New Tool To Help Companies Deal With Bandwidth Challenges of Online Video

With an explosion of online video on sites such as YouTube, company networks have felt the crunch. But deciphering legitimate use from messing around can be tough. eTelemetry, a company that handles networking monitoring, has introduced a tool analysts say can help.

eTelemetry , a company whose software aims to help organizations monitor network usage, announced today a new tool that allows companies to control the amount of bandwidth being consumed by online video from sites such as YouTube.

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The tool comes with the eTelemetry's Metron appliance. Analysts say it could help many companies contend with what has become a difficult issue in the enterprise: more consumer web-technologies being utilized during the day by employees slow down the critical applications needed to run a business.

While the tool offers typical web-blocking and filtering features, it also promises to control how much bandwidth an application or website can consume, without necessarily blocking the site. This is especially important, eTelemetry executives contend, when it becomes hard to decipher whether sites are being used legitimately or improperly.

For instance, employers might want to allow users to use nytimes.com or cnn.com to stay up to date on the news and market conditions. But those sites can take up enterprise bandwidth, as the media industry has begun using video more heavily. Ads sometimes begin running video without asking the user visiting the page to click "play."

"The demand for bandwidth is growing rapidly,"says Ermis Sfakiyanudis, eTelemetry's CEO. "The ability to give your mission critical apps a designated amount of bandwidth so everything runs in the background is a big deal for a lot of companies."

Sfakiyanudis says the tool will also help companies who want to manage network usage by department. People in sales and marketing, for instance, might need to make heavy use of online video, while those in operations could probably go without it.

The eTelemetry software allows line of business managers to set access and to monitor which sites their employees use. That eases the burden of IT, who traditionally had to take requests from those managers to set permissions, according to Sfakiyanudis.

David O'Connell, a senior analyst at Nucleus Research, says that the issue of bandwidth as a result of consumer applications on the Web has been a particular problem for small and medium businesses. They have more limited resources than large enterprises, he says. Plus, freeing up IT to worry about other things could make such a tool compelling.

"Everybody knows there is inappropriate use [of consumer video and websites] going on,"O'Connell says. "But there usually isn't anywhere to put this data in an accessible way [for managers]. It's really labor intensive for them. This saves the IT folks from that distraction."

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