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Nyansa adds app monitoring to network traffic analytics

Nyansa has widened the capabilities of its network traffic analytics system with the addition of application monitoring. The latest capabilities are packaged as Voyance+.

Nyansa Inc. has broadened its network monitoring system with metrics related to application performance, giving managers a better understanding of problems experienced by network users.

Nyansa introduced this week the latest capabilities to Voyance, a campus and enterprise-grade network traffic analytics system that the company contends can diagnose performance issues across wired and wireless networks. The new features, called Voyance+, are sold as an addition to the core product.

The Voyance system uses deep packet inspection (DPI) to collect data on every transaction and then sends the information to Nyansa's cloud-based analytics for review. The system uses a software crawler -- installed on a dedicated server or virtual machine -- to grab network traffic passing through switches and WLAN controllers.

Voyance transmits results, including remediation recommendations when abnormalities occur, back to IT staff through a graphical user display. Nyansa customers have reported that the vendor's tools provide a level of automation that exceeds that of traditional networking vendors, such as Cisco and Aruba, a WLAN company owned by Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

Why Voyance+ for network traffic analytics

Voyance+ adds to the mix application behavior that could impact people on the network. The system can monitor the performance of in-house business applications, software running in the cloud and unified communications systems, such Cisco Unified Communications Manager (UCM) and Microsoft Skype for Business.

Nyansa draws data from applications via their application programming interfaces (APIs). Skype and Cisco UCM, for example, provide APIs that deliver performance metrics on audio and video calls.

The data collected and analyzed can help IT staff, for instance, find a DNS server that's responding slowly or pinpoint a building location where a group of people is having trouble with Skype calls, said Nyansa CEO Abe Ankumah. Other helpful intelligence could include identifying the operating systems, devices and bandwidth usage of a group of employees having trouble with an application.

IT analytics is an immature technology so how it will evolve is not clear. Nevertheless, companies are interested in what vendors like Nyansa are offering because the products could replace having people manually monitor networks. The need to reduce labor costs is the result of less spending on IT operations as network demand grows.

"How much money does IT operations groups get these days? Not as much as they use to," said Craig Mathias, an analyst at Farpoint Group, based in Ashland, Mass. "Who's building a network operations center? Nobody."

Nyansa customers include Uber, Netflix and Tesla Motors. The company recently signed retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which is using Nyansa network traffic analytics to monitor the performance of Walmart Pay, a Nyansa spokesman said. Wal-Mart customers use the mobile app to pay for purchases using their smartphones.

Network monitoring with Voyance starts at roughly $10,000 a year. Adding Voyance+ capabilities costs around $6,000 a year, Ankumah said.

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