Are your staff doing less work and more play?

SNUI 25 August – how does recreational use of the internet affect your productivity.

SNUI is data traffic from all networks being monitored by Sinefa in the previous seven days. This graph shows the percentage of data consumed by video and music apps on a weekly basis since the week ending 4 June 2016.

SNUI is data traffic from all networks being monitored by Sinefa in the previous seven days. This graph shows the percentage of data consumed by video and music apps on a weekly basis since the week ending 4 June 2016.

This week’s Sinefa Network Utilization Index (SNUI) shows a continued inverse correlation between Web Browsing and File Transfers. It is also noticeable that Interactive traffic has dropped this week.

Interactive traffic consists of such things as Citrix, RDP, Oracle, MySQL and Telnet. All of which are work related applications. File transfers consist of Network File Transfer, File Transfer Protocol, Distributed File System and other similar data. Web Browsing, as expected, is very wide ranging traffic from retail and news sites to matchmaking, auction sites, chat and many more – primarily recreational.

Clearly, there is an inverse relationship between the amount of work being done by network users and the amount of browsing they are doing. In part, this is a network issue, with bandwidth being consumed by recreational data. However, the productivity issue is of far greater importance. It brings into question the culture of an organisation and the profitability.

It is amazingly easy and affordable now for you to get this level of insight into your network traffic, to understand what your staff are doing, and to get a better handle on the true productivity of your staff.

It's about time network visibility and control was made this simple.

 

pfSense removes layer 7 support and recommends Snort

You’re not part of me anymore!

You’re not part of me anymore!

In 2016, pfSense announced that it has removed Layer 7 support from its system as of version 2.3.

From pfSense website
"pfSense used to contain a Layer 7 classifier, ipfw-classifyd, but it has been removed. It was non-functional on pfSense 2.2.x and removed entirely from pfSense 2.3 because it was not feasible to fix. L7 classification consumed large amounts of CPU and rarely had the intended effect, and it was a rarely used feature even when it did function."

The recommendation from pfSense is to use Snort but this can be quite difficult and expensive (time wise) to setup and maintain, especially across multiple locations or customers. If you are game to try to configure Snort on pfSense, this installation guide may help. 

Now for the Sinefa plug :)

If Snort won’t do it for you or you are looking for the easiest solution on the planet to get layer 7 application visibility and control, that not only works on internet (where the firewall typically sits) but also the WAN, then check out the solution from Sinefa.com and take advantage of our free trial. Sinefa is so simple and fast to get going and won’t cost you the Earth.

It's about time network visibility and control was made this simple.

How are the Olympics affecting your productivity?

SNUI 18 August – Video and Music

SNUI is data traffic from all networks being monitored by Sinefa in the previous seven days. This graph shows the percentage of data consumed by video and music apps on a weekly basis since the week ending 4 June 2016.

 

This week’s Sinefa Network Utilization Index (SNUI) shows an obvious uptick in video and music consumption. This is likely to be related to consumption of video footage from the Olympic Games.

Nearly every troublesome network we see here at Sinefa is being affected by recreational or social media use. Netflix, Facebook, YouTube and Bit Torrent are all common when a network is running slowly.

It is likely that your staff are being distracted and your network is being compromised by this traffic. If you want to understand and control recreational network use, there is no better solution than Sinefa. Why not run a free trial today?

 

It's about time network visibility and control was made this simple.

 

Doh! Homer Simpson does it again!!

So what are your staff really doing on the network?

Sinefa thanks this anonymous network manager who has just closed another service ticket with our live streaming. The screen shot shows clearly that a user is watching or downloading The Simpsons.

This is a classic example of recreational network use crowding out key business apps. The trouble is that this is increasingly common and is costing businesses and network managers money in needless service tickets.

It's not the network that is the issue, its Homer! Sinefa provides a quick way to demonstrate to users that they are causing their own problems.

It's about time network visibility and control was made this simple.

 

Rampant Social Media in your Workplace?

