One report shows that two-thirds of network engineers regularly troubleshoot problems in an unfamiliar infrastructure, with unclear visibility, old documentation, and scattered connections. Not only does this lengthen the time it takes to resolve network problems, but it also involves a whole lot of guesswork, which can prevent getting to the root cause of the issue. This means that it may stick around for awhile.
With so many people in this situation, Fluke Networks came up with some handy visualization tools, which are available in the new OptiView XG Network Analysis Tablet v9 software. This version includes two information packed features, the new Network Navigator function and the improved Path Analysis tool.
Since visualizing the network is such an obstacle for troubleshooting, an as-built, usable network map would be great for getting a handle on how things are connected and configured. Using CDP and LLDP data, The Network Navigator allows network engineers to simply connect to a root switch and instantly see all connected switches and hosts, with additional drill down data available per connection.
This data is critical when troubleshooting problems because it instantly gives network engineers an as-built map, allowing them to see what is really there, rather than following cables and relying on old documentation.
The Path Analysis feature also got a facelift for v9. It still shows the layer 2 and 3 path between two endpoints, such as a client and server, but this improved Path Analysis also adds a graphical user interface that shows performance and utilization of every connection along the way. Network bottlenecks and congestion problems are simple to see and troubleshoot when tracking down application problems between a client and server.
Other enhancements to the OptiView XG v9 include improved visibility in virtual machines, with added features for Cisco VSS environments and VRRP. These features help network engineers get a clearer view into virtualized network architecture and allows them to solve problems in these systems quickly. Also, there is a new in-line function on the OptiView XG, which allows packet capture at line-rate speed without the need for a tap or span.
For more info about the new v9 feature, check out the product page at www.flukenetworks.com/xg
Author Profile - Chris Greer is a Network Analyst for Packet Pioneer. Chris has many years of experience in analyzing and troubleshooting networks. He regularly assists companies in tracking down the source of network and application performance problems using a variety of protocol analysis and monitoring tools including Wireshark. When he isn’t hunting down problems at the packet level, he can be found teaching various analysis workshops at Interop and other industry trade shows. Chris also delivers training and develops technical content for several analysis vendors. He can be contacted at chris (at) packetpioneer (dot) com.