Skip navigation
Skip navigation
You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser.

Phoenix Datacom, the UK specialist supplier of network performance products, has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Packet Design Inc., the US based leader in the emerging field of “Route Analytics”.

Phoenix Datacom will distribute Packet Design's Route Explorer to enterprises and service providers in the UK and Irish markets. Route Explorer is a route analytics tool that looks into the IP network "cloud," gathering, displaying and analyzing routing-path information to enable earlier detection and faster resolution of IP problems.

Route Explorer is the first in a new breed of products that provide real-time reporting of complex router behaviour and problems by analysis of the “control plane” traffic between routers instead of relying on retrieving and analysing information from the router devices themselves.

“In complex networks, router misconfiguration or undesirable or unexpected routing is the real issue, not device reliability,” says Tony Smith, Phoenix Datacom Marketing Manager, “Route Explorer provides immediate visibility of problems such as unstable routes and other anomalies, undetectable by SNMP-based management tools because they are not device-specific problems. In addition, problems are picked up much quicker because there is no polling cycle - the Route Analytics device, essentially a passive router, is always up-to-date, receiving the same routing control information as all the other routers in the network.”

"Phoenix Datacom is well known for their focus on network performance and for the high quality of their technical sales and support staff," says Andy Hall, EMEA Technical Director for Packet Design. "They understand the needs of large network operators very well, and have a long history of supporting them. We are already enjoying working closely with Phoenix on developing the UK market."

About Phoenix Datacom
Formed in 1984 and based in Aylesbury, Phoenix Datacom Limited is the UK’s leading independent supplier of products and services related to network performance - network troubleshooting, network management, communications testing and performance testing. Phoenix Datacom represents the leading manufacturers in this field, including Agilent Technologies, Ixia, Packetstorm and Sunrise Telecom, and supplies major organisations in all sectors, including network equipment manufacturers, fixed and mobile telecoms operators, and private and public sector enterprise network users. Information about Phoenix Datacom is available on the Web at

About Packet Design, Inc.
Packet Design, Inc., develops a family of network appliances that improves the reliability, efficiency and predictability of IP networks by providing network-layer (layer 3) visibility into them. The products work by leveraging the routing protocols to extend network intelligence without increasing network load. In April 2003 Route Explorer was honored by Network Magazine as Product of the Year in the network management category.

Packet Design, Inc., was spun out in March 2003 from Packet Design, LLC, the fourth networking company started by husband-and-wife entrepreneurs Judy Estrin and Bill Carrico, who previously founded Bridge Communications, Network Computing Devices and Precept Software. For more information, visit

More details on Route Explorer
How does it work?
Route Explorer works by passively monitoring the routing protocol exchanges (e.g. OSPF, EIGRP, IS-IS, BGP) between all routers on the network, then computing and displaying a routing topology map. This map is updated whenever the routing topology changes, providing the most accurate, real-time view of how the network is directing traffic. Unstable routes and other anomalies - undetectable by SNMP-based management tools because they are not device-specific problems - are immediately visible.

Time-correlated event troubleshooting
As the topology map is created and updated, Route Explorer logs every routing event in a local database. An animated historical playback feature lets the operator diagnose inconsistent and hard-to-detect problems by "rewinding" the network to any point in time since data logging began. Histograms displaying past routing activity allow the network engineer to quickly go back to the time when a specific problem was detected, while letting them step through individual routing events to see what led up to the problem. Route Explorer also provides the ability to import external time-based information, such as application performance or traffic data, and correlate it with routing events enabling the operator to quickly and easily determine the root cause of network or service related problems.

"What-if" analysis
Route Explorer is an effective scenario impact analysis tool. Users can select specific links or routers to hypothetically bring up or down or even adjust link metrics, immediately observing the effect of the change on the network map. They can better understand of the impact of possible network failures, avoid misconfigurations, ensure appropriate levels of redundancy and verify that the routed network is operating as intended - a particularly valuable capability after maintenance activities.

Proactive Alerts
Route Explorer allows users to set up proactive alerts that signal critical routing events as they happen. These alerts are sent as SNMP traps directly to the user's network management platform (e.g., OpenView, Spectrum) or recorded in syslog. "Watch lists" can be set up to trigger alerts when changes occur on important or known problem routes. In addition, pre-defined HTML reports analyze routing events over user-specified time periods, helping network managers spot trends or other potential problems (e.g. list of prefixes advertised by more than one router).

Passive monitoring
Route Explorer appears to the network as just another router, though it forwards no traffic and is neither a bottleneck or failure point. Since it works by monitoring the routing control plane, it does not poll any devices and adds no overhead to the network. A single appliance can support any size IP network, no matter how large or highly subdivided into separate areas. Route Explorer is easily installed in under an hour, providing an extremely rapid time-to-value.

Key benefits
• Maximizes network availability and customer satisfaction by rapidly identifying and diagnosing IP routing faults
• Boosts network performance by isolating the root cause of layer 3 instabilities
• Allows early detection of router misconfigurations that cause a third of all network problems
• Lets network engineers predict routing-path problems and take action before they occur
• Verifies network routing is operating as intended including levels of redundancy
• Reduces total operating cost by improving productivity of both network resources and network operations staff

Press Contacts for Phoenix Datacom:

Antares Marketing Communications
David Cunliffe or Kelly Grant
020 8920 9643 or

Tony Smith, Marketing Manager, Phoenix Datacom
Phoenix House, Smeaton Close, Rabans Lane, Aylesbury Bucks HP19 8UW
Tel: 01296 397711 (switchboard) 01296 319294 (direct) Mobile: 07764 430026

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Antares PR in the following categories: Business & Finance, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit