After discovering the path, NetPath measures the performance characteristics of each network node and each network link, making it easy to spot slow downs.
Let's go to a path that we have already built - salesforce.com. Here we can see this router has two incoming links. Only one link is experiencing increased delay. By correlating real transit impact to the wealth of information from SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor, NetPath is able to highlight the root cause of the problem.
If you have other products such as Network Traffic Analyzer and Network Configuration Manager installed, their data will show up in the graph when relevant as well.
In this example, we see a config change occurred at the same time as the problem started. Selecting the issue shows the config comparison from Network Configuration Manager. If we scroll down, we will see that a traffic shaper has been inserted that is probably the cause of the slow-down.
Selecting any node allows you to navigate to Node Details for that node. The same is true for interfaces.
NetPath also provides visibility into Internet paths. In our example path to salesforce.com, we can see what companies we're depending on for SalesForce to work properly for us. By clicking on their network, we'll get an expanded view of the routers and links inside.
If the ISP were experiencing any issues, we can click on the node to obtain their contact information. Now I can call them and provide precise, actionable information about the problem we're seeing in their network.
Ever have a user tell you service was down earlier, but it seems fine now? With NetPath monitoring your services, you can travel back in time to see what the network behavior was at the time of the outage.
The time line across the bottom gives you the end to end performance for the path. If you notice an anomaly, you can click the interval on the chart to see what the path looked like and how it was performing at that time. You can also use the forward and back arrows to move through intervals. Holding down the arrow will play through the intervals so you can see how the network changes over time.
NetPath can also help you understand your network's performance, but in a different way than you're used to.
Traditional monitoring tools test from a single point in your network to the various infrastructure components, but the most important thing your network is doing is delivering services to users. NetPath monitors connectivity from your users to the services they care about.
NetPath then determines what infrastructure is in the path, where traffic slow-downs are occurring, and provides additional infrastructure data only when it appears to be related to a real problem.
So, how do you configure NetPath to show a representation of the entire network's performance, focusing on delivery of services to users?
First, think about where you have large groups of users. Using SolarWinds as an example again, we have our Headquarters in Austin, Texas, and we have branches in Lehi, Singapore, Cork, Ireland, and Brno Czech Republic. We'd want to deploy a probe to all of these locations. At particularly large locations with segmented networks, for example our Headquarters, we may want to deploy a probe in each segment of the network that we think may likely receive a different network experience.
Next, think about the services that are important for our users. At SolarWinds for instance, SalesForce, JIRA, Exchange, NetSuite, Confluence, and file shares are some of the most important services. We'd want to add all of these to NetPath. Remember, NetPath can monitor the network connectivity to any TCP based service. What are the most important services for your users?
Finally, we assign our probes to our services.
With all of this done, we can start to monitor and understand how well our network is doing at delivering services to users. We can see service level issues or issues with a specific group of users. Anytime we are having a problem, we can jump into the graph and start solving.