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    NetScout nGenius Performance Manager 2.0.1: NetScout nGenius Performance Manager 2.0.1: Document Transcript

    • NetScout nGenius Performance Manager 2.0.1: Providing Unified Performance Management Software H I G H L I G H T S Executive Summary network and application traffic monitoring, fault troubleshooting and Company name: Enterprise management more than ever prevention, capacity planning and service NetScout Systems, Inc. before depends on accurate and timely level management in a single integrated information from all organizational software product. In addition, nGenius Product: functions and geographically distributed Performance Manager empowers users nGenius Performance Manager sources for real-time business decisions. with end-to-end visibility into their version 2.0.1 The balancing act between curtailed application traffic through the user console corporate resources and escalating IT with its flexibility of side-by-side displays Product function: (Information Technology) expenditures, Network, Application, Web of multiple real-time and historical metrics on which the welfare of the business in graphical and/or tabular views. This Management increasingly depends, is a serious fosters more efficient IT infrastructure Operating system: challenge. Enterprises today are investing monitoring, capacity planning, and more judiciously than ever into troubleshooting for uninterrupted services Microsoft Windows, Sun Solaris, information technology with high and Red Hat Linux to users. expectations to improve operational Vendor contact: efficiency, reduce risk, and identify/enable Market Drivers new revenue opportunities through better Enterprises today are investing more ju- 888.999.5946 or 978.614.4000 real-time decision-making capabilities. www.netscout.com diciously in information technology (IT), To fulfill business management’s using it to improve operational efficien- info@netscout.com expectations, IT managers need to cies, reduce risk, and enable new revenue Availability: transition their operations to a higher level opportunities. Even after the downturn, Shipping now of maturity where processes, the reason for renewed investment remains organization, and technology are closely clear. The performance of mission-criti- integrated to perform more efficiently. cal applications and the business is, to a Reaching this new level of IT operational large extent, directly related to the perfor- maturity will by necessity require tools that mance of the network. Business informa- empower both IT personnel and tion generated by mission-critical management. The current clutter of applications in a geographically-distributed disparate IT management tools found in environment must be delivered across the present day IT shops with redundant data enterprise accurately, in a timely manner, collection, ineffectual functional and cost efficiently to the proper destina- integration among disparate tools, and tion by a well-performing network. limited reporting capabilities for However, these business operational producing holistic enterprise-wide views benefits have been achieved by the impedes the achievement of this higher disproportionately high cost of level of IT operational maturity. To implementing and maintaining IT in achieve enterprise management’s comparison to other corporate resources. expectations, IT shops must undertake The dependency between business and judicious investments into well-integrated, network performance has led to an strategic IT management tools. explosion of network management tools NetScout’s nGenius ® Perfor mance in the IT shop. Often this clutter of Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. Manager release 2.0.1 addresses the disparate tools actually reduces IT 303.543.9500 current tool clutter, redundant data operational efficiencies because different info@enterprisemanagement.com collection, and ineffectual product tools are used to report network behavior www.enterprisemanagement.com integration. It proactively addresses core and other tools used to troubleshoot when 776.060204 performance management disciplines of an anomaly is detected. In addition, the  2004 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
    • NetScout ’s nGenius Performance Manager 2.0.1 integration of data from each of these tools Business justification for into an overall visualization of the network’s networking decisions performance often must occur in the minds of the IT personnel rather the tool’s console. nGenius Performance Manager 2.0.1 provides It is commonly accepted in the industry that insight into how the business uses network a significant percentage of network resources with visibility into networked downtime, EMA estimates 30% to 50%, is applications. This level view of IT attributable to human errors. Moreover, these infrastructure is essential to justify networking inefficiencies contribute significantly to higher decisions in a way that business managers can operational costs and increase overall business understand. For example, when the CIO asks risks to the enterprise. why the bandwidth budget needs to be increased, the level of visibility provided by To eliminate these detrimental factors, nGenius Performance Manager gives solid business pressures are driving IT shops to answers – it can quantifiably show which move toward a new maturity level where business (or non-business) applications fewer