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Tool weighs effect of push products

Ganymede Software releases new scripts for to predict how push technologies such as BackWeb and Marimba will affect network traffic.

Addressing a big worry for network managers, Ganymede Software has released new scripts for its Chariot software to predict how push technologies such as BackWeb or Marimba will affect network traffic.

"Rather than having a guessing game, we wanted to provide a tool that definitively would show what would happen on your network if you implemented a push application," said Steve Joyce, Ganymede vice president of marketing. The new scripts are free to customers who own Chariot, Ganymede's software for testing network performance.

Joyce said the new Chariot scripts address push on intranets, for companies that want to push their own information to employees over the corporate network, and on extranets, for manufacturers that want to send pricing or availability data to distributors or customers.

Both intranet and extranet push applications are within the control of a single company, while use of consumer-oriented push applications, like PointCast, are largely for individual users on a corporate network. PointCast now provides server software for networks that serves as a network cache, to help reduce traffic.

"We hear a lot of people say, 'I like the concept [of push], but what's it going to do to my network?'." Joyce added.

The new Chariot scripts let network managers evaluate push's impact on networks before the products are bought and installed. The scripts assess how push products will affect response times for specific applications, measure bandwidth changes as more users get push, and determine the best way to minimize push's impact on network performance.

Chariot is a tool used to measure and analyze the performance of networks ranging from standard dial-up lines to Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM).

Pricing for Chariot, which is used vendors including IBM, Cisco, Bay Networks, and 3Com, begins at $11,000.