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Tool gauges Web apps

Just how much do Web-based applications affect network performance? Optimal Networks aims to find out.

Just how much do the latest generation of Web-based applications affect network performance?

That's the question Optimal Networks hopes to answer with the latest version of its Windows-based Optimal Internet Monitor application management tool. The software can now monitor application response times, identify problems, and send alarms to administrators when the network reaches predetermined application thresholds.

An administrator can view the state and speed of a popular Internet-based application, such as electronic mail, through the Windows-based interface of Internet Monitor or a Web browser. The tool integrates with enterprise network management systems such as Hewlett-Packard's OpenView and Sun Microsystems Solstice Enterprise Manager.

Views of a user's Internet and intranet connections can be viewed simultaneously so an administrator can correlate the effects of Web-based protocols in both environments.

New version 2.0 features, available in the second quarter, also include the ability to show trends in application usage. Enhancements have been made to the monitoring functionality for HTTP, FTP, NNTP, Pop3, and SMTP for email, Domain Name Service, and Telnet protocols. The software costs $2,500.