CenturyLink increases network connectivity options for global data centre customers

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CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL) has announced it has significantly increased the number of network carriers available for interconnections across its data center portfolio. CenturyLink customers now have access to 99 different carriers and network providers across the company’s 58 data centres throughout North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. CenturyLink offers an average of seven network carrier connections at each data centre, and some facilities offer more than 20 unique providers.

The expanded connectivity options enable companies to stay better connected with their customers in today’s “data-centric” environment. CenturyLink’s growing Interconnection Ecosystem facilitates secure, reliable data centre connectivity by offering hosting and colocation customers direct, low-latency connectivity to a broad array of ecosystems beyond the walls of the data centres. Robust connectivity options provide access to ISVs, content-delivery networks, financial matching engines, carrier hotels and on-net access to more than 260 data centre facilities.

“In today’s increasingly digital world, businesses, government agencies and consumers alike face drastically increased needs for connectivity,” said David Meredith, senior vice president, global data centres, CenturyLink. “In order to meet this steep demand, organisations must take a hybrid IT approach and maximise the value of their IT assets. By accessing several different data centre carriers, CenturyLink customers are better positioned to deliver reliable and secure connections for their clients.”

“As the fast-evolving digital economy accelerates the market need for agile and secure IT infrastructure environments, organisations are leveraging colocation providers to extend their IT footprints in facilities with reliable and performance-optimised network interconnection ecosystems,” said Melanie Posey, Research Vice President at IDC. “The digital economy is geographically dispersed; therefore, IDC sees a long-term need for distributed IT environments and diverse, interconnected networks.”

The increase in carrier connections follows an announcement made earlier this year by CenturyLink about the expansion of its global data centre footprint, new facility certifications and leading-edge innovations for hosting services. Visit http://www.centurylink.com/business/enterprise/colocation/interconnection.html for more information regarding CenturyLink’s data centre network and interconnection options.

 About CenturyLink

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) is a global communications, hosting, cloud and IT services company enabling millions of customers to transform their businesses and their lives through innovative technology solutions. CenturyLink offers network and data systems management, Big Data analytics and IT consulting, and operates more than 55 data centers in North America, Europe and Asia. The company provides broadband, voice, video, data and managed services over a robust 250,000-route-mile U.S. fibre network and a 300,000-route-mile international transport network. Visit CenturyLink for more information.

Fluke Networks introduces “AANPM for Dummies,” a how-to guide for an integrated approach to network and application performance management

Fluke NetworksNovember 10, 2014 – When an organisation’s network slows down, or fails completely, irate end users don’t care where the problem resides; they just want it fixed. The increasing complexity and interdependencies of today’s IT environments have given rise to a more integrated approach to network and application performance monitoring called Application-Aware Network Performance Management (AANPM). To help IT professionals understand how best to implement and use AANPM, Fluke Networks has launched a new guidebook, called AANPM for Dummies. Written specifically for network engineers, IT directors and CTOs, this downloadable eBook introduces the latest advances in network and application monitoring in six easy-to-read chapters. AANPM for Dummies removes the mystery surrounding AANPM.

Traditional network troubleshooting can be a time-consuming, frustrating process that adversely affects the end user experience, and ultimately the bottom line. AANPM offers engineers a more accurate and pinpointed view of both the network and applications, which reduces time spent debating where an issue originated.

The eBookexplains how AANPM provides clarity and in-depth analysis of the relationships between a network and the applications running on it. Focused on end-user benefits, the book walks through the various unintended challenges created by traditional network management systems and outlines how the growing complexity of networks and the rising demands from end users require a more holistic monitoring approach. It also describes the building blocks needed for successful AANPM and provides several lessons Fluke Networks has learned from hundreds of AANPM implementations.

Doug Roberts, director of Enterprise Products at Fluke Networks commented, “This eBook is ideal for network engineers, IT managers or anyone who cares about delivering the best possible experience to their end users. While we wanted the book to describe the finer points of AANPM, we also didn’t want to over-complicate it. We are very pleased with the final result and look forward to learning what our customers and prospects think of it.”

“The strength and reach of the globally recognised ‘For Dummies’ brand helps its clients speak to their customers across the world and spread their message in a variety of formats and translations,” added Steven Edwards, Development Editor at Wiley Content Management, publishers of the ‘For Dummies’ series.

