Product

Product Update - November 2015

Our latest software release is out now. Read on to see what's new in our 15.11 release. 


Scheduled email reports

Schedule daily, weekly or monthly email reports for yourself and any other recipients. Scheduled email reports provide a simple and effective way to distribute Sinefa network intelligence to key stakeholders.  The combination of custom dashboards and scheduled reports, provide every stakeholder with a relevant perspective of deep network insights.

scheduled email report

More on scheduling email reports


Smart buffering

Connections to the internet can drop out from time to time, but you don't have to lose visibility data from your Sinefa Probe.   Probes can now analyse and buffer network visibility stats when disconnected from the Sinefa cloud. When the Sinefa Probe reconnects, stats are synched to the Sinefa cloud.   No more visibility gaps due internet connection drop outs. Shaping by username
 

Shaping by username

No need guessing and tracking down IP addresses to shape users on the network.  Now, simply specify the usernames of the people you want to shape and Sinefa will do the rest. To shape by username you need to have Active Directory or Radius integration configured.
 

shaping by username

Sinefa receives Certificate of Merit for Best Startup at the National iAwards

Sinefa has received a Certificate of Merit at the 2015 National iAwards held in Melbourne last week. The iAwards celebrate the achievements and innovation made in ICT across all areas of the Australian economy. They provide a platform to recognise ICT innovation that has the potential to significantly impact the economy. The awards are judged by the industry.

"We are delighted to receive such acknowledgment from the industry. The judges have recognised the economic impact that network performance can have on Australia. We believe that human productivity is negatively impacted by poor network performance and Sinefa can contribute significantly to overcoming this problem." - Peter Russell, Sinefa

sinefa iawards merit winner


The impact of BYOD on Network Performance

BYOD Impact

According to a recent Gartner article the lines are becoming increasingly blurred for network managers, as BYOD is embraced by staff, customers and suppliers. Customers and suppliers are looking to connect to business applications on the network, while staff are using BYOD to access business applications and access recreational apps.

It is understandable that a network manager’s life is not made easier by BYOD. Many questions are immediately raised:

How many BYOD devices are running on the network?

  • Are these devices secure?
  • What applications are being accessed on BYOD devices?
  • What's the impact on the applications and on network performance?
  • How are recreational apps affecting human productivity?
  • How can the activity of users on these devices be managed and controlled?

Gartner highlights the fact that this trend is not going away and it is likely to increase. That will mean network managers will have to adapt and develop tools that make BYOD management simple. Securing and identifying devices is the first step.  Network visibility of these devices, and the ability to control applications (traffic shaping) on these devices will be fundamental to ensuring business application performance in the increasingly congested world of BYOD.

Product Update - February 2015

A couple of updates to kick off 2015 and a big pipeline of features for the coming months. 


Even Faster User Interface (UI) - SSD storage & optimised analytics engine

Our UI continues to get faster.   Sinefa's cloud service is now leveraging a much faster storage tier for your analytics data using the latest of Solid State Disks (SSDs).  A new optimised analytics engine further helps to speed up UI responsiveness for an improved user experience.  The optimised analytics engine also means that UI speed is not impacted as your probe deployments and analytics data grow. 
 

Reporting on Device Operating Systems (OS detection)

The explosion of network devices is unprecedented and the ability to see how each device is using the network has become a real challenge.   Most networks today allow users to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) but at the same time risk network overuse and congestion, especially during times when new Android and iOS updates are released.  Sinefa now allows network managers to get a clear break down of usage by OS and what type of devices are using the network.  
 



These features are available now - log in

Visit community.sinefa.com for product help and if you ever need assistance or have any ideas, feel free to contact us at support_team@sinefa.com.


Product update - December 2014

Happy new year and best wishes for 2015.  Below are some features to keep you updated on your network's activity.  We also have a swag of new visibility features scheduled for January so stay tuned. 

Weekly Summary Reports

Every Monday, our users will get a brief email about the top applications on the network and how they've changed compared to the week before.  A simple scan may be enough or investigate further by clicking on "Go to Dashboard". 
 

If you haven't received this report it means that you don't have any application visibility enabled or configured. Contact your network manager or contact Sinefa for assistance with enabling the Weekly Summary Reports.

 

Application Descriptions


New applications are being added on a weekly basis and keeping up to speed with all of them is a challenge.  Users can now hover over the application in question and get the detail they need. 

These features are available now - log in

Visit community.sinefa.com for product help and if you ever need assistance or have any ideas, feel free to contact us at support_team@sinefa.com.

Application Visibility for Big Networks

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Sinefa is proud to announce a strategic technology partnership with Gigamon (NYSE:GIMO). Maintaining pace with device and data explosion is a key challenge for network operators and large enterprise.  Traditional visibility solutions are designed for static networks and fail to scale for new challenges both in terms of speed and distribution.  Visibility has become critical for the new highly dynamic network which must adapt to deliver the best experience for its customers.

