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Apparent Networks has released the first in a series of application-specific performance management and monitoring modules. AppView Voice was designed to bring Apparent Networks’ monitoring and management capabilities to specific applications for pre-assessment and continuous monitoring purposes, which will give the company’s channel partners an extra ongoing revenue stream.

The AppView launch follows five months after the launch of the company’s PathView Cloud offering for MSPs. AppView modules are being designed to work in conjunction with PathView Cloud’s network-level performance monitoring and management by offering similar capabilities for application performance.

“What we’re doing is we’re moving forward now and adding what we call AppView on top of PathView,” said Jim Melvin, CEO of Apparent Networks. “It’s a module, so if you buy PathView, you can add on AppView. AppView is a family of application modules, the first of which is voice over IP. What AppView modules allow you to do is use the actual protocols that your applications would be using to exercise the network.”

For instance, AppView Voice can simulate running calls down the wire to see what kind of impact it has on performance, Melvin explained. A customer – or the customer’s trusted advisor – can use AppView Voice to see the impact of running five, 50 or even 100 calls down the wire. It gives them an understanding of what kind of performance to expect when that number of calls is initiated.

“For the partners, this is a big piece of functionality because for the first time, I can fully exercise my network out to remote clients … without ever deploying a single piece of voice gear,” Melvin said.

Customers and channel partners can use AppView to do pre-assessment on a network to get visibility into how the network will impact application performance and vice versa, he said. According to Apparent Networks, AppView can provide precise performance measurements on Layer 4 traffic. When combined with PathView’s Layer 3 performance measurement technology, network managers will be able to more easily identify the source of application performance issues.

Additionally, the module can be used for ongoing application performance measurement, which Melvin said could provide channel partners with an additional revenue stream. Partners could use the module to do remote application performance monitoring and management as an add-on service.

AppView Voice is only the first in what could be dozens of modules, Melvin said. When discussing application performance issues with clients, Melvin said he heard that customers really needed to be able to measure voice first and foremost, followed by other applications like web traffic, video, IP storage, virtual desktop and others.

“In particular, if you’re delivering voice services and you’re not using our technology at least to do pre-assessments, you’re missing out because we have far and away the most efficient pre-assessment capability for voice on the planet,” Melvin said. “The second thing is it creates a secondary business opportunity for continuous monitoring.”

Melvin noted that although all of Apparent Networks’ partners do pre-assessments, only two-thirds of them are doing continuous performance monitoring at this time.

The next module in the series will be AppView Web, which will test performance issues around web applications using standard protocols. Apparent Networks expects to release AppView Web early in the fourth quarter.

Apparent Networks hasn’t laid down a strict release schedule for the modules. Instead, the company will be doing releases based on customer and partner feedback. However, Melvin said the next few modules scheduled for release include AppView Web, as well as modules that will monitor the performance of IP video and storage.

Pricing per individual module will vary from 30 to 60 per cent of the base price of the PathView micro-appliance (which is $50 per site per month). That puts most modules somewhere in the $15-$20 range. PathView customers will get a free 90-day trial of AppView Voice before they have to commit to a subscription contract.

“This is a very aggressively priced service. We are taking advantage of cloud-based economics,” Melvin said.