June 2006

VIAVI Solutions User Forum

VIAVI Solutions® has recently launched an online user forum. The purpose of this forum is to create an active dialog between VIAVI Solutions’ technical staff and IT professionals to address technical questions, obtain feedback on product development, and discuss industry news.

Check out the user forum today.


In Practice: A Comprehensive Distributed Analysis Plan

The benefits of distributed analysis are quite obvious when extensive travel and time is required to monitor remote segments. However, distributed analysis is also an effective solution when you have to monitor and troubleshoot activity a few miles away or even in the same building. Developing a comprehensive distributed analysis plan, which combines the advantages of Observer and NetFlow technology, helps IT manage traffic more efficiently and economically.

It’s easy to justify distributed analysis when the alternative means flying out an administrator to remote sites to perform basic troubleshooting tasks. But even when monitoring activity at sites across town, across campus, or a few floors above you, distributed analysis offers undeniable benefits.

It’s inconvenient to set up analysis equipment at remote segments every single time there is a problem—whether across the building or across the country. And keep in mind that while you set up, the clock continues to tick and users continue to bombard you with complaints.

Observer integrates NetFlow technology

With a distributed architecture that leverages existing infrastructure as well as local and remote probes, you could monitor and troubleshoot all segments of your network from a single location.

It’s likely you already own Observer probes to stay on top of the local network. Investing in additional probes such as VIAVI Solutions’ 10/100/1000 Ethernet probes can provide you with visibility and additional analysis insight into remote segments as well—all at a cost that yields a high return on investment, considering the time, effort, and travel expenses that was previously invested to “monitor” that activity.

For no additional investment, you can also now take advantage of your existing NetFlow-enabled Cisco infrastructure to monitor activity at the edge of your network.

NetFlow, which is commonly found on Cisco switches and routers, has been fully integrated into the Observer platform. Any Advanced Expert Probe can be configured to aggregate flows from various NetFlow devices on a particular site and send updated information to a centralized Observer console. The console then displays the NetFlow data, providing real-time statistics and long-term trending reports.

NetFlow-Based Top Talkers

Combining the power of Observer probes and consoles with NetFlow technology makes for a comprehensive yet efficient and economical distributed analysis plan. To learn how you can effectively gain visibility into remote segments or how to develop a comprehensive distributed plan for your network, call (952)358-3800 (United States) or +44 (0) 1959 569880 (Europe).

Tech Tip: Using Gen2 Virtual Adapters

By default, Observer recognizes a Gen2™ Capture Card as a single adapter, regardless of how many ports are present. Sometimes (as when monitoring a trunk that consists of multiple links) this is desirable, but for many applications it is more convenient for Observer to recognize a subset of Gen2 ports as a single adapter. For example, suppose you are deploying an 8-port gigabit analyzer as follows: Ports 1-4 are monitoring a collection of trunked links, and the remaining ports are each connected to the SPAN (or mirror) port on a switch. In this scenario, it makes sense for Observer to view Ports 1-4 as a single data stream, and separate each of the four remaining ports into separate data streams.

Virtual adapters are a convenient way to accomplish this separation in real time, rather than depending on filters to sort through the traffic post-capture. To define a subset of Gen2 ports as a single virtual adapter, right-click on the Gen2-equipped probe and choose Probe or Device Properties from the pop-up menu, then select the Virtual Adapters tab. A dialog like the example on the right will be displayed:


In this example the administrator is reconfiguring a probe that has been monitoring a full-duplex link to monitor a couple of switch SPAN ports instead. First, she edits the existing virtual adapter ("Full-duplex") to reflect its new deployment ("Engineering SPAN") by clicking Edit Adapter to display the following dialog on the right:


She then selects Port 2 from the list of configured ports and clicks Remove->. After clicking OK to save the changes, she selects New Adapter to define Port 2 as the "Accounting SPAN." Once the port assignments have been completed, the Virtual Adapter tab looks like this on the right:

Note that a physical port cannot belong to more than one virtual adapter. After clicking OK to save the virtual adapter configuration, the virtual adapter is added to the list of adapters presented.




The Best of the Best: Redmond’s 2006 Readers' Choice Awards
VIAVI Solutions' Observer was the top vote-getter…
-Redmond Magazine

read article >>

VIAVI Solutions Observer 11
"We found the VoIP analysis functions superior to those offered by Network General's Sniffer software.”
-PC Pro

read review >>

How NetFlow and sFlow Technologies Integrate with Analysis Tools
NetFlow and sFlow are traffic reporting mechanisms that manufactures have embedded into enterprise-level switches and routers. This paper describes the strengths and limitations of these technologies, and why combining NetFlow/sFlow reporting mechanisms with a distributed network analyzer is a best practice in network monitoring.

Read White Paper >>



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