Are your staff losing productivity and using up bandwidth on recreational applications?

You know that feeling when it is obvious colleagues are spending most of their time on social media rather than doing their work. It makes you wonder how their productivity is affected, and what it is doing to the bandwidth. It becomes part of the culture and very hard to control (not any more).

At Sinefa, we see many underperforming networks and it is just staggering how many problems are caused by recreational use of the network. One example was a major Sydney hospital that had 85% of its bandwidth consumed by Netflix, YouTube and Facebook. At the same time, critical hospital applications wouldn’t run due to bandwidth constraints.

The cost of traffic congestion is insidious. Applications stall and stop, users get frustrated, work stops. Attitudes drop. The network manager gets overloaded with complaints. It has a huge impact on profitability. More resources are poured into bandwidth in an attempt to solve the problem. But that just allows video clips to run faster and more recreational data to be consumed. It simply doesn’t work.

Sinefa allows you to see who is using recreational data and it allows you to shape and control this traffic. You can see which users and devices are consuming which applications. It allows you to shape or block, prioritise applications in order of importance, ensure minimum bandwidth and set burst limits. Sinefa saves you time and money.

It is the first time such easy and affordable technology has been available for network managers. If your workplace is overrun by recreational data, ask you network manager to check out Sinefa.

It's about time network visibility and control was made this simple.

Turning weeks into minutes with test automation

This little probe automation package packs a serious punch.   Any code that gets checked in is compiled and pushed straight into automation.  The package pictured above is for the hardware probes and runs several thousand tests per minute.   It includes a huge number of config and stress test permutations and all historical bugs we’ve ever come across.   New tests are added daily and some of them can increase the total number of tests by 2x or 3x. When the code is developed it first goes through extensive unit tests (code level tests) before making it into the system level tests.

What’s special about Sinefa’s probe automation package, is the speed of execution and the code level output.  Developers checking in new code, have their code automatically tested at a system level in minutes and have accurate detailed output to help identify the root cause.   Such tests would take weeks to run through manually.  Fast feedback from extensive test coverage ensures that developers can deliver high-quality features more often.

Once complete, the probe upgrades are approved and automatically all probes across the world are updated, without missing a beat. Our probes are already reading hundreds of locations and terabytes of information on every continent except Antarctica (and we nearly had a trial there too). Small, smart, amazing! Want to know more? Hit us up. We're happy to share.

 

How is Pokémon Go affecting productivity?

Online gaming consumes bandwidth, slows critical apps and distracts people

With all the talk about Pokémon Go in the press, this week is a good time to have a look at the amount of gaming traffic running on networks.

Down to tin tacks – across networks managed we are seeing up to a 400% increase in gaming traffic in recent weeks. We are not forensically examining this traffic to determine how much is related to Pokémon Go, but there is no doubt that networks have experienced an uplift in gaming data.

Generally, gaming data consumes a very small amount of bandwidth links that we are monitoring, so it is not likely to cause a major problem for networks where appropriate traffic shaping policies in place. However, some networks experience heavy use of gaming applications – it depends on the personnel and the culture of the organisation to a large extent.

One client found that 85% of their bandwidth was being consumed for recreational purposes. They were soon able to bring this under control with appropriate shaping policies.

In many cases, businesses are aware of online gaming during work hours but they cannot determine how many people, how much data, or which individuals are consuming the bandwidth for this purpose.

Sinefa provides you with traffic visibility so that you can see how data is being consumed and the ability to control undesirable data using traffic shaping. 

The Sinefa Network Utilization Index (SNUI) provides a snapshot of the traffic running on today’s networks. The data is compiled from across all networks we have been monitoring for the last 7 days and can be used as a handy reference model. Your network may be different – so why not find out by using Sinefa to check?

The Sinefa Network Utilization Index (SNUI) provides a snapshot of the traffic running on today’s networks. The data is compiled from across all networks we have been monitoring for the last 7 days and can be used as a handy reference model. Your network may be different – so why not find out by using Sinefa to check?

