Intel Tackles Bandwidth

SAN MATEO (07/11/2000) - Helping to diffuse traffic backups in the wide area network, Intel Corp. on Tuesday added two bandwidth management devices to its NetStructure line of networking products.

The NetStructure 7340 Traffic Shaper and the 7370 Application Shaper are built around technology from Packeteer Inc. called PacketWise, which adds bandwidth control functionality and helps ensure application performance.

The new products are designed to give ISPs, ASPs (application service providers), and e-businesses added control over bandwidth usage so that vital applications retain access to network resources, according to Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel.

The devices extend existing NetStructure functionality out to the WAN connection to address connectivity bottlenecks, according to Barry Hartman, product line manager for the network equipment division at Intel.

"The real problem is we've got high-speed LANs and fast servers, but 56K up to T1 WAN connections that everything has to fit through," Hartman said. "So that bottleneck can mean lost revenues when high priority purchasing requests aren't responded to or SAP [applications] are given equal priority to browsing. You have real business transactions -- [which] could mean revenue -- that are not being responded to.

"Bandwidth management provides a way to differentiate traffic coming in over a WAN connection and provides a better way to manage traffic coming in and out.

Once we can differentiate traffic we can give priority to the highest, most critical transactions," Hartman said.

The 7340 Traffic Shaper appliance can manage bandwidth, differentiate services, and control WAN bandwidth allocation, Intel officials said. The appliance can detect and classify more than 200 types of traffic, analyze traffic behavior, and generate reports about the traffic. The reporting capabilities help network managers with capacity planning and in recommending services, Intel said. The device provides a comprehensive view of the network, which lets the administrator partition bandwidth to make sure adequate resources are available for critical applications.

The 7370 Application Shaper is a policy-based application subscriber management system built to let ASPs and application hosts offer measured application services to customers. The device provides definition and enforcement for application network service-level agreements and integrates billing functionality, according to Intel. Hartman said the Application Shaper gives network administrators a detailed view of network operations, response times, and bandwidth usage. A network manager can access the 7370 though a password-protected Web-based user interface.

The Intel NetStructure 7340 Traffic Shaper and 7370 Application Shaper are available now, priced at $24,995 and $29,995, respectively.

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