Marconi sniffs out performance weaknesses

Marconi Australia has deployed a set of corporate network performance monitoring tools to forecast and plan for clients' networking and security problems before they become an e-business headache.

In May, the IT outsourcer, invested around $500,000 in Network Associates' Sniffer Total Network Visibility (TNV) tools to manage both the wired and wireless networks of Asia-Pacific customers including Elders, Chevron and AH Plant, said Adrian Siebel, Marconi executive vice president.

Faced with the challenge of planning, forecasting and preventing "hemorraging" within companies' networking projects, Marconi equipped 50 of its field engineers with the Sniffer suite of network and application management tools to ensure users experienced faultless network performance.

Siebel said the tool's graphical trending reports let Marconi analyse customers' bandwidth usage to accurately forecast the affect of any unplanned increases in data traffic, and present performance reports and strategies to clients to ensure their networks are used to optimum levels.

The tool is also critical to Marconi in client service due to the dynamism of the corporate network, Siebel said. "Networks have to change from time to time, particularly in bandwidth usage. About 50 per cent of network outages are associated with the network's capabilty."

The tools have also eased Marconi's network security concerns across all LAN and WAN topologies (from 10Gbit Ethernet to high-speed ATM and Gigabit backbones in real time) in that they now manage customers' firewalls by identifying problems like "dumb" firewalls.

While Siebel was not able to quantify cost savings the management tools have generated for clients so far, he said the ability to perform a network audit and filter data for customers was critical to Marconi as an outsourcing specialist.

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