Increasingly, businesses are moving their voice traffic from the old telephone network to IP networks. However, this application is especially vulnerable to performance variations often found in IP networks. Solarwinds, which has been gaining acceptance by offering companies inexpensive, easy to deploy network performance tools, revamped its IP WAN tool to help companies meet this challenge.The company's new module Orion IP SLA Manager is based on Cisco IP Service Level Agreement (IP SLA) and runs on Solarwinds' Orion Network Performance Monitor (NPM). IP SLA is built into all Cisco routers and designed to capture information about information flows. Piggybacking on top of it, the Solarwinds software collects various VoIP performance statistics, including MOS, jitter, network latency, and packet loss. Users can then use that information to generate reports that identify site-specific or WAN performance problems. In addition, the system automatically discovers and sets up Cisco IP SLA-capable network devices. Pricing for Orion IP SLA Manager pricing starts at $1,499 and requires Orion NPM, which starts at $2,475.
Solarwinds has focused on delivering performance monitoring tools that network technicians can use to improve their companies' network performance. In business since 1998, the vendor has more than 85,000 customers worldwide.
BMC, CA, HP, and IBM have dominated the network and systems management market. These companies have been developing such products for many years and have broad product lines. Solarwinds has been gradually expanding its portfolio. The company went public in May and raised close to $140 million. Some of that money could be used for acquisitions so the company could grow its business. The vendor carved out a viable niche in the performance monitoring area and now would like to broaden it.