Blog :: NetFlow Reporting :: Network Operations

Exinda NetFlow Reporting

This is the first in a 2 part blog series that I am doing on the Exinda NetFlow reporting now available in our advanced reporting solution.

When Exinda, a global provider of WAN optimization and application performance management solutions, introduced the ExOS 6.0 operating system, the release included enhanced monitoring, reporting and acceleration capabilities. This enabled network managers to easily ensure optimal performance across their networks at all times.

A key feature of the new release was its compatibility with NetFlow version 9 from Cisco Systems. NetFlow extensions enable both heuristic and deep packet inspection, and reports on user identification, application groups, application response, service level agreement measurements, and utilization.

While NetFlow at the time was not a new technology, NetFlow being exported by Exinda certainly was. The flexibility of NetFlow v9 allowed vendors to export much more than basic flow information.

The Exinda NetFlow reporting uses deep packet inspection (DPI) to offer full layer 7 classification information as part of the flow records. They also added additional per-flow metrics such as RTT, network delay, server delay, network jitter, bi-directional bit/byte and packet loss, reduction statistics and AD username information.

Network administrators can now trend and report on:

  • The top users who are experiencing the worst performance – not IP’s – users!
  • The best/worst performing offices, servers, clients and applications at the WAN level.
  • View WAN optimization/reduction reports.

In a previous blog I mentioned that we had Exinda NetFlow reports on WAN optimization, and how you can report on how network performance is being increased across your WAN interfaces.

So let’s take a look at what kind of Application visibility can be gained with Exinda NetFlow reporting.

Just like what we see from flow exports from SonicWALL, Palo Alto Networks, and Cisco’s NBAR, Exinda recognizes applications by doing deep packet inspection, and passes these layer 7 application names in their NetFlow export.

Can you see how this kind of application visibility could help you understand and prioritize traffic traversing your network?

Deep Packet Inspection

There is a wealth of information that can be gathered in this type of Exinda NetFlow reporting, including application classification (at layer 7, of course) and monitoring, application performance metrics (such as delay, jitter and loss), acceleration and reduction performance, QoS performance, etc – and all this at the user level when linked in with Active Directory. If you’re working with multiple locations and multiple appliances, viewing this kind of information at the WAN level, at a single collection point, with NetFlow is simply amazing.

Another cool new addition in version 6.0 of ExOS is Application Quality Scores (AQS), a key performance indicator used to measure the performance of applications. AQS assigns a numerical value to determine perceived user satisfaction; this examines measurements of network delay, server delay, network jitter, network packet loss, and round trip time, and converts the data into one number on a uniform scale of zero to 10.

AQS allows the network administrator to set minimum performance thresholds for each application and receive real-time alerts if the levels are unmet.

Ready to see these reports on your Exinda WAN accelerator? Check out Joanne’s blog on how to configure NetFlow on Exinda for complete NetFlow configuration instructions.