Network Instruments Releases Observer Version 15
Streamlining End-User Experience Monitoring
October 10, 2011
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Network Instruments, a provider of network and application performance monitoring, released the latest version of its Observer performance management platform, which significantly expands support for complex communications and multi-tiered application environments.

Developed in response to customer demand, Observer 15 focuses on critical application challenges IT teams face in validating video conferencing performance, gaining insight into the middleware layer of multi-tiered applications, and proactively tracking end-user experience without the burden of agents. The redesigned platform also addresses the primary challenges IT managers face in deploying performance management systems in the data center: network overhead and scalability limitations.

Observer version 15 includes:

Video-Conference Monitoring
The Observer platform now provides comprehensive codec support and metrics to ensure video and audio quality are fully optimized. Version 15 allows engineers to view video performance alongside other applications that could adversely impact call quality.

Microsoft UC
Network Instruments has strengthened its unified communications analysis by adding in-depth support for the Microsoft UC platform. In addition to viewing UC/VoIP metrics on a summary or per-call basis, teams can utilize Observer Infrastructure to monitor the health of Microsoft Lync servers and related UC components.

IBM WebSphere MQ
Enterprise network teams can now use Observer to improve overall service health by understanding how WebSphere MQ runs within the application hierarchy. By analyzing MQ response times and payload, it’s possible to determine whether performance between tiers is degrading.

End-User Experience
As user expectations and dependence on the network increase, the Observer platform ensures IT stays a step ahead by providing new metrics and intelligence for measuring end-user experience. Relying upon probes and polling technologies accessing native agents, Observer delivers in-depth end-user experience metrics without burdensome proprietary agents or manipulating packets. To streamline the process of managing user experience, teams can drill from dashboard views using new out-of-the-box reports to specific conversations and event details for resolution.

Capture and Analysis Innovations
With Observer 15, Network Instruments introduces several significant hardware and software innovations and enhancements that mark architectural leaps forward in high-speed packet capture and analysis.

Smart Probes: New probe-centric analysis achieves a 97 percent reduction in network overhead by shifting processing and analysis to the probes. Reduced console workloads also improve scalability by significantly increasing the number of probes supported by each console.

Optimized Capture Technology: The new Gen2 capture card offers the highest port density available. The internally-designed card provides de-duplication, filtering, and synchronized hardware acceleration all at the card level for up to 12 ports on gigabit and 10 Gb links. The new design significantly reduces instrumentation complexity and deployment costs.

Streamlined App Management: New Centralized App Maps simplify the configuration and management of applications across multiple probes. In version 15, Observer uses predictive discovery to create application maps that can be customized and automatically pushed out via Network Instruments Management System (NIMS) to all analysis devices on the network.

Financial Trading Analysis
Observer now includes robust multicast analysis and automated microburst detection to ensure IT teams know what is happening down to sub-second levels. Teams can verify multicast streams are properly sent and received, and analyze and summarize stream performance. Observer also allows teams to define microburst parameters and will automatically identify occurrences.

Integrated Third-Party Analysis
Observer 15 offers integrated support for third-party analysis capabilities by exporting captures from Observer and GigaStor to external analysis and security solutions. Users can utilize the integrated analysis feature to mine data and automatically launch analysis within third-party tools, including security, compliance, and forensic tools, alongside Observer analytics.

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