Review: PathSolutions solves the network monitoring maze

PathSolutions' TotalView provides a path-oriented view into network problems and acts as a superb companion to your traditional network monitoring system

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TotalView also keeps tabs on PoE (Power over Ethernet) issues. Just because a switch supports power over Ethernet doesn't mean that its power supply can support full-power PoE on all of its ports. You must read the fine print on how many watts a switch can put out as PoE and how many ports can output PoE simultaneously. You also need to keep track of which ports are in low-power PoE mode and which are in high-power PoE mode.

If your traditional network monitoring system even supports the PoE MiB, it's highly unlikely it will tell you anything other than whether or not you have an overload condition. When you drill down on individual switches with PoE support, TotalView gives you the details on just how much power each port is using (view screen image). That means you can know how close to the limits you are before you add that new PoE VoIP phone to the CFO's desk.

For every superimportant videoconference or VoIP call, it seems there's always one misconfigured switch dragging the whole link into the crapper. Latency is merely one issue. It's possible the network suffers from some kind of bottleneck -- like when a four-lane freeway tapers into a two-lane country road. If only you could do something like a traceroute, but gathering statistics on the links instead of statistics on the devices ...

Guess what? TotalView lets you do that -- a "super traceroute" that shows how each link in the path has performed over time and highlights potential problems in red potential. When your CFO tells you he had a bad VoIP call last night, you can go back in time to see what else was happening that could have caused the problem.

TotalView Call Path
TotalView's "super traceroute" does a Layer 1, Layer 2, and Layer 3 mapping between any two IP addresses and discloses the historical utilization and 18 error counters for every device along the path. (Click the screen for the complete, long-scrolling view.)
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