Network Instruments Observer
Elevate performance. Reduce downtime.
Observer understands complex VM environments and manages UC deployments, network performance, applications, and more.
Application PerformanceWith virtualized visibility, you can manage application performance across virtual and physical networks. Reduce downtime and increase productivity with in-depth, contextual application analysis. And get response time data for thousands of applications plus performance metrics, transaction detail, and predictive analytics that show the network impact of new application deployments
Get immediate intelligence in both real time and post capture using Expert Events for TCP, UDP, VoIP, Wireless, and more. It tracks and organizes common services, flags response performance by severity, tracks port-based protocols for slow response, and differentiates between network and application problems with local traffic and WAN/Internet traffic distinction.
Observer is the only analyzer that offers Connection Dynamics, which graphically breaks down individual network conversations piece-by-piece, pinpointing which request or response is causing the issue. Retransmissions and dropped packets are flagged for instant recognition of the issue source. Spaces between conversation sections identify latency and response time issues. TCP/UDP Expert Events show excessive retransmissions, and provide an explanation of the problem and possible causes.
Use network trending to forecast IT needs or justify upgrades with comparative reports. View and analyze network traffic stats over periods of time — from days to years. Trending metrics can be broadly applied to meet diverse challenges like translating web traffic into Internet usage data to appropriately bill departments on service use.
Perform in-depth troubleshooting with an interface that provides intuitive workflows for quick problem resolution. Deep drill-down capabilities with root-cause analysis pinpoint issues at the source with accuracy and ease. High-performance packet capture, decode, and filtering capabilities offer additional support.
Triggers & Alarms
Observer deploys ongoing monitoring of activity levels and immediately sends prioritized alerts when network fluctuations cross your pre-set levels. It gives you the following alert options: emails, paging, trouble tickets, or kick-starting an automated packet capture.
Features also include flagging activities or errors from a pre-defined list; setting custom notifications based on any filter; obtaining email with virus information (including source and destination); and placing triggers on any WLAN activity.
Observer's packet capture, decode, and filtering capabilities are second to none. Observer lets you view individual packets and decode for over 740 primary protocols and countless subprotocols. Observer filters packets quickly and efficiently by address, address range, protocol offsets, and protocol presets. Use Boolean logic to create complex filters.
Observer offers three product options based on feature and functionality levels.
Observer Standard offers packet capture, decode, statistics, and more. Solve network issues through root-cause analysis, manage changes proactively through trigger and alarms, apply trending metrics for predictive planning, and more.
Get deep and ongoing monitoring.
Features on the Standard include all of the following:
- Real time statistics with Top Talkers, bandwidth utilization, VLAN analysis, Internet activity, wireless analysis, IP Pair statistics, and protocol distribution
- Automated real-time packet capture and decoding with nanosecond resolution
- 64 and 32-bit application support
- Error tracking
- Virus and hack signature discovery
- IPv6 Support
- Network trending and reporting with comparison reports, ready-made reports, custom reports, and reports scheduler
- Statistical drilldown
- Triggers and alarms
- Financial protocol support
Need a network troubleshooter with the speed and muscle complex applications demand? Our integrated network analyzer has every robust feature of Observer Standard with added power to pinpoint problems at the source, and automate the investigation and resolution processes.
In addition, Observer’s unique Expert Analysis provides the knowledge of 700 Expert Events that alert you to problems, with conversation analysis sections for TCP, UDP, ICMP, Voice and Video Conferencing, and Wireless.
You also get Connection Dynamics for graphical conversation views right up to the application layer. Plus Application Performance Detail that places app issues in the context of its IT environment; and Stream Reconstruction, VoIP tools, and MultiHop Analysis.
Use Observer Expert's power to keep end-users satisfied and increase uptime.
Features of the Expert include:
- Application trending and analysis for protocols and applications such as: Citrix®, DHCP, DNS, FIX, FTP, HTTP, LDAP, MS Exchange®, MS Networking® (SMB), Oracle®, POP3, SMTP, SQL®, Telnet, VoIP, and WebSphere® MQ
- End-user experience monitoring
- Expert Analysis with over 700 experts, expert summary, network delay, Connection Dynamics, MultiHop analysis, and "What-If" modeling
- MPLS monitoring
- NetFlow collector
- SSL decryption
- Stream reconstruction for web pages, emails, instant messages, VoIP, HTTP-transferred files, and video
- Third-party decode and analysis
- Trace file aggregation
- URL-based tracking
- VoIP Analysis offers: call detail records, aggregate call summaries, over 70 VoIP metrics, over 50 VoIP experts, QoS metrics, MOS, R-factor, and SRTP Support. VoIP Support includes Avaya®, Cisco, Mitel®, Nortel®, Siemens® and ShoreTel®
Our premium software console is packed with every feature the Standard and Expert offers, and then some. The Suite is a web publishing service, stealth troubleshooter, and complex problem solver – with added bells and whistles to make network managers work smarter, not harder. It provides tools to generate and share customized reports on the web, with optional custom decode modules for proprietary use.
