VisionTV puts faith in network monitoring software

VisionTV, a Canadian cable television network focusing on multi-faith and multicultural programming, has chosen technology offered by Pathway Communications to manage

its other network.

NetPulse is network management software available in both enterprise and ISP versions and is designed to hit multiple network pain points with a single solution, according to Pathway’s Toronto-based vice-president of business development, Ted Cushing.

“”It was developed originally to deal with Pathway’s 14,000 customers as well as our own network. When we were developing it we sat down with a white board and thought about all of the things we needed and built it all into one integrated system,”” he said.

The enterprise version of NetPulse includes network monitoring capabilities, user monitoring, an alarm system, trouble-ticketing, intrusion detection alarms, network usage reports, provisioning, logs and reports and customer service.

“”There’s no need to switch back and forth between point solutions when it’s all integrated into one package,”” Cushing said.

Mark Prasuhn, VisionTV’s chief operating officer, said that the integration aspect was part of the appeal when deciding upon a solution.

“”They came forward with the notion of automating the help desk and related functions, which was of interest to us. We’ve been delighted with the service levels and the uptime,”” Prasuhn said.

One of NetPulse’s new features is a software intrusion detection system, which can be accessed either as a service or as a part of the software. It allows Pathway Communications to send customers updates to the software with the signatures of any new external vulnerabilities.

According to Prasuhn, NetPulse may play a future role is in better enabling the station’s disparate systems to communicate with each other. This is possible because Pathway Communications will help to customize the software to fit the company’s changing needs, he said.

“”So much software out there promises the moon and under-delivers in a corporate environment, and this is refreshingly different,”” Prasuhn said.

The software’s interface is Web-based with what Cushing described as a “”Windows-based look,”” so anyone with Internet access and the right authority can get in and look at what’s going on with the software. Once in the program, any nodes on the network can be monitored, and information about traffic and what’s happening with the various servers can be learned.

“”We sell it as an appliance. It’s an Intel-based platform that we load the software onto and then it’s just added to the customer’s network as a node. It’s a pretty low requirement in terms of hardware,”” Cushing said.

According to Prasuhn, the addition of the tool to the network was seamless in terms of installation, which was vital. Des

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