tools can cost effectively accomplish increase bandwidth demand across the network performance management and thus corporate environment. increase the productivity of the entire enterprise. Further, to contain escalating Meaningful context to investments, enterprise and IT managers need application and network issues to understand network functions and In nGenius Performance Manager 2.0.1, performance in terms of business activities NetScout has closely integrated functionality and processes. to support key performance management nGenius Performance disciplines such as application and network monitoring, capacity planning, Manager 2.0.1 – Unified troubleshooting, fault prevention and service Performance Management level management in one package. In NetScout’s nGenius Performance Manager addition, side-by-side views are possible of release 2.0.1 delivers architecturally integrated any set of metrics and/or timeframe. For functionality for performance management instance, it can display network utilization by that enables better visibility into how the application, last week’s application response business uses network and networked times, current overall network capacity, applications. In addition, nGenius packet decodes, current router health, and Performance Manager presents cohesive many other metrics, providing the user with information to users that enables the end- both real-time and historical information on to-end management of IT infrastructure segment or end-to-end infrastructure performance regardless of data source or performance. This carries strong contextual location in the network. The unified display advantages in understanding where and why of network and application metrics serves application performance degradations are to increase the efficiency of IT personnel to occurring in the network, as well as what is monitor response times, troubleshoot impacted by those degradations, rather than anomalies, and manage resource capacity. trying to infer problems from isolated and This empowers IT management to control sometimes misleading metrics. the operational costs arising from a potential Support for complex networks, with excess of infrastructure capacity, while allowing corporate management to make an emphasis on protecting your better IT business decisions that reduce risk, investments improve operational efficiency, and enable Underlying nGenius Performance Manager’s new revenue opportunities. unified capabilities is NetScout’s CDM™ Some additional benefits that are available (Common Data Model) technology. CDM with the nGenius Performance Manager as a enables extensibility and adaptability for data result of this integrated performance collection from many sources, technologies, management functionality are as follows. and applications from across the entire  2004 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. page 2
    • NetScout ’s nGenius Performance Manager 2.0.1 infrastructure. It facilitates NetScout’s innovative integration of performance management functionality into one software package. This relatively comprehensive data collection and the resulting improvements in visibility into the IT infrastructure can potentially enhance operational efficiencies and reduce capital outlays for multiple sets of capital equipment. CDM technology provides a consistent data format so that all data can be acted upon by nGenius Performance Manager in the same way. CDM common data structure, significantly reduces the need to develop new code for each new technology, application or vendor product as the underlying structure already exists. This enables NetScout to quickly incorporate other applications and Figure 1 technologies as they become “mission- critical” in corporate environments. Client Console – Transforming data into information This easy extensibility to new “mission critical” applications and technologies, the nGenius Performance Manager 2.0.1’s unified close integration of performance user interface, driven by well integrated management functionality, and the ability to performance functionality, is capable of identify business use of the network through conveying both real-time and historical cohesive user information display, make information about the network and its NetScout’s nGenius Performance Manager applications through graphical and textual 2.0.1 a solid foundation to performance views. The client console is browser-based, management operations and an enabler of allowing the user to interact with nGenius business level decisions. EMA views Performance Manager server from remote NetScout’s approach in this respect as physical locations by using industry standard contributive to next-generation architectural browsers Netscape (6.2 and up) and directions, where enabling technologies, such Microsoft Explorer (5.5 and up) with Java as data gathering and data store will runtime environment (JRE 1.4.0 with JRE increasingly need to be shared by multiple 1.4.1_02). application types. Integrated analytics comprising the nGenius Performance Manager transform the raw nGenius Performance data into comprehensive information that Manager 2.0.1 Product allows users to visualize, troubleshoot, and Description prevent catastrophic IT infrastructure outages. The nGenius Performance Manager release The console’s ability to mix real-time and 2.0.1 architecture is composed of a Client historical information, its continuous x- and Console and Server (see Figure 1). y-axis scaling in graphic views, and other features, promote IT operational efficiency by combining components relevant to making real-world decisions. All nGenius Performance Manager functions interact to support user activities such as Real-Time Visualization, Troubleshooting, and Reporting. Real-Time Visualization: Real-time visibility into the network and networked  2004 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. page 3
