NetScout has teamed up with Cisco to offer a location-based feature to its Sniffer Global protocol analyser, cutting the cost of troubleshooting within wireless networks said NetScout.

The partnership, one of the first fruits of the recently-launched Cisco Developer Network Programme for Mobility, would enable engineers to fix problems considerably quicker said Steve Shalita, NetScout's vice president of marketing. "Fixing problems in a fixed network is considerably easier as the users don't move around. Wireless, by its very nature, means that locating a problem can be difficult. Most of the time, the issue is down to one device and identifying where that is."

In a large organisation, with many users and thousands of devices, this is not a trivial task said Shalita. "For example," he said, "You could have a situation where there's a network problem within a hospital. Once it's been reported the engineer in the NOC will have to work with several different tools to check various networks and devices: this can easily take several hours. By using Snifffer Global with the Cisco service, the problem could be located in under half an hour."

Shalita said the service worked by using Cisco's open API with the protocol analyser and using triangulation techniques to isolate the problem.

The Sniiffer Global has been available as a standalone product for some months but Shalita said that tying it to a location-based service provided added value. "It's become a management enabler," he said.
The product will be available through both Cisco and NetScout's sales channels. The new release drawing on Cisco's location-fixing facility will be available in a month's time. "It won't cost any extra," said Shalita. "It's been added as an extra."