June 30, 2003

NetIQ's Vivinet Assessor Accurately Predicts Network Call Quality for T. Rowe Price

Pre-deployment Evaluation Confirms Maximum International Toll Charge Reduction of 90 Percent


Press Release

SAN JOSE, Calif.

When T. Rowe Price wanted to reduce costs by implementing Voice over IP (VoIP), the investment management firm turned to NetIQ’s Vivinet™ Assessor. The firm used the product to assess the utilization of existing network devices and accurately predict overall quality of voice calls between its London and Baltimore offices.

T. Rowe Price reviewed numerous competitive products but none provided an objective call quality assessment. Eventually, the company called on NetIQ’s Vivinet Assessor. The result — successful VoIP deployment has mirrored original predictions and dramatically cut international toll charges by an expected 50 percent and, at times, up to 90 percent.

“The primary reason we chose Vivinet Assessor is that it delivers an objective numerical value and depiction of the call quality,” said Richard Berke, senior network design engineer for T. Rowe Price. “Predicting call quality by calculating a Mean Opinion Score (MOS) based on the industry-standard E-model, we are confident that Vivinet Assessor takes into account additional network factors, such as jitter and packet loss, to avoid negative impact on overall call quality.”

Based on call detail records of the 60 users in London and the 200 users in Baltimore, Berke calculated the expected number of calls and estimated the bandwidth required to provide an acceptable level of call quality. The group then put Vivinet Assessor through lab testing of various scenarios. For each successive lab test, the complexity of the background traffic mix and configuration of the multiple tiers of equipment were increased. Vivinet Assessor allowed Berke to preview a viable transition to VoIP prior to exposing telephone users to the new technology.

“We were able to examine the impact of WAN Quality of Service parameters on VoIP calls,” he said, “and the impact of prioritizing the VoIP traffic to other data applications.”

Berke used Vivinet Assessor solution’s ability to generate voice-call traffic and its detailed reporting features to verify the effectiveness of adjustments to the VoIP environment. Prior to the adjustments, Berke expected VoIP performance to suffer from competing uses of the network. The initial reports demonstrated 5 to 15 percent of calls in the poor category, primarily based on packet loss and jitter. After reconfiguring the network to boost VoIP traffic to the priority queue, T. Rowe Price realized the value of VoIP implementation when 100 percent of calls achieved acceptable quality rating.

“NetIQ places as much value in its customers as it does in saving them money through products, such as Vivinet Assessor,” said John Steigerwald, senior director of Vivinet products at NetIQ. “Vivinet Assessor prevents the need to invest in a pilot, saving customers valuable time and money while consistently predicting the overall network call quality and detailing the network’s VoIP readiness.”

T. Rowe Price launched the pilot VoIP initiative in December 2002 and extended the full release of VoIP to all users between Baltimore and London in February 2003.

About T. Rowe Price

Founded in 1937, T. Rowe Price (Nasdaq: TROW) is a global investment management organization with $140.6 billion in assets under management as of Dec. 31, 2002. The organization provides a broad array of mutual funds, sub-advisory services and separate account management for individual and institutional investors, retirement plans and financial intermediaries. T. Rowe Price’s disciplined, risk-aware investment approach focuses on diversification, style consistency and fundamental research.

About NetIQ

Founded in 1995, NetIQ Corp. (Nasdaq: NTIQ) is a leading provider of Systems & Security Management and Web Analytics solutions. Historically focused on the Windows management market, NetIQ now delivers cross-platform solutions that enhance business performance resulting in higher returns on infrastructure and web investments. NetIQ products are sold across all continents directly and through a network of authorized NetIQ partners and resellers. The company is headquartered in San Jose, Calif., with development and operational personnel in Houston, Texas; Raleigh, N.C.; Bellevue, Wash.; Auckland, New Zealand and Portland, Ore. For more information, please visit NetIQ’s web site at www.netiq.com or call (888) 323-6768.

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