Categories Networking TechnologyPerformance Monitoring

If You Thought You Couldn’t Afford Netflow Analysis – Think Again

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Thanks to multiple snowballing trends like cloud computing, SaaS, virtual desktops, IP storage, mobility and Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C), more and more companies are delivering critical, network-dependent IT services to more and more remote users. The adoption of Cloud Computing has resulted in even the users at your corporate headquarters are now likely “remote” from core database or business systems. This recent change makes end-to-end insight into network traffic and performance absolutely business-critical.

As a result, many organizations now find themselves struggling to shift their network performance management focus from monitoring network device health to a prioritized, service-level orientation focused on the real-time, local experience of users consuming IP-based applications. That means you, the network engineer or CTO, must understand not just how the network is performing, but also what applications are running on the network and how individual users are consuming capacity.

How do you get this next level of insight to show you who is using what and where?  Netflow analysis tools have been available for many years from Cisco and other vendors. These tools get the job done but demand high-end network hardware and are costly to deploy and manage. First you need to over-provision the network infrastructure with high-end or redundant gear to handle the extra netflow traffic, and then you need to buy a netflow analysis solution and reconfigure the network to collect and analyze the data.

Historically, this has restricted flow analysis capabilities to headquarters and major data centers, rather than to and at remote sites. A few “free” or low-cost services have recently become available, but these are functionally restricted “teasers” meant to up-sell your organization to much more costly, traditional netflow solutions.

What is required today is a real-time summary of what applications are running on every network in your organization– and most importantly, how performance is affected.

Do you know how many streaming media sessions are running on a given network? Can you trace the cause of a traffic spike?

That kind of information needs to be universally available for every location, enterprise-wide, regardless of what hardware is in place. The information needs to be sufficiently granular to facilitate troubleshooting, enable auditing and reporting, and drive a service-oriented, proactive approach to network health. The solution needs to be easy to deploy and manage – no additional servers or gear. And it needs to be affordable, with a rapid time-to-value.

There is only one solution available that offers this level of “active” remote performance management capability: the FlowView add-on module to the PathView Cloud service from Apparent Networks. With FlowView, the PathView Cloud solution provides unsurpassed visibility into network performance, including the exact causes of surges in utilization based on the users on the network and the applications they are running. Enabled by the free, plug-and-play PathView microAppliance, FlowView requires no special hardware and uses a remarkably small chunk of bandwidth.

Already have a netflow analysis tool? FlowView is so cost-efficient, you can use it to feed a real-time stream of data into your current solution. This takes the load off your network gear to improve network efficiency and potentially forestall the need to purchase new equipment, while also leveraging your existing netflow investments.

Team AppNeta: