NICTA develops tool belt for telco network woes

NICTA is developing two new products to expand the telco industry's high-speed network monitoring capabilities.

National ICT Australia (NICTA) released details yesterday of two diagnostic products it is currently developing to allow telcos to identify high-speed network faults.

The tools are being developed as part of NICTA's Managing and Monitoring the Internet (MAMI) project.

MAMI project leader Trevor Anderson said that as high-speed networks have become more powerful, "a lot of monitoring techniques out there simply aren't adequate anymore."

As a result, telecommunications carriers face network disruptions and upset customers. NICTA is now in its third year of developing a set of tools to combat these problems and enhance the performance of high-speed optical networks.

"The only information available to carriers at the moment is that there is a problem in the network, but nothing about what the problem is, or where in the network it's occurring," said David Wright, NICTA's business development director.

"It can be very expensive for carriers to fix these problems, both time wise and in dollar figures," Wright added. "The worst case scenario for carriers would be that links go down, which can lead to a lot of unhappy customers."

"Our tools are designed to pinpoint where problems are in a network and what's causing them," he said, adding that "you can't build a system around the way it was working 10 years ago, so the products will also give users the chance to examine their networks over time."

NICTA's announcement was prompted by one of the tools nearing completion -- the optical signal to noise ratio (OSNR) monitor. Anderson told ZDNet Australia that the OSNR monitor is almost ready to license and that NICTA would "prefer to have it out by the first half of next year."

NICTA has not confirmed any licensing deals yet but according to Anderson the organisation has "spoken to a large cross section of buyers."

"The process we're going through at the moment is selecting the partners who we want to take the product to market," Wright added.