Observer 16.1: Top Five UC and App Monitoring Features

Top 5 Observer 16.1 Features

Since David Letterman already has his Top 10, we’re going with our Top Five to outline the best features from Observer® 16.1. The new version is packed with features to help streamline the process of managing and troubleshooting complex applications, including VoIP and videoconferencing. New correlation powers provide an immediate understanding of service and infrastructure relationships, while global search quickly gathers and presents relevant details about a user, server, or application for immediate action. In addition, we’ll dive into the things you’ve come to expect with releases – expanded application transaction details and unified communications (UC) support. There are other hidden gems for our security-concerned and mobile carrier customers, but that’s another story.

5. VoIP & Video Extract

Save hours of troubleshooting via automated call location and extraction
Assembling VoIP and videoconferencing calls and pinpointing the cause of degraded performance can be very time-consuming. VoIP and video extract in GigaStor™ automate this. Rather than manually filtering and reconstructing call elements, enter basic information such as the phone number, Caller ID, or name, and let GigaStor do the rest.

4. New T.38 Support

Complete UC monitoring with added tracking for Fax over IP
In expanding support for emerging UC services, we added in-depth monitoring of Fax over IP (T.38). Assess fax submission success or failure, and verify details including page count.

3. Enhanced Performance Correlations

Assess relationships between multiple performance variables for problem resolution
Performance correlations combine metrics from the many performance data sources within Observer Reporting Server (ORS) onto a single graph, giving engineers a holistic view of performance and an at-a-glance assessment of variable relationships. Understanding these relationships can be critical for ruling out problem causes, fine-tuning performance, and justifying future IT investments.

2. Expanded Application Transaction Support

Validate your AAA secure access protocols
We continue to expand application transaction analysis in Observer. Now obtain detailed analysis for two important secure access protocols, RADIUS and Diameter. Confirm access responses, validate application status, and review error messages.

1. Global Search

Quickly find and isolate relevant analysis
When you open a web browser, you typically begin with a search. We’ve brought this same capability to ORS. When investigating a network fire, you often know the user, service, or server being impacted. With global search, quickly scour across multiple sources of performance health, and retrieve a view of the health, performance details, and indicators tied to that device, user, or application.

Hidden Gems of Observer 16.1

While you have already read about the application and UC monitoring features in the release, there are also many “hidden Observer gems.” In this article, we’ll focus on uncovering a few.

Removing the Guesswork from LTE Monitoring

For our carrier customers implementing 4G LTE, obtaining visibility and in-depth analysis into subscriber experience on new IP-based infrastructure can be difficult. Using subscriber extract, the Observer platform takes the guesswork out of tracking and validating user experience. Subscriber extract tracks, reconstructs, and presents all relevant details; subscriber identifier information plus associated conversations and activities for investigation to the carrier IT team. In addition, Observer now fully supports VoLTE, ensuring comprehensive visibility to validate and troubleshoot voice, video, and data delivery across 4G networks.

Expanded Hardware Security Module (HSM) Support

For users concerned about FIPS and Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant performance monitoring, Network Instruments Management System (NIMS)™ integrates with PKCS #11, providing expanded support for HSMs. When users need to decrypt Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) data, NIMS interfaces with the HSM via the PKCS API to obtain the SSL certificate info necessary to perform the decryption. This allows the user to analyze the data and effectively troubleshoot potential issues, while maintaining the integrity of SSL encryption keys — and ensuring secure access to the content only when requested with detailed logging and role-based permissions in NIMS.

Utilize Network Packet Broker (NPB) Timestamps

If you use NPBs or matrix switches from leading manufacturers like cPacket Networks®, Gigamon®, Ixia® Anue™, and VSS Monitoring™, leverage their timestamps to assess time changes between when a packet enters and leaves the NPB.

Thanks to Network Instruments for the article.

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