Network Instruments Assists Disaster Relief Efforts

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The American Red Cross has been working tirelessly to provide relief to hurricane victims in the aftermath of the state of Florida’s recent experiences with weather disasters. Because of the time and energy involved in assisting those who have been left temporarily homeless, jobless and penniless, the last thing Red Cross workers want to worry about is their network.

In order to ensure that the organization could focus its efforts on helping the people of Florida recover from the catastrophes, Network Instruments, a network management, analysis and troubleshooting solutions provider, donated its Observer Suite to the American Red Cross’ Disaster Relief Organization headquarters in Bradenton, Fla.


“When this request came in, we were honored to do anything we could to help out,” said Veena Vadgama, director of marketing communications for Network Instruments. “The American Red Cross is a great organization. They’re trying really hard to get relief for the disasters going on in Florida. If the Observer network analyzer can help out in that aspect, we’re happy to do it.”


“We also an office in Florida, and we have a lot of customers down there,” she added. “So with the hurricanes going on, we’ve been looking at that situation pretty closely.”


The Observer Suite, Network Instruments’ flagship software analyzer, monitors and troubleshoots a variety of network topologies, said Charles Thompson, senior sales engineer for Network Instruments. “What it really helps an administrator to do is determine how their network is running, what problems may exist in the environment and the best solutions for troubleshooting those scenarios,” he said. “Our expert system inside of Observer Suite offers resolutions for more than 500 different network conditions.”


“Our product is one of very few out there that works on multiple topologies and is completely distributed, which basically means that you only need one product to monitor your gig, your wireless, your LAN,” Vadgama added.


“The Red Cross is actually using Observer Suite in a couple of different areas, primarily in dealing with troubleshooting their Ethernet and wireless networks,” Thompson said. “They’ve got some wireless networking that’s taking place not only for data, but also for voice-over-IP communications.”


Network Instruments’ donation was a boon for Red Cross efforts in Florida, said Dirk Speed, the Disaster Relief Organization’s network operations officer. “We are pleased with Network Instruments’ donation to the American Red Cross,” he said. “Thanks to Observer Suite, I can quickly determine what is causing our current network slowdown to ensure our Florida relief efforts are running as efficiently as possible.”

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