It's important for organizations to ensure they have the bandwidth necessary to successfully deliver business data across branches, hosted services, DR, backup sites, and data centers. However, in recent years this has become a challenge due to bandwidth being consumed by BYOD, social media traffic, and cloud services. Bandwidth is expensive and most organizations cannot afford to simply add more bandwidth every time the traffic transfer rate is slow. When there are bandwidth issues, organizations need to be able to monitor network traffic and see how bandwidth is being utilized in order to take appropriate action.
SolarWinds Bandwidth Analyzer Pack (BAP) is a network traffic monitor that can tell who and what applications are consuming bandwidth. This will help to make informed decisions on what traffic to prioritize and what should be blocked, as well as validate whether the QoS policies implemented are working as expected.
Analyzing bandwidth usage in 3 steps:
In our example, the organization’s HQ (Austin) is connected to its branch (Sydney) and data center. The connections from HQ runs over the Internet and is slow during regular office hours even though the organization has a T3 line from their ISP.
Configure NetFlow™ and Add devices to BAP for monitoring
To monitor bandwidth usage and analyze traffic, NetFlow is configured on the edge router that connects HQ to the branch and data center. HQ uses a Cisco® 3725 series router that supports Flexible NetFlow. NetFlow is enabled on all the interfaces and the device is configured to send the NetFlow packets to the server running SolarWinds BAP. SolarWinds bandwidth usage monitor captures the NetFlow packets reaching the server, processes them, and then generates reports on bandwidth and traffic usage.
Analyze WAN traffic to identify bandwidth users
Using SolarWinds Bandwidth Analyzer Pack, traffic on the WAN link is analyzed. Details of IP conversations such as applications used and end-points involved when connectivity issues occurred are identified. Drilling down on usage provides information on users and applications that are consuming bandwidth. As a result, the network engineer identifies a number of non-business applications using the network bandwidth.
Download Bandwidth Analyzer Pack to Analyze WAN Traffic
Design QoS and validate QoS performance
With visibility into applications and IP addresses utilizing the bandwidth, informed decisions for QoS design can be taken. The network engineer can decide to block or police non-critical traffic and prioritize business applications. Here, based on the NetFlow report, all non-business traffic is put under ‘Best Effort’ QoS and business traffic is prioritized. The performance of newly created QoS policies are validated by monitoring with SolarWinds Bandwidth Analyzer Pack.
Download Bandwidth Analyzer Pack to Validate QoS Performance
NetFlow Traffic Analyzer Overview
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SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor Guided Tour
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SolarWinds Bandwidth Analyzer Pack review
SolarWinds Bandwidth Analyzer Pack offers businesses the best of both worlds for network monitoring.
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QoS for Enterprise Networks
Today’s Networks are required to deliver secure, measurable, and guaranteed services. Quality of Service (QoS) is the ability of a network to provide improved services to business critical applications over other traffic. This whitepaper will provide guidance on how to configure QoS on Cisco® routers.
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