 

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Gigamon technology enables Sinefa to collect traffic from complex and very high speed networks. They represent the physical infrastructure that extracts the traffic from the network and integrates with Sinefa software for application analysis. Gigamon is carrier grade hardware and is equipped to handle 100Gbit networks and beyond.  The joint solution enables Customer Facing visibility and L7 classification at ultra high speeds and scale, equipping Sinefa for the largest and most complex fixed and mobile networks. With Gigamon's Visibility fabric and Sinefa's multi-tenant architecture, SPs are ready to scale for next generation networks and extend network intelligence to their customers to provide a great customer experience.
See Sinefa/Gigamon Solution brief (PDF) here: http://www.gigamon.com/technology-solution-briefs

 

Bandwidth monitor for business networks

sw-probe

 

In order to maintain a high level of customer experience for applications and services on the network, an organisation needs to completely understand in a simple way how the network is being utilised. This is the reason many organisations are looking for bandwidth monitor solutions. 

 

This article outlines an approach to effectively monitor bandwidth inside an organisations network. Its targeted to large enterprise networks, small & medium business networks and all the way up to global network operators networks. It answers the questions of how is the network being utilised - what services, what applications, which regions, what users, etc.

There are two steps to effectively monitor bandwidth utilisation.

 

Step 1: Data Collection

Install bandwidth monitor probe to collect data.

Bandwidth monitoring probes are installed in each locations where bandwidth needs to be monitored. Usually they are installed near internet links or Wide Area Network (WAN) links. Probes come in many different formats and flavours. Types of probes:

Hardware probe

  sf200

Software probe

  sw-probe

 

 

Whatever the format, they fit into one of these three categories:

Layer 3 capable probe

 

Layer 3 (IP Layer) monitoring looks at the network interface byte counter to get information on number of packets sent, size per packet and total data transfer over time.  An examples of this type of monitoring is MRTG (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi_Router_Traffic_Grapher).

Layer 4 capable probe

 

Layer 4 (Transport Layer) monitoring looks at IP Addresses, Port numbers and flows. It can tell you how much of the traffic is using port 80 (http) but can’t see what application is using the ports.  Many systems performing layer 4 monitoring utilise Netflow (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NetFlow).

Layer 7 capable probe

 

 

Layer 7 (Application Layer) probe monitoring is by far the best and most sophisticated way to monitor bandwidth. Layer 7 probes utilize Deep Packet Inspection (DPI), behavioural analysis and other techniques to give the most clarity on what applications are using the network, which hosts and can be used to gain additional information about the bandwidth usage such as URL, application drill down, users and application performance metrics.  Sinefa utilises a sophisticated Layer 7 probe.

 

Step 2: Data Presentation 

Generate useful reports 

Probes can generate millions of data points per day so its important to be able to generate actionable and humanly readable information from all this data.

Most bandwidth monitor tools will have a reporting or presentation capability.

 

The more sophisticated solutions will offer :

Historical Reporting

 

Centralised reporting, private or public cloud, becomes very useful as the number of probes deployed increases. With centralised reporting you are able to view the reports from a network wide perspective, on a regional basis or down to individual probes.

Global Real Time Monitoring

For up to 1 second real time resolution, live monitoring of whats happening right now. Ability to get instant real time utilization network wide (e.g. over 1,000 locations) on the same screen.

 

 

 

app-vis-report

 

Get it now!

The worlds most sophisticated bandwidth monitor for small to large organisations is available here try-sinefa-free

 

 

 

 

 

Product Update - August 2014

We continue to add more visibility power and context this month. HTTPS traffic is growing as major websites force it onto their users, stressing the importance for network managers to get more clarity into this traffic. We have also added a neat way to integrate into Active Directory and get username information to adde even more context to visibility reports. We hope you find these new reporting features helpful.  

URL Visibility

Drill even deeper into real HTTP traffic by seeing URLs. Ability to see all URLs on the network, are now part of the Sinefa's basic visibility offering. Sinefa has also linked URLs with a number of applications. Administrators can now drill down into an application like Pandora Radio and understand what servers and URLs the application is supported by.  URL visibility is now available for all customers. No configuration is required to enable it.

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Secure HTTP URL Visibility

Further to URL visibility, we now provide HTTPS/Secure HTTP visibility based on SSL common names. Many of the major websites are now forcing users into using HTTPS and visibility into HTTPS traffic is becoming even more critical in understanding what users are doing.  HTTPS visibility is also available without any configuration changes.

 

Active Directory(AD) username Visibility

Beyond just internal host IP addresses, seeing actual usernames adds important context when reporting and troubleshooting network issues. A username is in most cases is a real person using a device in the network. We have now made it possible to add username context to all the reports and the ability to drill down to specific users and their respective URLs and applications. Sinefa achieves this visibility by querying AD Domain Controllers in the network to link IP addresses to real users. Unlike cumbersome solutions which require the installation of agents onto the AD servers, Sinefa delivers AD integration by simply pointing the Sinefa Instance to the AD server. A simple and self contained approach that scales to multiple Domain Controllers to deliver username visibility across the whole network. Enable username visibility under Settings | Users.  See community post for more details.  Check out the Sinefa community article to get started with AD

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These features are available now - log in Customers with Sinefa Self Host Controllers will need to upgrade to the latest version to enable the new features.

