration

Initial integration enables nGenius Voice | Video Manager to utilize the widely deployed nGenius InfiniStream® appliance to capture and analyze UC performance metrics from across the service delivery environment. In addition, metrics can be collected from specialized low-impact agents embedded into soft-devices, such as Microsoft® Lync™, providing a valuable perspective of endpoint performance. Call Detail Records (CDR) from call managers, such as the Cisco® UC Call Manager, and session border controllers, such as Acme Packet, can also be leveraged to provide call and user details. In a follow-on release, these rich video and voice performance assessment capabilities will be integrated into NetScout’s Adaptive Session Intelligence™ (ASI) technology to further enable cross-module leverage and operational consistency across the entire nGenius solution portfolio. Once integrated with ASI, nGenius Service Delivery Manager will provide intelligent early warning for UC services with consistent metrics and contextual linkage across the entire nGenius solution.

“The introduction of nGenius Voice | Video Manager dramatically changes the service delivery management landscape, raising the bar for unified management approaches,” said Steven Shalita, vice president, marketing at NetScout.  “As we continue to build upon our foundation strategy of Packet-Flow intelligence, IT organizations can now achieve a truly unified and comprehensive view into all business services delivered over an IP network. As we announce the initial integration of the Psytechnics technology into our portfolio, NetScout has leapt ahead to enable our customers to better address the challenges of delivering and assuring high quality Telepresence, video and voice services alongside all other business application and data services.”

Availability

nGenius Voice | Video Manager has begun field trials, and general availability is expected in July 2011. The module leverages highly optimized video and voice metrics from nGenius InfiniStream appliances. An attractive upgrade path to the nGenius Service Assurance Solution is available for existing Experience Manager users, and existing nGenius solution users can add the new module to existing deployments and leverage most installed nGenius InfiniStream appliances for UC related data collection. NetScout is demonstrating nGenius Voice | Video Manager at Interop Las Vegas 2011 (booth number 1250) going on now through May 12, 2011. Please contact NetScout or your NetScout authorized reseller for more information.

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About NetScout Systems, Inc.
NetScout Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTCT) is the market leader in Unified Service Delivery Management enabling comprehensive end-to-end network and application assurance. For over 26 years, NetScout has delivered breakthrough packet-flow technology that provides trusted and comprehensive real-time network and application performance intelligence enabling unified assurance of the network, applications and users. These solutions enable IT staff to predict, preempt and resolve network and service delivery problems while facilitating the optimization and capacity planning of the network infrastructure. NetScout nGenius® and Sniffer® solutions are deployed at more than 20,000 of the world’s largest enterprises, government agencies, and more than 130 service providers, on over 740,000 network segments to assure the network, applications, and service delivery to their users and customers.

More information about NetScout Systems, Inc. is available at http://www.netscout.com.

NetScout, nGenius, InfiniStream and Sniffer are registered trademarks of NetScout Systems, Inc. Microsoft is a registered trademark and Lync is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation.  Cisco is a registered trademark of Cisco Systems.

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