How can you monitor multiple remote sites on a WAN link


You have set up a datacentre with many different services and applications. You are quite proud of it. How can you keep it running smoothly? This article describes the NetScope way.

Here is the scenario: A typical hub and spoke network, the hub being a datacentre and the spokes being WAN connections to 30 different sites across the globe. The data Centre hosts a number of different applications and services with which the remote sites access in their day-to-day business activities.

Applications and services accessed by the WAN:

  • ERP
  • Web traffic
  • Internal Web (Internet)
  • Accounting software
  • Citrix for legacy systems not yet migrated
  • WSUS
  • Datastore 1 & 2
  • Printer

In our example the 30 remote sites need access to all of these systems and they all have varying link speeds to the datacentre. For the purpose of this example we will use capital city names to denote remote site locations.

datacentre

Let’s look at the whole WAN

Figure 1.1.1

Figure 1.1.1

(Figure 1.1.1) Expandable list of WAN sites. To view all site traffic to datacentre click ‘link’.
(Figure 1.1.2)
This is the activity for the entire link, which includes all the remote sites. In the inbound direction we are peeking up to 12 Mb per second, and on the outbound we are peeking up to 10 Mb per second.

Monitoring link activity

Figure 1.1.2 Monitoring link activity

Figure 1.1.1 shows the structure that we have given this hub and spoke network. ‘Link’ represents all traffic passing in and out of the datacentre. Below the link we can see a list of capital cities, each capital city represents one remote site.

Let’s have a look at top traffic classes (% used) for the link as a whole

Figure 1.3 Top Traffic Classes

Figure 1.3 Top Traffic Classes

(Figure 1.3) Top Traffic Classes allows us to look at traffic distribution of remote sites.

Click and drill down on any segment

Click and drill down on any segment

NOTE: each segment in the pie chart is also a clickable item, that is if you would like to ‘drill down’ on any traffic segment all you need do is click it with your mouse.

Figure 1.3 shows a distribution of traffic following to and from datacentre split into a pie chart which shows the percentage used by each site. Here NetScope allows you to easily grasp which site is most active and using the most bandwidth. We can see Damascus is using the most at 26.53% closely followed by Bagota at 24.27%.

Narrow down to one WAN site

site application list

Figure 1.2.1 site application list

(Figure 1.2.1) Bagota site expanded showing all applications.

(Figure 1.2.2) Bagota site traffic activity.

 

Remote site activity view

Figure 1.2.2 Remote site activity view

Figure 1.2.1 shows the site ‘Bagota’ in an expanded view and listed below are all applications and services at that site.

Figure 1.2.2 gives us a view of network traffic to and from that site.

NetScope can split up network traffic by site and then by application

By splitting the network traffic up this way NetScope can be used to view network traffic as a whole, network traffic by each individual site and then by applications/services.

What are the top applications used at this site?


By clicking on the CRM segment as shown in figure 1.5 NetScope will drill down and give you a view of Bagota’s CRM traffic.

 

Click on any segment to see application traffic

Click on any segment to see application traffic

(Figure 1.5) Top applications used at the Bagota site.

Choose any time period you are interested in

Figure 1.6 Choose any time period you are interested in


Figure 1.6 shows the Bagota CRM traffic, and as indicated by the diagram, we can further drill down and select any time period we want. Not only that but we can see all kinds of information about Bagota CRM.

How much bandwidth is the CRM using?

CRM bandwidth usage

CRM bandwidth usage

Figure 1.7 bandwidth usage in megabytes, 10 minute increments

Figure 1.7 bandwidth usage in megabytes, 10 minute increments

Which hosts are using the most traffic within Bagota CRM?

Top Source Addresses for CRM

Top Source Addresses for CRM

Top source addresses of traffic to CRM within Bagota

Top source addresses of traffic to CRM within Bagota

What delays are users are experiencing with the CRM application?

Round Trip Times

Round Trip Times

Figure 1.9 delays experienced on CRM

Figure 1.9 delays experienced on CRM

In figure 1.9 we can see that delays are up to 1 second for this time period. This is a large delay as it means 1 second wait time between when a user clicks on an item in the CRM and the user receiving a response.

The CRM is a critical application and it needs to be protected with NetScope’s QOS policies. This is as easy as selecting an appropriate QOS policy from a drop-down menu in NetScope’s policy manager, but more on that in another article!