    • NetScout ’s nGenius Performance Manager 2.0.1 applications is enhanced by combining justifications for their business decisions probe, traffic flow, and device-centric data, based on quantitative rather than purely leading to the flexibility of both broad and qualitative data. Through this data, reports granular views of the IT infrastructure. The can establish why a budget increase is integrated traffic flow data and device-centric necessary for additional bandwidth due, data enhance nGenius Performance Manager for instance, to the increasing use of a capabilities to achieve operational and new order entry system by the field sales management optimization through features force. such as: • End-to-end visibility: The broad visibility • Workspaces: The most tangible feature of into the IT infrastructure in nGenius the nGenius Performance Manager 2.0.1 Performance Manager extends across unified user console is the Workspace. The LAN, WAN, and networked storage. The console is organized into work areas user console displays information in both where the user can define an unlimited graphical and tabular format by extracting number of views specific to his/her work data from nGenius Probes, traffic flow, needs and preferences. The nGenius and SNMP device sources. nGenius Performance Manager user defines and Performance Manager supports not only displays views of any combination of the network segments (such as Gigabit metrics available from the product – for Ethernet, Frame Relay, ATM, Fibre example, a side-by side presentation of Channel), but also the virtual interfaces link utilization, application response time, (e.g., VLANs, DLCIs, PVCs, VSANs). and router health. Multiple metrics can be Because of the extensibility of the CDM displayed in real-time and intermixed technology, the nGenius Performance with historical behavior views. For Manager can quickly add support for new example, a user can monitor concurrently, technologies. Recent examples include in real-time, the utilization by a specific visibility into segments and virtual circuits application across LAN segment and/or by QoS (quality of service) level and a WAN link, as well as simultaneously view new monitoring capability for subnets that the behavior of the same application a allows visibility into MPLS and VPN week ago. This enhances the efficiency environments (enabled by nGenius with which the user can address issues that Probes). may persistently occur in a specific IT Troubleshooting: As a result of this infrastructure environment. Once such a increased visibility into the IT infrastructure, view is defined in a Workspace, the user potential impact on applications or services can recall it at any time with one mouse- due to performance degradations can be click without needing to reselect the detected early via integrated analytics such as parameters. This enables the user to response time, packet analysis or Power selectively monitor IT infrastructure and Alarms, and potentially remedied before diagnose anomalies within the context of users are aware of the anomalies. the specific user responsibilities. • Universal Response Time (URT): • Application-level visibility: nGenius Response time capabilities now reside Performance Manager can identify within the mainstream of the nGenius virtually any application traversing the Performance Manager product, rather network, including well-known (e.g., than a separate module or product as was HTTP, RTP, SMTP), complex (SAP R/ true previously. NetScout has 3, Microsoft Exchange), custom, and incorporated passive response time from Web-based (URLs as unique applications), nGenius Probes with synthetic transactions including applications such as VoIP (voice issued with Active Agents for service level over internet protocol) or Citrix. Available management and to aid troubleshooting. information shows application behavior, As a troubleshooting capability, URT such as “top-talkers” or response times, enables users to better discern if the in a graphical side-by-side display. This application or network is the source of a visibility allows users to make better  2004 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. page 4
    • NetScout ’s nGenius Performance Manager 2.0.1 slowdown, and can help to diagnose the indicate the most active applications, hosts, cause in conjunction with other nGenius and conversations during the time the Performance Manager information, such threshold has been exceeded. as congestion or errors. In addition, • Application alarming: Thresholds can be Active Agents could extend the diagnosis set in nGenius Performance Manager on to the ser ver domain and help application utilization to identify abnormal administrators and planners to more patterns or an undesired network usage. efficiently allocate resources between the server and the network. • Packet capture and decode: The packet analysis functionality included with nGenius • Multi-level “drill down” capability: nGenius Performance Manager enables the user Performance Manager’s