NetQoS Enhances Network Performance Reporting Tool

NetQoS' updated ReporterAnalyzer tool will manage large Cisco-based networks.

NetQoS Inc. is preparing to launch a rearchitected version of its network performance reporting and traffic management tool that can scale to some of the largest enterprise networks based on Cisco Systems Inc. products.

ReporterAnalyzer Version 5.0, which provides historical usage reporting and traffic analysis using data collected by NetFlow in Cisco switches and routers, can now scale to tens of thousands of router interfaces, according to officials. The update, due this week, will allow network engineers to identify applications running over expensive WAN links, users hogging bandwidth, performance bottlenecks and virus infections.

The tool is one of a few that can handle the huge volume of data generated by Ciscos NetFlow, according to Michael Turner, executive vice president of NetQoS, in Austin, Texas.

Most network performance reporting providers are using NetFlow in place of a proprietary agent or SNMP agent for data collection, but "the only caveat is that you have to gather a lot of data," said Jean Pierre Garbani, an analyst with Forrester Research Inc., in Cambridge, Mass.

At SchlumbergerSema, ReporterAnalyzer users have found the tool easier to manage and less expensive than RMON probes in its 1,100-router network. "One of our main headaches is the limit for what the current version can take. Were eagerly looking forward to having the more scalable solution," said Rolf Berge, engineering manager at SchlumbergerSema, in Houston.

NetQoS created a tiered architecture for ReporterAnalyzer that allows it to scale at multiple points. It is made up of harvesters that sit at key aggregation points, gathering and filtering NetFlow data. A NetFlow Manager gathers the data from harvesters and stores it for a short time. The rearchitected version offloads the databases from the ReporterAnalyzer server onto DSAs (Data Storage Appliances), each of which can handle the data from 500 router interfaces.

"That let us process all that data without having disk I/O problems," Turner said. The DSAs run the opensource MySQL database and include a 72GB hard drive.

ReporterAnalyzer, which also provides a more flexible way to view reports, can store data for up to a year for analysis, trend reporting and capacity planning. Users can create custom reports and analysis on interface or protocol groups, IP-to-IP addresses, or on a subnet-to-subnet basis.

ReporterAnalyzer Version 5.0 is available now, and prices start at $50,000 for 150 interfaces.