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Is the latest cat video that’s gone viral on YouTube clogging your
customer’s network? Got more than a few employees listening to their own
private radio stations on Pandora? A new survey of managed service providers
reveals that more than half of them spend 13 percent of their time
troubleshooting sluggish networks—sluggishness that can be caused by employee
use of these high-bandwidth Internet applications.

The survey, released by PacketTrap Networks, a network traffic analysis
software vendor, identifies the top five pain points for managed service

The top problem? Lack of visibility into network traffic. A full 75 percent of
the 258 managed service providers who responded to the e-mail survey said that
they need better granular traffic analysis software, according to the company.

Other top pain points included the following, in ranked order:

2. moving assets to the cloud
3. too many applications to manage
4. managing/monitoring laptop fleets
5. server management

PacketTrap, which has sold its network troubleshooting software to enterprise
IT organizations for the last three years, is now looking to broaden its
markets and has created a product designed for managed service providers.

Released about five months ago, PacketTrap for MSPs manages traffic and
bandwidth from multiple network sources, including MSP NOCs (network operation
centers), Amazon’s or other public clouds, or onsite, PacketTrap CEO
Steve Goodman tells Channel Insider.

And PacketTrap is not the only vendor going after this growing market.

WAN optimization vendor Blue Coat, which last year acquired PacketShaper from
Packeteer, is also pursuing the network analysis and optimization over the WAN
market with a 100 percent channel, two-tier program sold into larger enterprises.

The company recently rolled out a new version of its product, PacketShaper 8.5,
which focuses on the visibility of the application delivery network, executives
at the company tell Channel Insider.

Blue Coat combined its own channel program with Packeteer’s program in
December, creating the Advantage Program for channel partners. Blue Coat is
putting much of its investment in the new program around deal registration,
offering a 20 percent deal registration discount plus a 20 percent up-front
discount. The company offers three classes for partners: Authorized, Premier
and Elite.

The product supports VMware’s virtual desktop initiative, and Blue Coat has
invested in wrapping all the functionality into a single integrated workspace
where customers can see everything going on in the network and take corrective
action through integrated policies.

For example, customers can set a policy that limits the amount of bandwidth
dedicated to a particular link, and then they can see the effect that policy
has on the rest of network traffic. Jim Harold, vice president of
worldwide channel sales for Blue Coat, points to one customer in Africa
who discovered that 70 percent of this network traffic was going to Facebook.

To help support the channel, Blue Coat is offering a program called Blue Box, a
low-cost demonstration model that allows them to leave the product with the
customer. Partners are also trained on network assessment.

As for PacketTrap’s MSP product, CEO Goodman
says that the MSP portion of the business is growing faster than the enterprise

“Our growth business is the MSP business,” says Goodman. “Hundreds of partners
are signed up with us, and we’ve only released five months ago.”

PacketTrap supports virtualization, remote control, patch management, help desk
and ticketing. Plus they get a real-time dashboard into customer traffic.

PacketTrap offers its downloadable software to MSPs that can be installed at
their NOCs. MSPs can then install an agent or many agents at each customer

The technology is also available in a pure-play SAAS (software as a service)
model, allowing MSPs to monitor customer networks from the PacketTrap NOC.
The price of both models is essentially the same to MSPs.

SAAS partners pay on a monthly basis, and there is no upfront cost or
cancellation fee. An average channel partner using the SAAS service or using
the downloaded version pays about $1,000 month, says Goodman, but some pay much