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

 

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