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January 23, 2008

VoIP Network Test Solutions Provider Packet Island Demonstrating its Distributed Ethereal 'Sniffer' at ITEXPO

By Patrick Barnard, TMCnet Assignment Editor

VoIP network test solutions provider Packet Island (News - Alert) is demonstrating its latest SaaS-based “sniffer” product, PacketPro, at Internet Telephony Conference and Expo East 2008, now underway at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami, Fla. The Web-based tool gives service providers and IT outsourcing companies remote visibility into their customers’ networks, so they can tweak network performance and troubleshoot problems as they arise, thus helping them deliver better and more consistent quality of service.

PacketProT consists of a compact micro-appliance in a sturdy portable kit that can be shipped to a customer’s site. Once this Ethereal sniffer is installed on site by the customer and synched with Packet Island's hosted service, service providers can remotely diagnose a broad variety of network problems.

As many service providers know, using a hardware/software-based test and troubleshooting solution, incorporating a network probe, tends to considerably more effective than a software-only solution because it provides for more accurate analysis of problems occurring at the user end point.

With PacketPro, service providers and VARs can remotely troubleshoot problems at the customer premises from the comfort of their central office. This helps save considerably on operating costs, as they no longer have to dispatch a technician and eat the cost of another expensive truck roll. But more importantly, it is a more accurate and effective means of carrying out diagnosis. As many providers have come to learn, dispatching a technician to a user’s residence doesn’t always solve the problem: Very often the technician has to wait at the user’s premises until the problem presents itself -- and even then, they might not be able to actually resolve the problem while they are there.

With the probe on site, there is no “guess work.” With PacketPro, operators gain the ability to view traffic flow trends and capture traffic on IP/port/protocol filters, thus helping them to diagnose problems much faster and with much less expense. This advanced network test and troubleshooting solution lets operators capture network traffic snapshots from customer sites at the click of a button; troubleshoot complex voice-video-data problems by decoding over 750 protocols using Ethereal/Wireshark; perform VoIP assessments to determine LAN/WAN capacity issues; perform live 24x7 VoIP monitoring to characterize transient problems; and use on-demand reports to help isolate the nature and source of complex VoIP problems.

Packet Island last made news on TMCnet when it announced that Endeavor Telecom (News - Alert), which offers professional installation and technical services to carriers, service providers, systems integrators, is using its VoIP network assessment and monitoring solutions to help it better serve its clients. Specifically, Endeavor is using Packet Island's VoIPPro Field Service Kit (FSK) to assess WAN and LAN VoIP readiness and Packet Island’s VoIPCare Service to monitor and tweak network performance post deployment. These software/hardware test solutions let Endeavor technicians discover and address network performance problems, such as congestion, phone malfunctions and other VoIP service issues. Plus, with VoIPCare, they can analyze up to 30 days worth of data to see trends in network performance (during high peak periods for different types of traffic) and do ongoing SLA comparison to help ensure service quality. Packet Island's micro-appliances also provide IT staff with the data they need for capacity planning, trend analysis, and overall network management activities.

For more information about Packet Island, visit


Patrick Barnard is Assignment Editor for TMCnet and Associate Editor for Customer Interaction Solutions magazine. To see more of his articles, please visit Patrick Barnard’s columnist page.

Don’t forget to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users.

Today’s featured White Paper (News - Alert) is titled VoIP Doesn’t Require Any Phone Equipment Investment, brought to you by Accessline.


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