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Alerting and Troubleshooting Network Performance with Unified NPM

Phillip Gervasi
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Unfortunately, IT is often the last to know when there’s a problem with the network. In fact, it’s often the end users experiencing problems who alert the help desk. A proactive IT department needs to be able to detect incidents as they happen, and ideally anticipate a potential issue before it happens. The result is a reduced time to resolution, an improvement to overall uptime, and the ability to solve a smaller problem before it turns into a catastrophe.

Riverbed’s network visibility portfolio brings together sophisticated monitoring, alerting, and troubleshooting capabilities all under one banner. NetIM, NetProfiler, and Portal integrate together seamlessly to bring you a robust solution that can detect and alert on very specific network anomalies and application performance issues.

Visibility for the Underlying Infrastructure

NetIM is focused on the actual network infrastructure itself. In other words, it looks at what’s going on with the routers, switches, firewalls, and all the devices that underpin your applications. With NetIM, you can monitor device health and drill down into specific metrics such as interface errors, packet drops, CPU utilization, link utilization, and packet discards.

NetIM leverages a variety of approaches for real-time monitoring, including:

  • Device APIs
  • SNMP
  • Device CLI
  • Syslog
  • WMI
  • Synthetic testing

With the information coming from the network, NetIM can then build robust visualizations of your network topology to help you understand the path an application takes through the network.

Monitoring Applications

NetProfiler is a very powerful monitoring platform you can use to analyze application flows. It combines flow data and packet-based flow metrics to provide full-fidelity traffic monitoring. NetProfiler takes you beyond the underlying infrastructure to provide behavioral analytics such as baseline traffic patterns and dependency mapping.

Network data and flow records are captured using NetFlow and sFlow, but it also collects AWS VPC Flow Logs, IPFIX information, and data directly from Riverbed tools such as the Riverbed NPM Agent and AppResponse.

For cloud visibility, NetProfiler can be deployed in AWS and Azure. And whether NetProfiler is deployed in the cloud or on premises, it can always collect flow telemetry information from resources in public cloud.

Bringing Everything Together

Portal is the dashboard that brings it all together in one place. It aggregates telemetry from NetIM and NetProfiler, and also integrates with other Riverbed visibility tools including AppResponse, UCExpert, Aternity EUEM, and Aternity APM.

With Portal, you have an active launchpad of interactive dashboards, application discovery mechanisms, and network path visualizations. A network operator can begin their daily monitoring and troubleshooting with Portal, a single source of truth for what’s going on in the environment.

Remember that Riverbed’s visibility portfolio is a collection of powerful tools that integrate with each other. Each individual component is designed to focus on one aspect of NPM. Together, they cover all the bases of network and application performance monitoring. And with Portal as our visibility homepage, they work together as one visibility solution.

Watch the video below to walk through a scenario in which end users are reporting bad network performance. Using Portal, NetIM, and NetProfiler, we diagnose the problem and discover a specific application overloading the WAN interface of the branch router. 

 

 

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