News

Network Instruments Ships Observer 8.1

New version adds wireless support.

Network Instruments (http://www.networkinstruments.com) is shipping version 8.1 of its network management and troubleshooting tool Observer. The new version, free to all users of version 8.0, adds wireless support across the product line. Observer has always offered strong tools for capture and analysis of raw network traffic across all levels of the OSI model (Expert Observer adds expert analysis features to the base package, and Observer Suite includes SNMP management capabilities). The new version extends these tools from the wired LAN into the wireless arena.

Because Observer supports remote probes, adding wireless to your protocol analysis work is easy. Just equip any PC with a wireless LAN card, install the probe, and add it to the Observer console. You'll get packet capture and decode of all the traffic between wireless devices and the wired LAN, as well as directly between wireless devices. More important, you'll get a wealth of useful information. This includes signal and noise statistics, long-term trend analyses, and error reports. Perhaps most important, by listening to all of the wireless traffic Observer can offer powerful security and intrusion detection facilities. Observer will detect "rogue" wireless cards and access points, which can be anything from an unauthorized departmental installation to an intruder actively trying to gain access to your LAN. It will also analyze the use of WEP (Wireless Encryption Protocol) to make sure that your wireless network complies with best practices for encrypting traffic.

A sequence of failed logons, indicative of someone trying to gain brute-force entry, will also alert administrators to take preventative measures. The Observer product line includes the base Observer product at $995, Expert Observer at $2,895, and the Observer Suite at $3,995. The company also offers a hardware version capable of wire-speed full-duplex gigabit analysis for $17,995.

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To showcase your products in MCPmag.com, send e-mail to: mailto:[email protected], with "MCPmag News" on the subject line of your message. Publication of submissions are at the sole discretion of the editors.

About the Author

Mike Gunderloy, MCSE, MCSD, MCDBA, is a former MCP columnist and the author of numerous development books.

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