Omni 4 gets forensic
The latest release of OmniAnalysis from WildPackets majors on network forensics and application analysis, including VoIP, the company says. According to WildPackets' European director Chris Bell, it took a while to develop the ability to analyse data at the same time as capturing and storing it, but Omni version 4 can now do forensic data analysis without needing extra hardware or having to transfer large amounts of captured data over the LAN.

"It's something that's very important right now, not just for tracking security breaches, but also for locating problems - it's also being driven by legislation," Bell said. "Forensics is now part of the standard product. Some people will just use it for ongoing monitoring, others may just be interested in retrospective analysis." The Omni appliance can capture four 1Gig links, storing it either on as much as 4TB of local storage or pushing it out to a SAN.

On the VoIP side, WildPackets has licensed Telchemy's VQMon for call quality measurements, and uses the extended reports (XR) version of RTCP for additional diagnostic information.

Also added in Omni 4 is support for Apdex application performance scoring, Bell said. He added that Apdex scores can be matched against network analysis for troubleshooting.

Observer sees NetFlow, sFlow, Citrix and SANs
Network Instruments says that its Expert Observer software can now collect and analyse NetFlow and sFlow data, as well as information from its own network probes. The company claimed that this will enhance Observer's ability to provide application usage statistics for example, and enable NetFlow data to be analysed for long term trends. It noted that sFlow provides data in areas such as congestion monitoring, audit trail analysis, and usage accounting.

Also added to the latest version of Expert Observer are Citrix support, allowing it to analyse Citrix flows and application response times, Fibre Channel support, and enhanced VoIP analysis capabilities for Avaya and Mitel IP telephony systems. Network Instruments said that the new features will not cost extra - Expert Observer costs £2895 for the software alone.

In a separate announcement, Network Instruments introduced network monitoring appliances for Fibre Channel SANs. Based on its GigaStor hardware and priced from £11,995, the devices can record SAN traffic, decode and analyse Fibre Channel protocols and provide expert advice on connectivity problems.

Admin tools upgraded
Tsarfin Computing has released new versions of its NetInfo and IPmonitor toolkits, both of which are priced at 80 Euro. NetInfo contains 15 tools for admin tasks such as network diagnostics, improving network security and locating spammers and hackers, while IPmonitor allows any networked device to be monitored, giving an alarm if the connection fails.

The company said that new features in NetInfo include the ability to gather much more information than before about current TCP/IP connections, while IPmonitor can now run another application or send recovery data once a failed connection is restored. Both tools also have usability improvements, it claimed, including easier migration to a new PC.