“Written in an easy-going, conversational style, For Dummies books take the mystery out of complex subjects and make them understandable and engaging. For Dummies are proud to have produced Application-Aware Network Performance Management for Dummies in association with Fluke Networks and are confident this book will prove useful to anyone involved with application and network performance management.”

AANPM for Dummies is available now for immediate download at http://www.flukenetworks.com/AANPM-for-Dummies.

To learn more about AANPM, visit Fluke Networks’ resource centre here.

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About Fluke Networks

Fluke Networks is the world-leading provider of network test and monitoring solutions to speed the deployment and improve the performance of networks and applications. Leading enterprises and service providers trust Fluke Networks’ products and expertise to help solve today’s toughest issues and emerging challenges in WLAN security, mobility, unified communications and data centres. Based in Everett, Wash., the company distributes products in more than 50 countries. For more information, visit www.FlukeNetworks.

For additional information and updates, follow Fluke Networks on social media.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FlukeNetENT

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/flukenetworks

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/fluke-networks

Fluke Networks bridges the ever-widening application and network performance visibility gap with an integrated solution

TruView_XG-Final-SMApril 3, 2014Fluke Networks has announced that Visual TruView™, its award-winning Application-Aware Network Performance Management solution (AANPM), and the OptiView XG™, its flagship network analysis tablet, have been integrated to provide the industry’s first AANPM solution capable of analysing an enterprise’s entire network infrastructure—including wired and wireless, application performance and device interconnectivity, and in-depth path analysis all the way to an end user’s specific device.

Instead of the typical back-and-forth checking of separate tools with multiple user interfaces and sign-ons to find and resolve problems, network engineers now have a unified view of wired and wireless performance across the entire organisation, including remote sites and applications delivered across cloud, carrier and enterprise networks. Using Visual TruView, not only can they quickly identify if a problem exists, they can also isolate where in the path of delivery the problem may be hiding and effectively troubleshoot it, no matter where it occurs.

Today’s IT has increasingly shifted toward application-centric, service-oriented operations, and the need for application awareness within performance monitoring and management technologies has skyrocketed as a result. End user expectations have also risen sharply in line with their use of smart devices, mobile applications and streaming media. While end users may blame “the network” for any difficulties they encounter, the actual problem may reside elsewhere. Fluke Networks introduced its original AANPM solution, Visual TruView, in 2013 to help IT teams find and resolve performance problems regardless of where in the delivery path they arise.

By extending Visual TruView’s capabilities via tight integration with OptiView XG, Fluke Networks is leveraging its proven capabilities in network analysis and troubleshooting to provide greater visibility into remote network connectivity and the health of all components in the application/service delivery path. This approach effectively expands the traditional definition of AANPM.

“The new solution from Fluke Networks brings two advanced, best-in-class products together to address the challenge of truly effective end-to-end AANPM visibility,” said Jim Frey, vice president at Enterprise Management Associates.  “Organisations who embrace this newly combined solution stand to gain substantial benefits in terms of increased operations effectiveness, shorter Mean Time to Repair, and improved ROI on their network management tools investments.”

Typically deployed in the datacentre, Visual TruView can be installed as a standalone appliance or as part of a multi-appliance distributed configuration, while OptiView XG can be deployed as an endpoint at remote sites or in a centralised location. This deployment flexibility is particularly useful now that the two appliances are integrated. Depending on the problem they are trying to solve, network engineers can take the OptiView XG to virtually anywhere and have it share data with Visual TruView, which streamlines troubleshooting application performance and end-user experience issues. This means that—for the first time—organisations now have fully centralised AANPM visibility with detailed local visibility across both wired and wireless networks.

An added benefit of TruView’s flexible deployment is its ability to grow with the enterprise. While a mid-sized organisation may need only one TruView appliance, it can easily add more units to adapt to changing network requirements.

Visual TruView has been recognised as a best-in-class solution and was recently awarded a “Leader” standing in Gartner’s inaugural Magic Quadrant for Network Performance Monitoring and Diagnostics (AANPM is also known as NPMD). TruView was ranked as the best Hybrid AANPM solution and Value Leader by Enterprise Management Associates and has received numerous other industry awards.

