Ready for VoIP: Network Management Architectures: Network Instruments - Page 2

By Mark A. Miller | Posted Mar 7, 2008
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Continued from page 1

Similarly, two options are available for the probe side of the architecture.

The Advanced Multi-Probe reports to Observer consoles located anywhere on the network for distributed visibility, and provides real-time decodes, statistics and long-term trending data.

In addition to all of the capabilities of the Advanced Multi-Probe, the Advanced Expert Probe displays remote expert analysis in real time for faster troubleshooting, performs packet captures and decodes at the individual probe level, and conserves bandwidth by transferring only Expert screen shots to the console, not raw data packets.

GigaStor interface
Figure 2 – Click to see full-size image

Two other Network Instruments management products are also worth mentioning.

The GigaStor provides retrospective network analysis by capturing everything traversing the network—every packet and every connection—and stores terabytes of network-level data for later review, analysis, and reconstruction. Think of this as a TiVO-like device for your network, giving you visibility into events even if you're not there and providing playback whenever you choose to review the activity. It also eliminates the guesswork from VoIP troubleshooting. Rather than having to recreate or guess at the cause of a VoIP issue, you replay the time period around the event and have the Observer run Expert Analysis on the packets to diagnose the issue (see Figure 2).

Link Analyst interface Figure 3 — Click to see full-size image

Another complement to the Observer is the Link Analyst which is focused on infrastructure, and is an active system for querying devices status across the network. Link Analyst displays by business group, location, department, device type, or other custom classification, the status and performance of the network infrastructure. At a high level, you can immediately tell whether every device responsible for providing VoIP service across your network is properly functioning, and if a device is failing, you can drill down on it for specific information or errors (see Figure 3).

Further details on the Network Instruments architecture and products can be found at http://www.networkinstruments.com/. Our next tutorial will continue our examination of vendors' network management architectures.

Article courtesy of Enterprise VoIP Planet

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