Making better use of bandwidth to improve application performance is the philosophy behind three new products released on the market by three different vendors.

Compuware has upgraded its Vantage application performance management software to report bandwidth consumption by application and user. Vantage software runs on a Windows server, with passive agents on client machines.

The company says Vantage 9.1 can now tell how much bandwidth is being used by critical applications, such as order processing. Network managers can use the information to prioritise applications and re-allocate bandwidth. Vantage monitors application performance across the network by measuring server response times, network latency and bandwidth use.

Compuware competes with Mercury Interactive, which also this year upgraded its tools to more closely monitor application performance. Vantage 9.1 is priced at about US$25,000.

Meanwhile, Pivia Software also plans to tackle bandwidth consumption and network latency. This week it will announce Pivia Performance Server (PPS) 4.0 which can track the portal performance by distinguishing between the integrated applications that make up a portal application. PPS is installed on a Linux server, typically between the Web servers and load balancers in a data centre. If there is no load balancer, the box sits in front of a router and firewall.

The company also has PPS Remote, which can speed up WAN delivery of applications to remote users. The remote edition will boost WAN application performance up to tenfold, the company cliams. To achieve that performance, PPS Remote must be installed on a Linux server at remote locations.

With the remote edition, PPS watches application packets and caches and de-caches them on either side of the connection. The company competes with similar offerings from FineGround Networks, Netscaler and Redline Networks. PPS 4.0 costs from $50,000, and PPS Remote starts at $20,000.

ITWorx, with its NetCelera product line, is another company looking to optimize bandwidth. The company plans to add features to its data compression family to speed up the delivery of data-intensive applications over WANs.

NetCelera, much like products from competitors Expand Networks and Peribit Networks, offers compression, bandwidth and TCP optimisation tools.

In the next few weeks, it plans to add bandwidth management and quality-of-service features to ensure bandwidth not used for high-priority applications will be shared among other applications. The new features will control the maximum bandwidth used per application, essentially enforcing application service-level agreements.

NetCelera also includes server software which lets customers administer, configure and manage multiple appliances via a centralized console. Pricing ranges from $2500 to $45,000, depending on the network.