Network Analysis Tools - Network Traffic Analysis | NETSCOUT

Network Analysis Tools

To compete and win, businesses must increasingly operate with an expanding footprint. Today’s global economic climate creates significant obstacles to managing the enterprise network. Offshoring, outsourcing, and telecommuting, as well as emerging markets worldwide, are driving the development of a virtual workforce that is widely distributed across a rapidly rising number of remote locations. A wide area network (WAN) is required to provide personnel at these sites access to the systems, applications, and data that often reside at the headquarters facility. Because WAN health is directly proportional to employee productivity, network analysis is a critical function.

Applications of Network Traffic Analysis

Network Analysis Tools - OptiView XG Network analysis tools offer insights into what is happening not only over the wide area network (WAN), but also on the local area network (LAN) at each location. Network analysis pertaining to network traffic flows, protocols, and even individual data packets can empower the IT organization responsible for the network to keep it operating at peak performance.

Network traffic analysis yields perspective on WAN and LAN bandwidth utilization, trends, and even the switch ports in use and what is connected to each port. Network analysis provides protocol information that reveals vital views into the events taking place on the underlying network communications fabric. And data packets provide the most granular analysis about precisely how the WAN and LAN are performing with respect to response times and the overall quality of the end user experience.

When armed with these categories of network analysis information, IT can see remote network and application degradations before they become issues. They can tune bandwidth allocation and manage capacity more effectively. And with the network analysis information, they can improve network availability, track quality of service metrics, and minimize the mean time to repair problems when they arise through rapid detection and accurate isolation.

Key Considerations for a Network Traffic Analysis Tool


The challenge for IT is gaining access to the network information so they can conduct network analysis and respond accordingly. Ironically, at the same time the enterprise is growing, companies are striving for efficiency by centralizing and consolidating IT. The lack of local IT presence at remote sites complicates the execution of network analysis.

Realizing the benefits of network analysis for increasingly complex, widespread enterprises requires a network analysis tool that accounts for the following key considerations:
 

  • Accessibility – The network analysis tool must include robust network analyzer hardware and software that can be deployed throughout the enterprise, but the network analysis tool must be controlled remotely. The cost, time, and impacts associated with dispatching IT personnel to identify and resolve anomalies are prohibitive and unacceptable.
  • Aggregation – The network analysis tool must possess the scalability to collect WAN and LAN information from all remote sites, regardless of whether the network information is delivered directly or via a third-party service provider network.
  • Granularity – The network analysis tool must provide vision into activities across all seven layers of the network. That means the network analysis tool must include not only network traffic analysis, but also the packet capture and decode capabilities for network packet analysis.
  • Visibility – The network analysis tool must automatically discover and account for WAN and LAN updates so accurate analytics can be maintained without requiring IT staff to be sent to remote locations. The network analysis tool also must display data through graphs, charts, reports, and network diagrams, so IT can quickly and conclusively identify and resolve problems anywhere in the enterprise.

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