3Com launches VoIP network-management tool

Fast-growing businesses that want to add IP telephony to their networks may be interested in 3Com's Network Director product

3Com released details of a network-management application on Tuesday that it claims will help firms to run voice telephony calls over their data networks.

Network Director is aimed at what 3Com calls "emerging enterprises" -- small companies that are enjoying growth and need more sophisticated tools to configure their expanding IT network and monitor its performance.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the networking company said that Network Director offered "network topology-aware configuration, detailed performance reports, RMON remote management support, and historical reporting".

Together, these features are 3Com's attempt to help firms run voice-over-IP within their organisation, according to Richard Quine, product line manager for network management at 3Com.

"IT managers may not be aware how their network will behave with voice traffic running over it. This product will monitor the network, and pinpoint and isolate problems," said Quine.

Quine added that Network Director can identify which IP phones will suffer from impending network problems -- which he said allows IT managers be more proactive.

Network Director will cope with between 750 and 5,000 network nodes. According to Quine, it doesn't matter whether the network uses 3Com, Cisco or HP equipment, or a combination of all three, but the "higher value" network management features will work better on 3Com kit.

Network Director will go on sale in the UK costing £1,900. Customers who have already bought the latest version of 3Com's entry-level Network Supervisor product pay only £1,400.