Fluke Visual TruView Provides Deeper Insight Into Complex Networks

By Frank.Ohlhorst  |  Posted 2013-03-15 Print this article Print

Fluke Networks charged that potential problem head on by building a platform that leverages advanced hardware processing, high-speed storage, and most importantly, an analytical platform that can correlate, group and analyze data packet flows. That, in turn, has transformed the unenviable chore of network troubleshooting into something a junior technician can perform.

While that may sound like bad news for high-end network engineers, the simple fact of the matter is that Visual TruView can make their jobs a lot easier and allow them to be more proactive with network troubleshooting, apply the information learned to improving network architecture and work on maximizing network performance.

Perhaps one of the most impressive capabilities of Visual TruView is the way it presents critical information. The visual part of the product culminates in an HTML5/Java browser-based applet that delivers stunning graphs and dashboards that make it very easy to translate traffic issues into something actionable. What's more, the GUI is laid out in such a fashion that it makes perfect sense to those, even with a minimum of networking knowledge.

For example, the pull-down menus are grouped by performance elements for specific services and capabilities. That paradigm helps administrators focus on troubleshooting only the service where a problem is detected, rather than searching for a problem across all services.

In other words, if there is a problem with VOIP services, an administrator simply visits the VOIP performance menu and drills down to individual calls. On the back end, the platform gathers all the related information (such as hardware, packets, flow and codec information) together in real time to give a full conversational picture of the VOIP session. That changes troubleshooting from a multi-hour chore into a task that only takes minutes.

Of course, VOIP analysis is only one example here–Visual TruView offers the same capabilities and troubleshooting tools for applications, networks, and sites—all of which are compartmentalized under logical analytical buckets to help smooth troubleshooting and more importantly, support dividing up management among the administrators that are responsible for supporting a given service.

Other notable capabilities include the ability to reconstruct events at the packet level, which, in turn, translates to advanced forensic capabilities. With a few mouse clicks, an administrator can select packet conversations and replay them to reconstruct events. Email, VOIP calls, transactions and so on can all be quickly recreated—making audits and compliance-certification tasks much easier as well as providing all the information needed for e-discovery, forensics and most any other tasks, including change management correlation.

I found very few nits to pick with Fluke Networks' Visual TruView. The product delivers everything needed to effectively monitor and troubleshoot large networks. However, those capabilities do come at a fairly high price. But most enterprises may find that money well spent, especially if downtime is avoided, networking engineering staffs become more effective and end users become more productive.

Editor's Note: The headline of this article was updated to reflect the correct spelling of TruView. It was incorrectly written as TrueView.


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