May 2006

New Features Integrated into Observer

VIAVI Solutions has integrated NetFlow and sFlow® data collection and analysis into the Observer platform. Application analysis has also been extended to include Citrix communication, and Observer’s comprehensive VoIP analysis offers greater support for Avaya® and Mitel® systems. These new features provide network administrators with greater levels of visibility to manage the network and solve problems as they arise.

VIAVI Solutions has also added Fibre Channel analysis with a new line of hardware monitoring appliances. These new systems allow network administrators to obtain comprehensive visibility into storage area networks (SANs) that reside on Fibre Channel links.

Check out new features >>


In Practice: Monitoring applications with Observer and NetFlow

Application performance directly affects the bottom-line. Maintaining network application performance is critical to IT’s mission and the entire organization’s success.

Business managers are very aware of application performance because it immediately affects productivity and hence the bottom-line. Therefore, problems with applications are very visible, as are the IT staff tasked with managing them.

To avoid this type of visibility, network professionals must be able to successfully maintain the network’s applications. The combined power of Observer and NetFlow technology makes this task more manageable.

Identifying the active applications running on the network is the first critical step to successfully managing them. By configuring Observer to collect NetFlow data across the enterprise, you can identify any active applications. Observer then provides real-time statistics based on that application activity.

If Observer detects a problem, you can immediately drill down on a specific application’s performance with a probe to investigate details such as usage, response times, failed transactions, error statistics, and more. Additionally, Observer’s Connection Dynamics provides a deeper drill down with a graphical “ladder chart” representation of client/server communications. These real-time metrics and detailed analysis make it easy to pinpoint and resolve problems.

But grading real-time performance can be ambiguous if you don’t have a historical perspective for comparison. Observer tracks and stores application activity over time—providing you with insight on typical performance.

NetFlow Protocol Distribution


Connection Dynamics

Observer’s long-term trending provides the following benefits:

  1. Observer can be set up to automatically generate and send custom performance reports periodically to designated recipients (such as IT and executive management). These reports keep management informed and prove that IT has been successfully maintaining specific applications.

  2. Observer’s reports also reveal performance trends. For example, it may show that transaction times are steadily increasing, which could insinuate that infrastructure upgrades are necessary.

  3. Additionally, understanding normal performance is useful when configuring thresholds for Observer alarms. This way you will be able to spot degrading performance before users notice any delay.
Application Trending Report
Maintaining the network’s applications is critical—both to support business functions and management’s objective. Combining Observer with the extended visibility NetFlow provides can help to effectively and efficiently maintain your critical applications. And since business managers help set IT’s budget, your ability to track and manage application performance will aid in long-term planning.

Tech Tip: Internet Observer

Internet Observer shows you the Internet traffic on the network. This can be used to monitor overall Internet usage and to focus on a specific station or stations. You can also break down Internet usage by subprotocols. For example, you can easily determine what proportion of Internet traffic involves the http vs. popmail.

Internet Observer is found under the Statistics menu, and is designed to keep track of users' Internet usage in three different ways: Internet Patrol, IP Pairs (Matrix), and IP Subprotocols.

Internet Patrol displays MAC address to layer 3 IP address traffic. If an alias has been assigned through Discover Network Names, this is displayed instead of the MAC address. Additionally, the IP addresses of the destination sites are resolved using the Domain Name Service (DNS).

This view of Internet traffic is most appropriate for local network traffic to and from the Internet, and for sites that use Dynamic Host Control Protocol (DHCP). Because DHCP changes IP addresses frequently, source IP addresses are not useful on DHCP site for identification.


IP to IP Pairs (Matrix)
displays true layer 3 IP address to true layer 3 IP address traffic. This view of your Internet traffic is appropriate for local segments accessing the Internet to show traffic on the backbone.

On the local network, IP Pairs shows all Internet usage if the IP addresses are static. If you are using DHCP on your local network and it is not reslved through DNS, you should view your Internet traffic using the "Internet Patrol" tab described above.



IP subprotocols
displays layer 3 IP addresses traffic flow broken down by subprotocol. Subprotocols are defined in the setup dialog. Up to 12 user-defined subprotocols can be created.




NetFlow and sFlow data collection within Observer

New features vastly expand remote networking visibility and offer greater efficiencies in maintaining network uptime

learn more >>

Fibre Channel Analysis Integrated into Observer

New line of hardware appliances monitors and provides network intelligence on SANs

learn more >>

Redmond's 2006 Readers' Choice Awards

Observer was awarded the best bandwidth/traffic monitoring product.

read article >>

Monitoring and Managing Network Application Performance
Ensuring timely access to business-critical application servers is what justifies having a network (and an IT staff) in the first place. To effectively manage application performance means measuring how well key components of the IT infrastructure are performing over time, and identifying and efficiently correcting deficiencies before they affect your business.

Read White Paper >>



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