“Visual TruView is the first solution of its kind, delivering complete application and network performance management in a truly unified way,” said Daryle DeBalski, vice president and general manager of the Fluke Networks Visual business unit. “When end users are frustrated by application performance or other IT resources not performing as expected, IT has to have an answer—and fast. By integrating Visual TruView with OptiView XG, Fluke Networks is helping network engineering and operations pros shift how they solve performance problems away from finger-pointing and toward more effective collaboration.”

For more information about Visual TruView, please click here.

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About Fluke Networks
Fluke Networks is the world-leading provider of network test and monitoring solutions to speed the deployment and improve the performance of networks and applications. Leading enterprises and service providers trust Fluke Networks’ products and expertise to help solve today’s toughest issues and emerging challenges in WLAN security, mobility, unified communications and data centres. Based in Everett, Wash., the company distributes products in more than 50 countries. For more information, visit www.flukenetworks.com.

For additional information, promotions and updates, follow Fluke Networks on Twitter @FlukeNetVISUAL, on Facebook, or on the LinkedIn Company or Group page.

Fluke Networks positioned in the Leaders Quadrant in Gartner’s 2014 Magic Quadrant for Network Performance Monitoring and Diagnostics

Fluke NetworksMarch 17, 2014Fluke Networks, a world-leading provider of network monitoring and test solutions, has announced Gartner, Inc. has positioned the company’s Visual TruView™ solution in the Leaders quadrant of the “Network Performance Monitoring and Diagnostics (NPMD)” report.*

The report, which is the first Magic Quadrant from Gartner on the Network Performance Monitoring and Diagnostics (NPMD) market, foreshadows growth in this emerging technology market. It emphasises the need for a single integrated solution to monitor, troubleshoot and analyse networks and—even more important—the applications and services they carry.

Market analysis conducted by Gartner noted the growing interest in the NPMD market, also referred to as Application-aware Network Performance Management (AANPM). Increasingly, companies are realising how essential it is to understand their customers’ and end users’ experience with their networks and applications. They recognise the need to proactively monitor their networks’ performance and quickly react to troubleshoot and repair outages and degradations that affect the experience of users and customers. Real-time performance, historical performance and predictive behaviour capabilities were among the criteria in the quadrant, as were flow-based data and network packet analysis.

“Gartner’s decision to develop the NPMD report highlights the growing importance of this market and emphasises just how vital network and application performance management is to helping enterprises achieve their business goals,” said Daryle DeBalski, vice president and general manager of the Fluke Networks Visual business unit. “As one of the leading NPMD solutions, Visual TruView helps IT professionals redefine their ability to deliver first-rate network and application experience to end users and customers by empowering teams to collaborate across domains and focus on service, rather than defending their turf.”

A recent survey of network professionals conducted by Fluke Networks** indicated that more than half do not have the tools they need to quickly and accurately identify issues with VoIP, applications and other network performance issues. Fluke Networks’ offering in the NPMD space – Visual TruView – is a unified AANPM solution that incorporates five tools in one, including real-time user experience monitoring, packet stream-to-disk, NetFlow/IPFIX collection, device health, and VoIP QoS. TruView enables network engineers to gather data from multiple sources, providing both a wide breadth of visibility and the detailed forensic data required to solve the toughest problems.

TruView was also designed with ease of use and ultimate value in mind. From deployment and day-to-day use to expansion, TruView is regarded as one of the best values in the industry. When combined with other offerings in the Fluke Networks portfolio, TruView provides unique capabilities; for example, by using OptiView XG as an endpoint, Visual TruView can extend into the access network to solve Wi-Fi issues and other site-based concerns.

To read a complementary version of the Gartner, Inc. “2014 Magic Quadrant for Network Performance Monitoring and Diagnostics,” visit www.flukenetworks.com/gartner.

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About the Magic Quadrant
Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organisation and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

About Fluke Networks
Fluke Networks is the world-leading provider of network test and monitoring solutions to speed the deployment and improve the performance of networks and applications. Leading enterprises and service providers trust Fluke Networks’ products and expertise to help solve today’s toughest issues and emerging challenges in WLAN security, mobility, unified communications and data centres. Based in Everett, Wash., the company distributes products in more than 50 countries. For more information, visit http://www.FlukeNetworks.com.

For additional information, promotions and updates, follow Fluke Networks on Twitter @FlukeNetVisual, on Facebook, or on the LinkedIn Company or Group page.

