Packeteer is launching a management platform that draws data from its own and other vendors' gear to boost the performance of applications over the WAN. The company said this was the first step towards a broader application-performance plan.

IntelligenceCenter, will monitor performance, report on it and supply tools to optimise it. Packeteer said the software goes beyond managing Packeteer PacketShaper, iShaper and iShared appliances; it gathers data from multiple devices to paint a more complete picture of application performance. It can gather data from any Netflow devices and via devices that support SQL and SML.

The information is presented on a single console that also is used for configuring and managing Packeteer gear.

IntelligenceCenter also gathers network performance data that can be used to verify that MPLS services are configured properly and that each application receives the level of service designated for it. Businesses can use the platform to create custom reports on application behaviour.

This fits into a larger plan to create what the company calls a service-assurance environment to address how to continue improving application performance after acceleration technology reaches its limits.

The focus will be on the productivity of users, which will require reporting and management tools that discover user experience of application performance as well as the ability to automatically tweak parameters such as quality of service to improve that experience.

Eventually, these parameters could include turning on more virtual server capacity by boosting processing power and memory available to a particular application so it can better handle shifting demands from users, the company says.

According to Packeteer, that will enable businesses to set policies that define the response time users receive. For instance, the policy might say that users of a particular application will get three second or better response time 99 percent of the time.

This policy would automatically turn the knobs on the underlying parameters that can deliver the policy, such as bandwidth allocation, quality of service, queuing priority, memory and processor capacity, the company says.

As part of this effort, Packeteer plans to introduce next year a software client for individual computers that can optimise protocols - functions previously available to Packeteer customers only via the company's appliances.