Sight Beyond Site: FlowView Cross Location Reporting
by Sean Armstrong Sean Armstrong on

One of the main use cases for customers of AppNeta is understanding and ensuring that their critical web applications, including SaaS applications, are working well and users are happy with the performance.

There are many challenges in making sure business critical SaaS applications are working well: accurately measuring the user experience, understanding how the local network, the wifi and the customer WAN support the delivery of a web application, and identifying issues in the WAN and SaaS infrastructure impact application performance. One of the most common challenges we run into is congestion on the customer internet connection.

There are multiple sources of congestion, one of the biggest being everyone carrying personal smartphones and tablets. These BYOD devices have the capability to stream audio and video. All of this traffic is competing with your critical SaaS applications, and suddenly the intern watching the World Cup with the WatchESPN app on their phone is impacting your Salesforce performance. Awesome.

Well, with the FlowView Intelligent Application Identification capability, we have been able to clearly tell you which websites and applications were using network capacity, and who was running those, but you have been limited to looking at one location at a time. Until now.

Introducing FlowView Cross Location Visibility: Sight Beyond Site

At the end of last year we introduced a big data architecture for FlowView, and besides checking all the marketing buzzword boxes, this gave customers an extremely fast and powerful backend to understand the applications in use.

With this update we are able to leverage this architecture so that you can now view activity across all of your locations at once in really compelling visualizations.

How do I know my top applications company wide?

The first thing we wanted to provide was visibility for companies to identify the top applications across all company locations. This will let you know not only if your business critical applications are being adopted and used properly across all of your sites, you also can view if there are a few key changes you should make to your global policies to stop undesirable behavior.

From this new Summary View you can choose the locations you want to include, and the top applications to show, up to 50, and a visualization called a Sankey diagram will be drawn to show these top apps and where they are used.

flowview cross location reporting

What this chart is telling you is that YouTube is the top recreational application company wide, and the vast majority of that its use is in the Vancouver office. The height of the application “block” is in direct proportion to the bandwidth used, same for the bandwidth consumed at each location on the right. Mouse over an application and a nice data table will be displayed, breaking down the total volume of traffic for that app and which office is consuming the bandwidth.

flowview cross location reporting

These results can easily be filtered to view all activity, specific classes of activity like Recreational or specific types like Web Services. Clicking on an application will bring up a time series so you can see the consumption of that application at each location over time:

flowview cross location reporting

And from any of these you can drill down into view the actual hosts running these applications at each location.

How do I compare offices?

The top applications in use company wide is definitely valuable, but what if you want to see how the top apps in location differ from other locations? We got you covered.

Above the charts in the new FlowView summary there are controls where you can change how you are viewing the results and the number of results shown. By choosing “By Location” you can pivot the display to chart each location independently in what is known as an alluvial diagram, and the top applications for each location will be shown.

flowview cross location reporting

This view lists the top chosen number of applications for each location, so Pandora was the top recreational app in use in Boston, and YouTube was the top recreational application in the Vancouver office. Mousing over a location name will give you the details about each application, and from there you can drill down to view the actual users of each application.

flowview cross location reporting

But what if I want it to look like the Death Star?

Funny you should ask that…

These other visualization methods are quite compelling, but can make it difficult to directly compare the usage and traffic volume for specific applications. We we have added a multi-level pie chart known as a Sunburst chart.

flowview cross location reporting

The various levels in this chart make it easy to compare, seeing that there is slightly more recreational activity in the Vancouver office than in Boston, most of that is streaming media and almost all of the streaming media is YouTube. Mousing over these levels updates the breadcrumb listing above the Sunburst and the detail area will show the traffic volume.

flowview cross location reporting

This new cross location visibility is just part of a really exciting update, additional features like network and application latency per application, saved views in FlowView and the entirely new Application Performance Report.


Filed Under: Industry Insights

Tags: bandwidth , features , flow analysis , FlowView , network speed , packets