Additional capabilities include:
- Automated report delivery
- Baselining with alarms
- RMON support
- SNMP device management
- Switch station locator
- Advanced Web reporting
The Observer analysis software is part of the Network Instruments integrated Observer platform where each product seamlessly works together to create IT management solutions for complex environments. Observer also connects with larger enterprise IT initiatives, including integration with IBM Tivoli and HP OpenView.
- Use Observer with GigaStor for long-term data capture and in-depth analysis on historical events.
- Observer is also used with GigaStor for forensics analysis and stream reconstruction.
- Observer paired with ORS for high-level or aggregate reporting, enterprise-wide reporting, and global alerting.
- OI is a device visibility solution often used with Observer to filter captures on devices.
How is Observer Deployed?
Observer deployment is flexible, intuitive, and problem-free.
The Observer analysis software is most frequently deployed on a network engineer’s laptop and used for diverse purposes like connecting to GigaStor and probes; acquiring data via local interfaces like wireless and Gigabit cards; and providing advanced Expert Analysis to packet captures acquired by third party devices. Additionally, some organizations may choose a centrally deployed Observer (Suite) for ongoing trending-data monitoring and analysis or the processing of alarms and alerts.
Observer 16 is the latest Observer platform. The wealth of data offers depth and breadth, with granular filters that quickly sort statistics, delivering actionable information to your desktop the way you want it. Added technologies streamline processes for migration, management, and troubleshooting services in multi-layered and virtual environments. New features provide customer-driven workflows and deliver advanced correlation, search, and data mining with ease-of-use technologies.
New features include:
Deploy comprehensive, in-depth analysis for high-volume, high-speed LTE networks. With a history of IP expertise, Network Instruments now facilitates resolution for the most complex mobile issues. Our mobile communications support promotes proactive control of the LTE infrastructure, preventing service degradation during times of rapid traffic and user growth. It offers widespread support of LTE elements, interfaces, and protocols to fully characterize overall resource health and status.
Native IPv6 Communications
Get advanced support for IPv6 environments. As you shift to IPv6-based networks, our solutions provide native IPv6 communications options within pure IPv6 and mixed IPv6/IPv4 environments.
Meet present and future monitoring needs with the Observer platform's new 64-bit installation option. Observer automatically detects whether systems are 32-bit or 64-bit, and installs the appropriate system version. The dedicated 64-bit version of Observer offers significant advantages, like increased performance and scalability for larger data set analysis.
Microsoft® UC Support
Get in-depth support for the Microsoft® UC platform. Obtain summary views of UC/VoIP metrics and qualify user experience on a per-call basis. In conjunction with tracking VoIP, teams can monitor Microsoft Lync® server health by pairing Observer with Observer Infrastructure.
End-to-end monitoring of Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) provides a comprehensive view of IPTV health by tracking metrics that include MDI, latency, packet loss, jitter, and QoS settings on a summary or per-session basis. It sends instant alerts for degrading video transmission quality and providing network managers with proactive control.
Multiple tools to manage and investigate performance issues are no longer needed because Observer now has integrated support for third-party analysis and exporting captures for external analysis and security solutions. This means you can send captures to security devices, compliance and forensic tools, and other network analyzers.
As with any network analysis product, more RAM and faster processors improve performance. Network Instruments does not support configurations with less than the minimum stated requirements.
Minimum system requirements
- Dual core Pentium class processor
- 2 GB RAM
- Windows XP or newer
Recommended system requirements
- Quad core Pentium class processor
- 8 GB RAM
- Windows 64-bit operating system (XP/Vista/2003/2008/Windows 7)
- LAN – 10/100, 1Gb, 10Gb, 40Gb
- WLAN – 802.11a/b/g/n
- WAN – T1/E1, DS3/E3, OC3c/OC12c
- SAN – 1Gb and 2Gb Fibre Channel