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What applications are flowing over your Network? (by Keith Bromley)

Want to know?

Every day network managers ask, or get asked, what applications are on the network. Can you answer these questions easily?

  • How much bandwidth are your applications using?
  • Do they comply with your standards and can you audit them?
  • Who is using them?
  • What browsers are being used?

I call this actionable Network Intelligence – Ixia calls it Application Intelligence and that is an understatement.All traditional monitoring switches or packet brokers look at and manipulate packet identification and statistics (to some degree) by viewing layers two through four. What they don’t look at is the application layer, layer seven. However, this is where all the real human application information or intelligence is at! While layer seven’s success depends on all the control and support from the lower layers, layer seven is the ultimate test of successfully delivering actionable human data! Gathering intelligence on layer seven is the ultimate test of your network’s success!

Applications arfe the reasons for networks
Can you answer  the Question - What are my Applications doing?

Do you want to see which applications are running on your network?  Well now Ixia has announced a solution for this huge task and we call it the ATI Processor which stands for Application and Threat Intelligence Processor.

This is not just a product but an awesome solution adaptation of the IXIA NTO and can really help you – the network manager, the security manager, the application manger…etc!

  Apps1

Example of Application list and Bandwidth Share

Wow! This is a very cool approach and as I’m sure most of you can testify to, real application success or failure information is really useful and provides very important information about your network. No one understands bits, nibbles and bytes from digital communications directly nor do we read ASCII on the fly. All of that data needs to be converted to something useful for us humans – sounds, pictures, statistics, etc. Now that is information. Information that’s useful right out of the gate because it’s about the applications running on your network.  Like:

  • What applications do I have on my network?
  • How much bandwidth is a particular application consuming?
  • Are there any roadblocks to the data flowing across my network?
  • What does my network user profile look like (device types in use, BYOD’s, browsers in use, ETC.)?

This is actionable information one can absorb directly to understand, visualize, mitigate, repair and/or to improve your data networks capabilities to handle applications. After all, your network is not just for fun. It was designed to pass information; and information comes from your applications and their ability to pass actionable data.

App dist
Distribution by hour!  

This is all very cool and exciting because the data is collected in real time. The information about your applications (collected dynamically) can now come directly from your monitoring switch. The award winning Ixia monitoring switch, called the NTO (Net Tool Optimizer) has just grown up, big time!

App panel
 Applicatio information panel!

You can now easily track applications by bandwidth, sessions, origin and destination geography and much more and this includes the IPFIX environment. Another exciting feature is that the data can be delivered any way you want – NetFlow, web-based API, or built-in dashboard. With the NTO GUI you can filter, monitor, audit, view compliance and alarm on the information, etc. with ease. You can also direct packets and flows to a monitoring appliance like Wireshark, Snort, deep capture tools, security tools, alarm and NMS devices…etc. This new addition will help you overall to know more about the success of your network and help you make better and more reliable decisions.

 If this ATI Processor addition sounds as interesting for you as it does for us, then feel free to read more to fully understand this new paradigm of real time application visibility.

 A white paper on the ATI Processor is at - http://www.ixiacom.com/pdfs/network_visibility/library/white_papers/application-intelligence.pdf

  KeithKeith Bromley is a product marketing manager for Ixia, Inc., with more than 20 years of industry experience in marketing and engineering. Keith is responsible for marketing activities for Ixia’s network monitoring switch solutions. As a spokesperson for the industry, Keith is a subject matter expert on network monitoring, management systems, unified communications, IP telephony, SIP, wireless and wireline infrastructure. Keith joined Ixia in 2013 and has written many industry whitepapers covering topics on network monitoring, network visibility, IP telephony drivers, SIP, unified communications, as well as discussions around ROI and TCO for IP solutions. Prior to Ixia, Keith worked for several national and international Hi-Tech companies including NEC, ShoreTel, DSC, Metro-Optix, Cisco Systems and Ericsson, for whom he was industry liaison to several technical standards bodies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. 

 

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