All Exclusives

Know What Your Network Knows

It’s a good opener and it was a great pitch by Tim Titus, CTO of PathSolutions. Tim and his team have been where the majority of us have been in the past operating networks and trying to deliver the best level of service to our end users, they have put a great deal of passion and experience into something that really is rather special, it has the elements they wished they had from the tools they used and it’s made it unique in the network management tool field. I know you’re probably thinking, it’s hard to get excited about network management tools but this one is different, this is akin to CCIEaaS, plug it in and it discovers your network, an hour or so later it’s reporting problems that you probably didn’t even know existed and helping you deliver a better service to your users.

The most powerful element of the tool is the ability to provide RCA in plain English, you aren’t just presented with raw data that you need to analyze & you don’t need to be an expert to determine how to fix a reported issue. The system primarily utilizes SNMP to query infrastructure and uses the data to be able to play back issues that a user may report from a connectivity problem that happened earlier in the day. It’s extremely hard to determine RCA of something that is intermittent in nature but this system shows you what was happening at the problem time, maybe it was a QoS queue incorrectly sized that was dropping packets or some packet loss on a WAN link, the ability to go back in time is pretty neat to say the least. Looking for where an IP address or MAC address is within the network, just type it in and you are told where it’s connected, looking for a problem a user has between source & destination, just type in your addresses and the system shows your path through the network and associated issues?

One feature that also stood out was the ability to help remote workers very efficiently, with multiple elements involved in a home workers connection to a central site the tool can email out an agent to a user which runs a set of predefined & customizable tests to determine where the issue is, from home local wifi signal strength or channel congestion to ISP packet loss right through a VPN connection to a headend, it’s a help desk operators dream come true! The tool also has inbuilt features such as Netflow and IPAM & the inventory life cycle support, config backups with the ability to flag up and differentiate drift and changes as well as Inventory lists and state vulnerabilities dynamically for code, it’s the classic “single pane of glass” that most other vendors strive for.

I’ve only scratched the surface, there is a huge amount of VoIP and Security functionality to delve into, head over to and try the sandbox demo for yourself!

Tim advises, “Don’t turtle your network!”, with tools like these on the market now there really is no excuse!

Disclosure. I was invited to attend Network Field Day by Gestalt IT, my travel costs and meals were provided but I was not paid to attend or under any obligation to provide feedback on any sessions or presenting companies. This post has not been reviewed by Gestalt IT or PathSolutions.

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Martin Duggan

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