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Network General takes pulse

Network General debuts a network management architecture that will help system administrators get a sense of a corporate network's health on one terminal.

Network General wants to give network administrators the big picture.

The company will debut in two weeks a network management architecture that will let data from wide and local area networks, gathered from various agents and probes, be correlated on a single console to give network administrators an overall picture of corporate network health.

The Total Network Visibility architecture, as it will be called, takes data gathered from various SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) and RMON (Remote Monitoring) agents and probes, feeds it into a central database, then correlates and filters it based on the statistical needs of network administrators.

This means, for example, that data gathered from Network General's own Distributed Sniffer System can be viewed along with data gathered from ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) or Token Ring agents via one console.

The new architecture can also be viewed within a network management framework such as Hewlett-Packard's OpenView.

Eventually, the company hopes to provide access to applications that can be used with the architecture via the Web. It also hopes to offer applications that can track and control Web access.

The first product and application focusing on network health, network availability, and quality of service will be unveiled at Networld+Interop in Atlanta and will be available by the end of the year, according to company officials. The company has not yet announced specific product ship dates or pricing.