Press Release

Monday, July 6, 1998 < Prev Next >

Evaluation Copy of Caliper Automated LAN/WAN Design Tool from Network Tools Now Packaged with Visio Network Equipment

Network Design Tool Now the Most Widely Distributed on the Market

SAN JOSE, Calif. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — July 6, 1998 — Network Tools, Inc. announced today that Visio Corp. is now including a free evaluation copy of Network Tools' Caliper™ LAN/WAN design and configuration tool, which fully automates the design of complex, multitechnology networks, with Visio(r) Network Equipment, an add-on to Visio Professional.

Caliper works in conjunction with Visio Network Equipment and Visio Professional, a network design application that provides complete network documentation, to build complete bills of materials (BOM) and detailed rack/device drawings for networks designed using Caliper.

Caliper takes the guesswork out of network design. Caliper users begin by answering simple, straightforward questions through a Microsoft Windows(r) interface to define their infrastructure and service requirements.

With this information, Caliper creates low-cost network designs automatically in a matter of minutes. By changing requirements for vendor/technology preferences, users can explore different LAN/WAN topologies, management options, and more to tailor designs to their needs.

For both existing and new Visio Network Equipment customers, Caliper brings the ability to design networks for new sites, explore upgrade options, and examine what-if scenarios based on functional designs that are created in minutes rather than days or weeks.

"Many of our customers already use Caliper to design their networks, and this offer will simply expose a greater number of customers to preview its power which complements Visio's own network design capabilities," said John Rigas, director of network solutions products for Visio.

"The audience for Visio Network Equipment is any network professional, system integrator, or vendor — anyone who designs networks. All of them could potentially be interested in Caliper because it helps save time and effort in evaluating their network design options."

"This relationship is a great way to demonstrate the benefits of Caliper to networking professionals around the world," said Paul Serrano, president and CEO of Network Tools. "The fit of our products is terrific; each adds to the utility of the other. We expect that as Visio Network Equipment users find out how many ways Caliper can help them design better networks faster, many of them will want to upgrade to our full set of vendor product databases."

Complementary Products

The most complete solution for documenting any kind of network, Visio Network Equipment adds over 13,000 exact-replica, network hardware shapes from more than 300 manufacturers to Visio Professional for an ideal documentation toolset.

Each shape is drawn to port-level detail and contains 30 data fields — including IP address, serial number, maintenance, and cost. Users can export this information to databases, spreadsheets, and text files for detailed reporting. Plus, shapes contain layers that turn on and off, providing an easy way to switch among network design ideas in one diagram.

Caliper complements Visio Network Equipment by fully automating the design of complex multitechnology networks. Previously, users had to choose specific networking technologies and components first, but Caliper takes a more intuitive approach. From a single Windows screen, non-technical and expert users alike can specify network requirements and explore the pros and cons of alternative technologies and products.

Once the user selects the optimal configuration, Caliper builds a complete bill of materials (BOM), detailed rack and device drawings down to the port level (using the industry-standard Visio graphics package), and comprehensive wiring and assembly reports. Caliper specifies exactly how components should be connected; thus eliminating the misconfiguration problems typically encountered during installation, which today require the return of a significant percentage of network equipment.

Price and Availability

Starting in early July, Visio will include a free 30-day evaluation CD of Caliper with every copy of Visio Network Equipment. Visio will also send the free Caliper evaluation CD to existing Visio Network Equipment customers as part of its Subscription Service update program.

Caliper software runs on Windows(r) NT 4.0, Windows(r) 95 and Windows(r) 98 platforms and is priced at $1000 ($US list) with a single vendor database or $2995 with a multivendor database (Cisco, Bay Networks, 3Com, Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Compaq). Network Tools offers a standalone version of Caliper for internetworking hardware vendors and end users. For hardware vendors and resellers, e-commerce Web versions are also available.

For more information about Visio Corp. and its products, customers can contact Visio at 800/24-VISIO (248-4746), ext. 93W or visit the company's Web site at

About Network Tools

Founded in December 1995 and based in San Jose, Network Tools develops and markets applications designed to help internetworking vendors and their customers maintain a competitive edge in the rapidly evolving technology and product marketplace.

Combining core competencies in real-time network management, Internet technologies, network modeling, and solution-based design, Network Tools' application suite helps vendors simplify the development, testing, marketing, sales and support of internetworking products.

Network Tools' products also help end users evaluate competing network and product designs, integrate new products and technologies within existing systems efficiently, and cost-effectively. Network Tools' Chisel product, designed to test the end-to-end performance of networked applications, received 1998 Hot Product honors from Data Communications Magazine.

For more information, contact Network Tools headquarters at 408/571-2600 or visit the company's World Wide Web site at

Note to Editors: Caliper and Chisel are trademarks of Network Tools, Inc. Visio is a registered trademark of Visio Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. CONTACT: Network Tools Cheryl Knight, 408/571-2645 or Gallagher PR Kim Diaz, 510/749-6800