Network management specialist NetQoS is getting into network behaviour analysis (NBA). The company has added an anomaly detection module to ReporterAnalyser, which is part of its existing NetQoS Performance Centre monitoring software.

NBA technology takes flow data from NetFlow and/or sFlow, and looks for patterns in it. Its aim is to highlight unusual or irregular activity on the network.

However, where a chief focus has so far been on NBA for security, NetQoS will use it in general-purpose network performance monitoring, with security as a side-benefit, said NetQoS marketing VP Steve Harriman.

"We don't intend to enter the security market - security is not our core competence," he said. "There are times when an anomaly will identify a security issue. More often though it'll be a misconfiguration that caused a performance issue. It's part of the convergence between network and security operations."

The addition of anomaly detection takes NetQoS up against a bunch of start-up NBA specialists, such as Arbor Networks, Lancope, Mazu Networks and Q1 Labs.

"I think it will compete with the classic NBA guys, for sure. We're going to take them out," Harriman declared. He added that, rather than take the Cisco route of buying an anomaly detection specialist, NetQoS preferred to develop its own capability.

"A lot of the investment those other companies had to make was in data collection - we'd already done that," he said. "We have all the data, what we needed was the algorithms to apply to it. So we gave the task to our own R&D department, whose goal is to come up with those innovations."

He added that existing NetQoS ReporterAnalyser customers will get the Anomaly Detection module for free; this will be a limited-function version though, with the full version being priced at $20,000 (£10,200).