Network management specialist NetQoS has upgraded its Performance Center product to improve its report handling. NPC 5.0 will offer different views of the network so that operations and help-desk employees would also benefit from the presentation of information.

"We already had a system for engineers but there was a high demand for the product from other users," said John Mao, NetQoS's product manager.

To build on that development, there are three main areas of improvement: the first offers a single, integrated approach to the data: the Application Performance Dashboard which offers an ‘at-a-glance' view of response times per application and site across organisations. The tool also offers real-time information so that managers are totally aware of what's happening on the network at any one time.

Mao said that the company had greatly simplified the approach to presenting data

"We split the information between server issue and network issue. There's red indicator and green indicator; we can drill down for further information , to determine which server could be affected We differ from other planning tools. Other vendors tend to have the opinion that if users can reach a server then it's all right, we look a bit further than that."

The other area of development was the introduction of a new tool for importing NetQoS information into Excel. Mao said that this was an important development for managers.

"Excel is by far the most common tool for delivering reports on networks' performance. Previously, all the data had to imported from scratch to build up the spredsheet. That used to be a time-consuming task but with our new facility, everything is updated automatically," he said.