tightly woven to capture, filter, and decode packet contextual information enables a relatively contents for the purpose of diagnosing straightforward drill-down from a top- network and/or applications issues. It level view to a multiple number of lower- supports more than 450 different level details for contextual problem protocols and protocol families. resolution. From the Enterprise View the user can start by displaying enterprise-wide Reporting: The reporting functionality traffic data and then “drill-down” to within the nGenius Performance Manager details – e.g., segment utilization, top product enables long-term planning, applications, all users, or packet decode communication and collaboration among IT – to examine in real-time the areas of and business staff. interest by using multiple side-by-side • Logical grouping capability: In nGenius display panes (see Figure 2). Alternatively, Performance Manager the user can create a user could choose to begin with a logical groups of hosts, applications, historical report (NewsPaper) and transfer subnets, or data sources to support directly to a real-time view of the object business-relevant reporting by location, of interest. department, application type, business unit, etc. • Baselining and forecasting: nGenius Performance Manager offers a baselining and forecasting capability to enable the user to optimize current operations and plan more predictably for the future. • Scheduled reports: Navigation through the nGenius Performance Manager release 2.0.1 reports is efficient. Organized in a commonly familiar structure of a Sunday newspaper, the nGenius Performance Manager “NewsPapers” are structured into sections with “news highlights” for specific areas of interest (e.g., Capacity Figure 2 Planning, Response Time) and accompanying reports. A user interested • Power Alarms: nGenius Performance in utilization alarms can go to this section Manager provides user-definable time- and read a specific report(s) and over-threshold alarms for utilization, subsequently go to view another section availability and response time that notify of the NewsPaper dedicated to most the user when a threshold has been utilized applications. In addition, the user exceeded. Unlike ordinary alarms, Power can transfer directly out of the Alarms encompass contextual NewsPaper report to a real-time view of infor mation on the event and the same metrics contained in the report. circumstances that triggered the alarm. For An nGenius Performance Manager user example, a utilization Power Alarm will  2004 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. page 5
    • NetScout ’s nGenius Performance Manager 2.0.1 can also custom define the information Performance Manager. In addition it appearing in their NewsPaper. enables configuration across the nGenius • On-demand reports: Ad-hoc reports is performance management infrastructure, an nGenius Performance Manager release reducing the likelihood of human error 2.0.1 feature that can promote better in configuring multiple servers. This information sharing among users. A user distributed server support also enables observing a particular anomaly or peculiar enterprise-wide reporting – so that even IT infrastructure condition can in environments where one server lives instantaneously generate a report on- in London and another in Tokyo and a demand and distribute it to his/her co- third in Chicago, a report can be generated workers. Through ad-hoc reports, the that can combine data from across the knowledge of one user can be transferred entire worldwide network. to make the overall IT operation more • Global configuration: Multiple functions efficient. can be centrally configured from the nGenius Performance Manager server, Server – Global configuration and including data source identification, metric data collection collection definition, subnet definitions for The nGenius Performance Manager 2.0.1 monitoring remote sites using MPLS or server, the brain of the system, is the central VPN environments, identification of location for data collection and storage, special host groups for custom reporting, custom application traffic and response time definition of application response time definition creation, and user privilege buckets, customer application definitions, establishment. Having a single location for and alarm and forecast template creation. administrative functions can save time and In addition, a user can assign a test(s) to reduce human error, which is more likely Active Agents and assign resulting test data when configuration must be done in multiple to a specific nGenius Probe. nGenius locations. Performance Manager also incorporates nGenius Performance Manager operates in remote probe upgrades including mass Sun Microsystems Solaris (2.7-2.9) and probe upgrades that save extensive Microsoft’s Windows 2000 (Professional, amounts of work for the IT operations Server, Adaptive Server) environments. The personnel. The seamless integration of software is also offered in an appliance performance management functionality in configuration, called “nGenius Express nGenius Performance Manager enables this Appliance,” which comes with nGenius to be performed remotely and facilities Performance Manager pre-installed and pre- such as Global Settings enhance the configured on either a Windows Advanced efficiency of this process. Server or Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES 3.0 • User privilege configuration: