Sniffing Out Network Problems on Small and Medium-sized Networks

Many network sniffer technologies are often priced beyond the range of small and medium-sized business. To find this market niche, Network Associates’ (NAI) Sniffer Technologies division announced a solution they claim offers ‘superior network performance management.’ Target at organization with under 1,000 employees, Sniffer Investigator is a plug’n play network performance management solution that to rapidly identify and analyze network problems.

Based upon Sniffer Technologies’ Expert analysis technology and more than 280 communications protocol decodes, Sniffer Investigator offers a variety of graphical statistics and features to view, capture, analyze and monitor network performance that includes Internet, Exchange email and Oracle Database traffic.

Sniffer Investigator runs on a lightweight laptop, providing network managers with a ready-to-use, turn-key solution. Key features include:

  • Expert Analysis: Help pinpoint the root cause(s) of network problems, and intelligently define and explain probable solutions to the problem.
  • Filters and Triggers: The filtering capability is based on the monitoring data. Once the customer identifies abnormal activity (i.e. the Nimda worm, Myparty worm), creating a filter from the Host Table and/or Matrix Map is only one click away. Triggers are useful for detecting elusive or intermittent problems that may occur at any hour of the day or night. Triggering can take action when the problem occurs, saving the information to disk and alerting the technician automatically for a proactive approach to network analysis.
  • Protocol Decodes: More than 280 protocol decodes including Cisco, Microsoft, Novell, Apple, and Oracle along with a rich subset of the TCP/IP protocol suite.
  • Application Response Time (ART): Baseline client-server port-based transactions over time. Customers can review the ‘top ten worst performers’ graphs and take proactive measures in order to avoid future network congestion.
  • Simultaneous Monitoring and Analyzing: Utilize monitoring, analysis and even playback of network traffic concurrently within the same user interface.
  • Optional Reporting: Sniffer Investigator can work in conjunction with the Sniffer Reporter to generate such reports as Segment Utilization, Top Talkers, Protocol Distribution, and Expert Symptoms and Diagnosis. NAI claims this is the only product available on the market that can provide the ability to create short-term graphical reports.

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