NextGig Systems, Inc. - Network Connectivity & Test Solutions

Combine Observer and NetFlow for Cost-Effective Visibility

Gaining visibility across every port on a global network can be a large investment using probes alone. Partnering NetFlow or sFlow® technology with Observer is a cost-effective way to extend network visibility and perform in-depth root-cause analysis.

Configure Network Instruments Probes to aggregate metrics from all NetFlow devices into a centralized Observer console, allowing engineers to look for signs of problems and determine where to place additional monitoring resources. Then use probes for in-depth troubleshooting, long-term packet capture, or application analysis.



Use NetFlow and the Observer analyzer to:

•Perform root-cause analysis

•Obtain complete infrastructure visibility

•Resolve application performance issues

•Maximize your infrastructure investment

How NetFlow Works

NetFlow is a Cisco-developed “push” technology found within many routers and switches that operates as a first-line diagnostic monitor by detecting abnormal activity as it occurs. NetFlow statistics are captured and processed by Layer 3 devices and sent periodically to designated collectors like the Observer analyzer. Because NetFlow is commonly included with enterprise infrastructure, no additional investment beyond the flow collector is needed to achieve enterprise-wide visibility.

Go from Tracking to Troubleshooting with Observer

Coupling Observer with NetFlow provides complete problem resolution. Use Observer Reporting Server’s NetFlow views to review network health on NetFlow devices in aggregate.

Next, look for any anomalies or causes for concern. For example, does a device show an abnormal number of transactions? For greater detail, point our GigaStor appliance toward the device and begin troubleshooting. Observer connects to GigaStor to display application response time, conversation delay, and more. With this top-down, fully integrated view, you gain complete visibility and problem resolution.

“Tracking NetFlow through Observer offers many benefits. NetFlow data reveals abnormal activity on the network and then I can drill down on that particular activity with Observer. Although NetFlow shows diagnostic data, I need Observer to resolve the issue particularly at the application level. As a result, with Observer I can collect and also act upon NetFlow data already running across our networks.”

Stephen Joseph
LEK Securities

Better Allocate Resources with NetFlow and Observer

For even the largest enterprises, Observer can collect data from all of your NetFlow devices for real-time and long-term monitoring. Use NetFlow data to first determine what area of your network needs attention. Next, assign a Network Instruments probe to that NetFlow device. This ensures you can obtain critical metrics like response time, application performance, and bandwidth utilization when you require it.

For smaller organizations with few NetFlow devices, the Network Instruments Probe collects real-time NetFlow statistics and trending data from any NetFlow device. Use NetFlow’s data to immediately resolve issues or switch to the Probe for in-depth analysis.

Use your Network Instruments GigaStor appliance to generate NetFlow data from any device in any network environment.

NetFlow Statistics

By using Observer probes to aggregate flows from various NetFlow devices, the Observer console tracks the following NetFlow metrics:

•Real-Time Statistics

•Top Talkers

•Pairs Matrix

•VLAN Analysis

•Application Awareness

•Long-Term Trending

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