Fluke Networks has agreed to acquire monitoring vendor Crannog Software, in a bid to reach beyond network managers' tool belts.

Fluke Networks, best known for its OptiView WAN and protocol analysis tools, says the Crannog buy will help it develop its enterprise performance management strategy, in which Fluke aims to track performance of VoIP , WAN and server environments across distributed enterprise networks.

Fluke Networks in 2005 bought Visual Networks as a means to expand its VOIP management and analysis capabilities. Fluke Networks also resold NetQoS technology to offer customers performance management capabilities across network, servers and applications.
Crannog, which competes with NetQoS with its own network monitoring and VoIP management software , will provide Fluke Networks expertise in areas such as Cisco's NetFlow (read our Crannog Netflow Tracker review) and IP SLA features, as well as add IP-FIX management support to Fluke Networks' Network SuperVision products.

"Our customers will be better equipped to manage application, VoIP and network performance across the LAN, WAN and multi-tiered server environments," said Jeff Lime, senior vice president of marketing at Fluke Networks.

Industry watchers agree, saying this acquisition will help Fluke Networks better compete for enterprise IT managers' VOIP and Cisco network management dollars.

"It's a technology buy: NetFlow, IP-SLA and IP-FIX. They're building a management suite to attack the whole VOIP management life cycle," says George Hamilton, director of Yankee Group's Enabling Technologies Enterprise Group. "When you think of Fluke Networks, you think of devices hanging off the belts of pole climbers, but they're building some real credibility on the network management side."

Read also our Fluke Wireless Etherscope and Etherscope reviews.