Via the platform. NetScout recommends a server, the administrator can assign and dedicated platform for nGenius Performance manage user access privileges to the Manager. infor mation within the nGenius The nGenius Performance Manager server Performance Manager 2.0.1 system. There accomplishes the following primary tasks: are five pre-defined, pre-configured user roles in the system. The product • Distributed Server support: nGenius administrator can also customize the tasks Performance Manager supports a allowed for each user role. In addition, Distributed Server architecture, where nGenius Perfor mance Manager there can be more than one nGenius incorporates a number of different levels Performance Manager server in the of authorization for access to environment under the control of a information such as restricted viewing of Global Manager. The Distributed Server packet payloads and/or headers. These architecture enables upwards scalability facilities define and maintain security and for very large environments without integrity in the nGenius Performance impacting the performance of nGenius Manager.  2004 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. page 6
    • NetScout ’s nGenius Performance Manager 2.0.1 • Data collection: In addition to probes and conveys information with ease of navigation. mini-RMON, NetScout has expanded Worth special note is the capability to display data source collection in fulfillment of its side-by-side tabular and graphical views, as CDM strategy, to include traffic flow well as real-time and historical metrics. In records, including NetFlow and sFlow, addition, CDM facilitates a reasonably as well as basic statistics from network efficient extensibility into expanded devices, including MIB2, Frame Relay functionality and enhanced integration with MIB, and device health statistics, such as multiple management tools. Through unified CPU and memory size from Cisco Performance Management functionality, devices. This allows users to take nGenius Performance Manager users gain advantage of the investments they’ve contextual visibility into network and already made in their infrastructure. Types networked application behavior. This holds of metrics collected include: response the potential to enable more efficient time, top talkers, conversations, statistics operations and promote more enlightened (utilization, volume, packet size), packet business decision making, with quantitative, trace, errors, and alarms. supporting data. • Data storage: Raw data collected from nGenius Performance Manager 2.0.1 is not the data sources is stored for 31 days in without some shortcomings. The most tables, in the common structure of CDM, significant shortcoming is that the user must for consistent display of information (by be well acquainted with his/her IT the console) regardless of data source. infrastructure to properly place probes and Data warehouse processes are run daily manually configure constituent devices in the to summarize data for consumption by deployment phase. NetScout understands historical NewsPaper reports and longer this, however, and has implemented tools to periods of data storage. make the procedure more efficient via central facilities in the server, as well as the capability EMA Perspective to import an IT infrastructure device list The new economic structure necessitates IT from other management tools. NetScout management to function well in the face of sales engineers also work with customers to highly scrutinized IT budgets and still meet identify where in their environments it makes the requirement to control increasingly most sense to add instrumentation. complex IT infrastructures. IT management Another limitation is the nGenius Performance must look to innovative management Manager documentation set that challenges solutions to fulfill the stringent IT the user to navigate through several volumes infrastructure performance requirements but in search of the desired information. avoid the clutter of expensive point solutions NetScout largely mitigates this shortcoming proliferating within IT shops. NetScout’s by “soft” versions of the documentation nGenius Performance Manager revision 2.0.1 included in a user training CD, extensive help is a product that addresses the IT facilities in the product, and on-line user management dilemma of identifying support via the Web. functionally versatile solutions without a budget-breaking price. While cumbersome, these two factors fade in comparison to the many efficiency EMA research indicates that many IT shops boosters achieved by NetScout via features today are filled with point tools exacting high such as Workspaces, Power Alarms, or operational costs primarily due to remote device configuration and mass update inefficiencies of duplicate data processing capability. NetScout management, with the and without cohesive integration of the nGenius Performance Manager 2.0.1 product, resulting information. NetScout’s CDM has demonstrated its commitment to making foundational technology enables close the nGenius Performance Manager best of integration of performance management class. EMA believes that the nGenius functions and data within the nGenius Performance Manager is a prudent Performance Manager product, as well as a investment both for current and future IT unified graphical user interface that aptly management environments.  2004 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. page 7 2005-09-12