MSPs Get Hosted Network Management Option

By Chris Talbot  |  Print this article Print

Known for its direct sales to enterprises, Apparent Networks is now wooing MSPs to its PathView Cloud hosted network performance management service, pitting it against Cisco and a number of smaller players.

pagebreak}The one piece of hardware necessary on the customer's end is small and plug-and-play, Melvin said. The PathView Cloud microAppliance is barely bigger than an iPhone and needs only to be plugged into the network and a power source for the service to become active, he said. It automatically connects back to the cloud and starts doing its job.

“We talk about that as being zero remote administration,” Melvin said.

While not appropriate for very small businesses, Melvin said the PathView Cloud service is ideal for any customer with at least one branch office. Customers will find it useful because the service will monitor network and bandwidth performance to make sure they're getting what they're paying for from service providers (as specified in their service level agreements).

“This is a new level of service [partners] can provide, and lots of their customers are already paying for not only an ongoing monitoring service but a reporting service back to the client,” Melvin said.

Another new feature partners are likely to take a shine to is the VoIP assessment feature. The service can do an automatic pre-assessment to make sure the customer's network can handle voice applications. It provides a report detailing the voice-readiness of all the devices on the network so partners know where the customer will need to make upgrades before VoIP can be deployed. Melvin noted that unified communications and VoIP are two of the biggest revenue drivers for MSPs and VARs today.
“The big thing to the partner is it's a compelling service that's applicable now,” he said.

Other enhancements include expanded data assessment capabilities, Windows 7 and proxy server support, interactive performance charts, customized service quality definitions and intelligent email alerts.

Available now, the new version of PathView Cloud was also designed to be cost-effective. Apparent Networks is offering a five-path version of the service for free, while the price for larger deployments starts at $500 per year.

“It's simple. It's effective. They can make money,” he said.