IP multicast management tool readied

IP multicast management tool readied

Hewlett-Packard is developing systems management software that monitors IP-based multicast data transmissions, providing status monitoring, fault isolation, and related functions.

The product, which will be based on the HP OpenView management system, will provide graphical utilities for working with multicast network transmissions, said HP's Ed Perry, a department scientist at HP Labs, in California. Users will be able to monitor traffic problems and plan for capacity upgrades, Perry said.

"Today, there are no management capabilities for multicast," with the exception of some public-domain utilities that are not easy to work with, Perry said.

Currently in prototype, HP's software is being called mmon, for multicast monitor. No release date was available.

IP multicast technology involves having a system send a single broadcast of data, video, or another type of transmission to multiple locations, thus saving on a computer's workload and bandwidth.

HP's multicast monitoring tool would provide automated topology discovery for multicast routers; ongoing status monitoring; traffic measurement; fault isolation and first-level diagnostics; and support for capacity planning and network tuning.

Although it has been tested with Cisco routers, mmon is designed to function with any IP multicast router that supports emerging Management Information Base standards from the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), Perry said.

The mmon tool will not provide broadcast traffic control, as HP has developed a product called HP OpenView Policy Expert for that function.

A later generation of mmon will add quality of service management, for granular detail on the quality of packet transmissions, according to Perry.

Platform support for mmon is expected on Hewlett-Packard HP-UX, Sun Solaris, Microsoft Windows NT, and Linux systems.

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