Product Update - July 2014

10x more Application signatures

We have extended our Application signature (L7) engine which now classifies over 6000 different applications. A strong classification engine ensures detection of new and changing network applications such as Skype, Bittorrent, TOR and more. With the new engine comes high speed classification and more visibility into sub-types like Skype and Facebook actions. Sinefa's new signatures are seamlessly updated at runtime via the Sinefa cloud with zero interruption to the service. No need for large firmware updates and reboots like traditional visibility appliances

 

Grouping of Applications

Applications can now be grouped by tags. Default tags like All Streaming, All P2P, All Web File Sharing have been predefined by Sinefa, which users can either add to or create their own tags.

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Sinefa network appliances - available now

Targeted to the branch offices, remote locations and mobile base stations, Sinefa has introduced a range of network appliances.  The appliances are ideal for rapid deployment and boast zero-configuration where virtual infrastructure is not available. The appliances are typically installed in-line with the network and come with ethernet bypass capabilities.  Appliances are now shipping.  Contact us at sales@sinefa.com for more.

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These features are available now - log in

 

 

Product Update - May 2014

Alert Consolidation

Sinefa's alerts act as an early warning system for network performance problems. We recently improved on this by adding intelligence to the system to isolate the link/site that is suffering of poor performance and is impacting the rest of the network. So the moment a network with many sites suffers from poor performance. Users will receive a single consolidated email pointing to the problematic link with links to all the details of the consolidated alert. Alert Consolidation does the hard work of triaging network quality problems and quickly points teams at the problem.

Disabling ACKs/Clear for notifications

It turns out many of our customers send out Sinefa email alerts to third party systems which raise tickets. Thats OK when an alert is raised, but an ACK or a Clear will simply raise another ticket. We've added the option to disable these on notifications.

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Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 1.51.43 pm

Welcome page for new users

A new welcome page is now available when users login for the first time. Users can select to see the Demo Account or setup their own account by deploying a new Sinefa Instance to get started.

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Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 1.59.57 pm

Add Sinefa Instance

Sinefa has more deployment options than you can poke a stick at and that continues to grow. We have a added a Add Instance function to make deployment even easier. The Add Instance button allows users to select Software or Hardware options depending on their environment.  Go to Settings | Instances

Chat to Us

If you ever have any problems, ideas or you just want to chat with us, you can do that via the chat module. We look forward to chatting to you.

These features are available now - log in

Product Update - January 2014

Custom dashboards, support for Sonicwall and improved alerting for individual quality tests.

Create custom Dashboards

With a series of new display widgets, users can now create and share dashboards. Creating Operations, Support or Application Visibility dashboards has never been easier.  With filtering, you can create custom dashboards by region, connection medium and any other tag for high level reporting on areas of interest.  We also now remember the last Dashboard you visited and we'll take you there next time to you login. See more here.

Flow Support for Sonicwall

Sonicwall is the latest vendor to be supported by Sinefa's Application Visibility.  Sonicwall devices can now be used to collect and classify network traffic with Sinefa.  See how to get started

Improved Alerting for Quality Tests

Improved alerting now caters for granular visibility into quality tests and traffic sources. Thousands of quality tests can be created with a single config change and alerts can now be filtered to apply to specific tests or a group of tests. Different alert thresholds can be configured for each individual test, e.g. DSL circuits can have different thresholds to satellite or cable connections.

These features are available now - log in

Create your own Dashboards

With a series of new display widgets, users can now create and share custom dashboards.  Creating an Operations dashboard with key Network Quality tests and then applying that to a particular region is now possible.  Multiple dashboards can be created to suit the different user and department.  Application Visibility dashboards can also be combined with Network Quality stats and maps to create an all in one report which can be shared and emailed.  Without any limits on the number of widgets, dashboards can serve as a high level reports for general consumption.  

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Filtering and remembering your last Dashboard

Detailed filtering allows dashboards to be customized by region, connection medium and any other tag for high level reporting on areas of interest.  Tags assigned to probes and instances for more granular classification and improved reporting.   Sinefa supports unlimited tags per instance allowing for overlays so respective teams can do their own reporting.   Some teams may be interested in regional reporting, others in the performance by Service Provider and others may be interested in the connection type.  This extensive tag filtering can now be applied to a permanent customer dashboard.   Oh, we now remember the last Dashboard you looked at so when you log back in thats where we take you.

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Multiple widgets and presentation options

There is a series of widgets displaying a combination of different stats using spark charts, numbers, maps, bar graphs and pie charts.   The widgets is an area which users will see a lot of progress as we develop and continue to add more options to further their ability to track down problems and make decisions about their network.

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