From The Expert Feature Article
May 15, 2013

Interop Vegas Travelogue: MSP News in Spades, Part 2

Yesterday, you read the first installment in my series of articles outlining my adventures at Interop Las Vegas -- which you can read about by clicking the link. If you want more details on the presence of MSPs at Interop, you can click this link as well. And you can read my final thoughts on this technology event by licking this link. Without further ado, here are more of the standout companies I saw at this year’s show and their MSP plays.

iPass (News - Alert)

Managed Network Services Provider,  iPass Unity Network Services was next on my hit list. This company can design, deploy and manage your WAN and Wi-Fi network from end to end. They are touting the use of broadband to save money on networks by replacing MPLS networks or augmenting them with high speed internet broadband. That way, companies can take advantage of the faster speeds available with substantial savings. The only way to do this is to deal with multiple cable, Ethernet, or fiber providers numbering sometimes in the hundreds and that is where their magic lies.

They can take on the burden and manage all of this for companies, especially those with large geographically disbursed footprints. They also have cloud based monitoring, analytics and executive dashboards to enable customers to have a view directly into their networks. With end-to-end security, proactive ticketing and issue resolution, companies can be assured of their networks being highly reliable and available.

The iPass magic is setting up -usable Wi-Fi networks and creating completely secure and highly available WAN’s.

Whether for guest Wi-Fi or internal employee use, when employees move around, the enterprise can be sure the Wi-Fi is safe, secure and in keeping with corporate communication policies.


A botanist may know the name Ixia (News - Alert) because it is a South American plant. IT and networking folk know it for its network visibility and IP network validation tools.

Most recently Ixia announced ControlTower, an “architecture to help cloud hosting facilities and large enterprise campuses scale and rapidly deploy multiple segments for centralized, intelligent monitoring. Efficient and highly scalable, the ControlTower architecture provides a single user interface for comprehensive monitoring of network performance and security tools housed in dispersed racks or geographic locations,” the company said. 

ControlTower uses Ixia network monitoring switches “which aggregate, filter, load balance and de-duplicate network traffic to intelligently connect data center and cloud provider networks with monitoring tools. This enables network operators to meet rapidly increasing bandwidth demands while retaining critical, packet-level visibility into application performance and security at line rate, all managed via a simple yet powerful central interface,” Ixia explained.

Broadcom (News - Alert)

Broadcom is a far from a managed service provider as you can get. But its chips are part of the majority of MSP arsenals. The $8 billion company used Interop to announce two processors to drive networks and cloud services. According to a TMC (News - Alert) report, the “two new System-on-a-Chip (SoC) processors:

  • StrataGX BCM58525 Series : Aimed at helping small-to-medium-sized business (SMBs) manage SMB cloud-based services such as video conferencing, collaboration and surveillance, while reducing overall system power consumption.
  • StrataGX BCM58522 Series: Designed to optimize 5G Wi-Fi, the latest IEEE (News - Alert) 802.11ac standard, by delivering 10x more processing power with advanced architectural features to enable a secure, application-aware unified wired and wireless enterprise network.”


Next I ran over to see remote access VPN and BYOD vendor NCP, which largely competes with CheckPoint, and today boasts some 45,000 customers.

NCP says its “passion is to develop universally applicable software components that allow for highly secure integration of tele-work places into a central data network.”

The company argues it doesn’t just offer a VPN, but surrounds it with key services including “update service, hotline support, training, workshops and technical support at your office.”


I strolled over to the PathSolutions booth and met with founder Tim Titus, who started the company a decade ago.

The cool thing is Titus was an in-the-trenches network guy for years, and struggled with what were then considered state-of-the-art network performance management tools.

Titus thought there had to be a better way to achieve network visibility, do configuration and try and spot problems before they blow up in your face.

The tool he built from PathSolutions can install and begin monitoring and spotting problems in 12 minutes, Titus says. “Our customers consistently tell us that they have found and fixed more network issues in the first days of deployment than they did the previous year. Our partners use our solutions to perform network assessments and troubleshooting on their customers’ networks and recommend it to their customers,” PathSolutions says.


NetOptics was one of many vendors to use Interop to announce its latest wares. In NetOptics’ case, the networking and applications visibility vendor announced the xStream 40 Network Packet Broker. The packet broker can work across 40G and 10G networks, load balances, time stamps, aggregates and filters.

Quite a group, eh? Come back tomorrow for the next set of innovative and interesting companies!