*Gartner, Inc. “Magic Quadrant for Network Performance Monitoring and Diagnostics” by Jonah Kowell, Vivek Bhalla and Colin Fletcher, March 6, 2014

**Fluke Networks Market Research, 2013

Four network BYOD impacts every organisation should be aware of

Fluke NetworksJuly 30, 2013 – Businesses have much to gain by embracing the bring-your-own device (BYOD) trend. While most organisations are already moving in this direction, many have yet to fully understand and address the multitude of effects that BYOD has on enterprise WLAN performance, security and compliance. Fluke Networks shares four network BYOD impacts every organisation should be aware of when monitoring the corporate network.

IT initiatives to tackle BYOD challenges often focus on mobile device and data management. Those measures can be critical for successful BYOD adoption. For example, using a mobile device manager to provision secure WLAN settings and remove them after device loss, theft, or retirement. However, these do not fully address the many ways in which BYOD affects corporate networks.

Chris Taylor, Regional Sales Director – Asia Pacific – HATA Region, said, “Today’s BYOD challenge is to find effective methods and tools to discover smart devices used in the workplace, assess their impact on the corporate network, reduce unwanted side-effects and facilitate trouble-free business-appropriate use.”

Four network BYOD impacts every organisation should be aware of

1. Unplanned devices compete for scarce airtime and drain WLAN capacity. Network planners have traditionally designed for the capacity required by corporate assets such as the number of IT-procured laptops. However, the number of smart devices carried by each individual continues to grow, surging in unpredictable ways. When employees return to work after a holiday with new BYO smartphones and tablets, capacity planning assumptions can be quickly blown out. Not only does competition for shared channels grow, but Wi-Fi chipsets in consumer electronics differ.

2. BYODs behave in unexpected ways, degrading overall performance. When IT departments select a smart device, network planners can first verify interoperability and isolate constraints like unsupported Wi-Fi data rates or modes that cause some clients to use more airtime. However, IT has little control over BYOD selection. Most BYODs are less robust consumer-grade devices. For example, although iPads support 5 GHz, they aggressively prefer 2.4 GHz, which can lead to unexpected starvation of Wi-Fi phones and other single-band devices sharing limited 2.4 GHz channels. Android tablet and smartphone Wi-Fi behaviours are even more varied.

3. BYODs may operate insecurely, jeopardising corporate assets. Today, virtually all Wi-Fi-certified smart devices, including BYODs, are capable of supporting WPA2-Enterprise security. However, corporate WLANs secured with WPA2-Enterprise are sometimes off-limits to unapproved BYODs that aren’t enrolled in directories or issued certificates for 802.1X authentication. These unapproved BYODs may then resort to using open guest WLANs where they expose traffic to eavesdropping and various man-in-the-middle attacks. When IT does not monitor BYOD activity, such exposures go undetected.

4. Even approved BYODs can be difficult or costly to troubleshoot. Consumer-grade smart devices often lack remote diagnostic interfaces and tools for help desks to investigate and resolve problems. For example, remote control agents supported on laptops and Windows phones are unavailable for iPhones and iPads due to Apple iOS restrictions. While some Android original equipment manufacturers (OEM) offer proprietary extensions for logging and diagnostics, the vast majority of Android BYODs support very limited administrative application programming interfaces (API) that don’t help IT troubleshoot remotely. As a result, malfunctioning BYODs often remain a mystery, sapping WLAN performance indefinitely. Further, BYODs have grown so numerous that IT departments may not have sufficient staff to troubleshoot them.

Taylor said, “Ignoring the BYOD impact on corporate networks can degrade business efficiency and increase operating costs. Until organisations acknowledge and address these challenges, they can’t harness the business benefits such as using BYOD to reduce monthly telecom spend and liability for personal use of corporate phones.”

-ENDS-

About Fluke Networks
Fluke Networks is the world-leading provider of network test and monitoring solutions to speed the deployment and improve the performance of networks and applications. Leading enterprises and service providers trust Fluke Networks’ products and expertise to help solve today’s toughest issues and emerging challenges in WLAN security, mobility, unified communications and data centres. Based in Everett, Wash., the company distributes products in more than 50 countries. For more information, visit www.flukenetworks.com.