It's about time network visibility and control was made this simple.    

We've got you covered

This blog post can also be found on blog.gigamon.com

Highly distributed workforces and their application workloads are transforming enterprises. Unfortunately, not all for the better.

To facilitate this transformation, enterprises are embracing the public cloud for their core workloads. Companies like Netflix, for instance, have recently migrated customer-facing apps to a public cloud. As workforces continue to mobilize, hybrid WANs and clouds are becoming part of every organisation with applications spread across both private and public domains. While this transformation delivers a host of benefits, it also changes the dynamics of the traditional network, causing visibility gaps that make it challenging for organizations to see their traffic and to resolve performance and productivity issues.

Due to cost, complexity, and architectural limitations, traditional visibility technologies are quickly falling behind. Organizations need to take a new and different approach. One that can optimize application performance and user experience; and one that delivers 100 percent, pervasive visibility across WANs, the Internet, the public cloud, and everything in between.


A Shift in Focus

A hundred percent coverage is not just about agile problem resolution, it’s about understanding how to support business and technical transformation, how to give IT teams back their time, and how to help enterprises maximize productivity and the value of their investments.

In the past, organisations monitored their network to ensure it was doing what it should be. But as Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) has given way to Average Profit Per User (APPU), the focus has now shifted to the subscriber and the value each individual brings. With Subscriber Aware Visibility, a carrier can concentrate on delivery of top-quality service to the highest value subscribers—those subscribers who can bear the cost of high-end services and monitoring. The new focus on the subscriber allows providers to deploy monitoring resources where they are most needed and where they will provide the best return.


High Visibility, High Value

Sinefa’s extensive technology footprint (including physical appliance, virtual, AWS, Azure, Linux (RPM), and NFV) enables multiple agile options for following workloads and traffic. Native multi-tenancy and the presence of Sinefa in CSP networks means that organisations can get Subscriber Aware Visibility into their application traffic by leveraging existing CSP services.

Cloud based visibility platform with an extensive range of simple probes for high coverage at speed and scale. 

1-second traffic resolution samples taken directly from any part of the network. 

1-second traffic resolution samples taken directly from any part of the network. 


By combining Gigamon Visibility Fabric with pervasive coverage, one-second updates, L7 classification, cloud-based management, and the extensive API interface, it’s possible to achieve a visibility platform that scales with the needs of an agile enterprise. Moreover, APIs allow enterprises to build additional applications, early warning systems, dashboards, and analytics around the traffic traversing the network in real time.
 

Sinefa, together with Gigamon’s Visibility Fabric in public clouds like AWS and their pervasiveness in CSP networks, provides enterprises with practical low-touch options to get 100-percent visibility so they can focus on high-value subscribers, which, in turn, allows them to maximize APPU and, more importantly, the bottom line.

Find out more about how quickly we can have you covered with 1-second traffic visibility across your whole network with Sinefa & Gigamon.
 

About Sinefa

Sinefa is focused on creating the world’s easiest traffic visibility and control service to help transform the performance of data networks across the world. Better network performance boosts productivity, eases user frustration and reduces network management costs.  Sinefa is architected for multi-tenancy and scale with zero config deployment for fast and pervasive visibility coverage. It is the simplest solution on the market, providing immediate total visibility and control that saves users and managers time.

Can Traffic Congestion Be Avoided?

Sinefa Network Utilisation Index – 14 July 2016

With data consumption currently increasing at a rate of 50% a year and increasing exponentially (last year it was 30%), there is very little chance that network traffic congestion can be avoided. Few networks can continuously accommodate such growth. 

2016 State of the WAN report finds 80% of organisations lack visibility of their networks

No visibility, no problem resolution. If you can’t see what’s going on, how can you fix it?

The influential “State of the WAN” report from leading industry consulting group, Ashton, Metzler & Associates, is a detailed survey of network professionals that highlights current trends, identifies issues and suggests avenues for future opportunities and research. It has some interesting findings.