Orion NetFlow Traffic Analyzer (NTA) 3.7 is currently in Why Should I Care About Release Candidates? phase, so consider this our first post in our sneak peak series around this release.  

Most of us are always looking for an easier way to do our jobs (or perhaps just less work in general ;-).   Well, with that spirit in mind, in NTA 3.7 we’ve answered your numerous requests to see Top Talker details in your NPM high bandwidth utilization alerts.   After all, if you could save a trip to the Orion web console to hunt down bandwidth hogs and troubleshoot directly from your iPhone 4 without having to end your game of Words with Friends, who wouldn’t want that?

Here’s how to do this in NTA 3.7:

1. Open Orion Advanced Alert Manager and edit one of the new default “Top Talker” interface utilization alerts.   You’ll see two:  One for High Transmit Percent Utilization and one for High Percent Receive utilization.  It’s important to note that for this to work the triggered interface must be a NetFlow source that NTA is already collecting data about.

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2. You’ll want to navigate to the Trigger Condition, Reset Condition, and Alert Suppression tabs and set your percent utilization thresholds as appropriate.

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3. Click on the Trigger Actions tab and open the Email a web page action.  Fill out your email address and SMTP info and then navigate to the URL tab.   This is where the magic happens!  

The good news is there are only two things you need to worry about changing here from the default.   If you’ve changed your Admin password from the default (blank) then you’ll need to replace the $$Password$$ and $$User$$ with a user with Admin privileges in Orion.   If you haven’t changed the Admin password from the default, it will work without any changes but it’s probably a good time to change that now ;-)

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4. That’s it!  Here’s what you’ll see in your email.  You’ll notice that the format is optimized for viewing in mobile devices and for email servers that restrict email size.   If you want to change which Top Talker resource details are included, you can go to Admin and Manage Views and edit the NetFlow Interface Details for Alerts view.

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Ok, so what about those of you that live in the Orion web console and don’t want to leave it?   In addition to the email notification, the default Top Talker alerts include a trigger action for creating an “interface utilization exceeded” event in your Orion Events resource.   This means that your NOC operators and others with access to the Orion Events resource can click on those events and navigate directly to the associated NTA interface details view for deeper troubleshooting.

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We’d love any feedback you have on this feature!