Sunday, January 27, 2008

Packet Design Provides Visibility into Layer 3 MPLS-VPNs

Packet Design introduced a network management product that provider visibility into MPLS-VPN customer traffic not only at the network edge but across the core.

VPN Traffic Explorer lets service providers determine the exact path each customer's traffic travels, know which customers are the heaviest bandwidth users, and analyze customer traffic by class of service (CoS) not just on a few links but everywhere in the network.
Armed with this new level of VPN-centric management knowledge, providers can resolve customer problems faster, do far more effective capacity planning, and pinpoint trends to better tailor existing services and sell new ones.

The new product combines Packet Design's foundation technology, route analytics -- which provides visibility into real-time, network-wide routing paths -- with the ability to map VPN customer traffic flows directly onto those paths. The product supports the newest versions of router-based flow data, including Cisco's NetFlow version 9, which recognize not only IP but also MPLS, the mechanism used by service providers to forward customers' VPN traffic across their network cores using private "tunnels."

Packet Design said previous solutions aimed at Layer 3 MPLS-VPN service management gather traffic data from the provider's edge routers, showing how much traffic each customer is sending. But they provide no insight inside the MPLS core, which typically exists one "hop" in from the edge and where problems can impact the quality of service for many customers.