New visualisation capability on Fluke Networks OptiView XG Tablet gives network engineers an instant view

Fluke NetworksOctober 17, 2012Fluke Networks has announced a new version of the OptiView® XG v9 network analysis tablet. It provides network professionals with an intuitive, graphical view of network infrastructure to help speed up root cause identification and resolve issues fast. With two thirds of network engineers troubleshooting unfamiliar infrastructure*, the new Network Navigator capability reduces the time it takes to understand network issues by instantly and simply displaying network topology and problems.

The new version of OptiView XG also includes new in-line testing that eliminates the need for an external tap or span port when observing conversations between client and application servers. This delivers fast and exact insights into real time traffic flows, and visibility into client/server conversations without the need for packet capture and port spanning. If detailed packet analysis is required, the in-line function captures all full line-rate speed, assuring complete analysis. In addition, the product’s existing network virtualisation feature has been enhanced, increasing visibility into new virtualised architecture, which improves workflow in data centre environments.

“Having a clear view of who is plugged into what in the network is a constant challenge,” said Tony Fortunato, senior network performance specialist at The Technology Firm, a network design, implementation and troubleshooting consultancy. “Prior to OptiView XG v9, we had to mentally visualise connections, which made the discovery process more complicated. Now we simply click and the Network Navigator draws a line to the server or other device which allows us to logically and physically follow the connections and drill down further for additional details. It essentially allows us to start troubleshooting during the discovery phase, which dramatically accelerates our ability to fix problems and reduces troubleshooting time by at least 50 per cent.”

For more information about uncovering hidden network problems, please contact Fluke Australia at sales@fluke.com.au.

* According to Fluke Networks market research.

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About Fluke Networks
Fluke Networks is the world-leading provider of network test and monitoring solutions to speed the deployment and improve the performance of networks and applications. Leading enterprises and service providers trust Fluke Networks’ products and expertise to help solve today’s toughest issues and emerging challenges in WLAN security, mobility, unified communications and datacentres. Based in Everett, Wash., the company distributes products in more than 50 countries. For more information, visit www.flukenetworks.com.

Fluke Networks’ Network Time Machine version 8 accelerates problem solving

51029-hi-NetworkTimeMachineJuly 13, 2011Fluke Networks has announced a new version of its leading Network Time Machine™, with new capabilities that make it the first* all-in-one, plug-and-play appliance that provides both instant identification of network versus server problems and root cause analysis of network and application problems.
 
The new features in version 8 incorporate the Fluke Networks’ proprietary visual fault domain isolation technology that graphically identifies where problems exist, while continuing to provide 100 per cent stream-to-disk capabilities with deep packet inspection at rates greater than 10 Gbps for more detailed analysis in a single appliance.

Wayne Allen, program manager, Fluke Networks, said, “The number one question network professionals tell Fluke Networks they need answered in troubleshooting scenarios is whether the issue is with the server or the network.

“Version 8 takes the Network Time Machine platform’s performance to the next level by answering this question in a fraction of the time, and by doing so in the form of a single, simple appliance that does not require multiple servers, complex deployment scenarios and continuous configuration and maintenance.”

In addition to instantly identifying server versus network problems, the new user interface features user-configurable dashboards that automatically identify and display key performance metrics with instant drill-down capability into root cause analysis.

The software, a free upgrade for existing customers with an active support agreement, is available immediately.

Network Time Machine features
* ClearSight™ Analyser, with application-centric analysis that automatically analyses application flows and can drill down to identify the root cause issues.
* Quality of Service (QoS) metrics, statistics and trending charts of application and flow level for buffered and historical data.
* Real-time video/voice over IP metrics and troubleshooting for enterprise networks.
* Independently certified performance in excess of 10 Gbps.
* Portable and rack mount versions.

For more information, please visit www.flukenetworks.com/ntminfo.

-ENDS-

About Fluke Networks
Fluke Networks provides innovative solutions for network installation, monitoring and analysis within global enterprises and carriers. The company’s comprehensive line of solutions provides network installers, owners, and maintainers with superior vision, combining speed, accuracy and ease of use to optimise network performance. Headquartered in Everett, Washington, the company distributes its products in more than 50 countries. More information can be found by visiting www.flukenetworks.com/au.

* Based on Fluke Networks’ market research of current network recorder solutions for enterprise network performance analysis.