Riverbed NetProfiler: Easier to Use for More Users
New features provide a modern UI, free-form search and security improvements
Riverbed NetProfiler recently introduced new features that enrich information sharing and simplifies its UI with a new homescreen and free-form search. It also improved security and enhanced cloud visibility, supporting native Azure NSG Flow Logs and augmenting support for AWS VPC Flows Logs (learn more about these updates here).
NetProfiler’s theme is to make it easier to use by new users, helpdesk, support tier 1 and 2 users, and even users of other Riverbed NPM solutions. By simplifying and modernizing the user interface and menu and making the look and feel more consistent with the rest of the Riverbed NPM product line, we want more users to be able use it more of the time.
New Home Screen
The Network and Applications Overview insight is the new home screen. It helps new or infrequent users quickly understand how the network and applications are performing, what issues need attention, and how issues are trending. Users can easily search or contextually drill deeper into the data.
These at-a-glance performance summaries are customizable on a per-user basis. Toggle between last hour, last day, or last week timeframes, this insight loads quickly ensuring fast responsiveness to performance queries.
The Network and Applications Overview insight consists of four widgets:
- Summary widget has high-level network statistics and counts with optional comparison timeframes and trends. Metrics are configurable via Column Chooser and you can edit the appearance of the Summary widget.
- Top Talkers Sankey widget shows top hosts and what apps they are using on the network. It displays both traffic flows and volume, which is shown proportionally through the width of the arrows. You can choose Host to Application mapping or the reverse, Application to Host. Hover over any flow for the metric value and any flow details.
- Traffic Volume widget displays traffic in a time series with a time comparison using the same timeframe as the Summary widget.
- Cards widgets—There are six card widget slots that are individually configurable:
- Watched card allows for watching up to three different objects per widget for a select set of metrics.
- Alerts display alert counts for different types of NetProfiler alerts, e.g. performance or security alerts.
- New Hosts, New Applications, New Ports show the top objects that were not previously seen in NetProfiler.
- Hosts, Interfaces, Ports, Applications show top objects with a select set of metrics; these cards offer a launching pad for deeper drill-down.
The feature that will change users’ lives the most is the new Google-like search. Comparable to AppResponse search, the search bar sits right on the banner. With this new search, you can look up an IP address or an interface without having to understand where to find this information in NetProfiler, without having prior knowledge of specific NetProfiler workflows. The Search Results page will not only show you a list of relevant reporting queries and links but the definitions too.
This free-form search feature uses type-ahead and autocomplete to show relevant suggestions. Tabs allow you to limit the results to a particular object type. Providing multiple results in a tabbed format helps you quickly find what you are searching for.
Now you can also use the search field to look for a Host IP, CIDR or wildcard. A Host Data Search will provide a Host Information Report in the Search Results if data is found for that host.
TLS 1.3 is the newest version of transport layer security and provides reliable encryption for data sent over the internet. TLS 1.3 dropped support for older, less secure cryptographic features, and is faster and more secure than TLS 1.2, among other improvements. One of the changes that makes TLS 1.3 faster is an update to the way a TLS handshake works: TLS handshakes in TLS 1.3 only require one round trip (or back-and-forth communication) instead of two, shortening the process by a few milliseconds. As a result, it’s quickly becoming the latest standard for HTTPS encryption.
NetProfiler 10.20, now supports TLS 1.3 for its services, including syslogs. Out of the box, new systems are now installed with a minimum of TLS 1.2 and 2048-bit cipher certificates. TLS allows client/server applications to communicate over the Internet in a way that is designed to prevent eavesdropping, tampering, and message forgery.
To summarize, this release simplifies NetProfiler’s user interface and how you interact with it. It aligns more closely with the look and feel of the Riverbed NPM product family, especially AppResponse, so you can more easily switch between tools. It provides new and improved charting and graphics to wow users and simplify where possible to cater better to the helpdesk and support tier 1 and 2 users, while still serving Riverbed’s traditional power users. To learn about NetProfiler’s cloud updates, check out my blog “Riverbed NPM Enhances Cloud Visibility.”