In this release, we're thrilled to be adding flow support for for Meraki routers, and introducing completely new interfaces for navigating flow source and CBQoS enabled interfaces at scale. Also in this release - we've spent some significant effort to make substantive performance improvements - both in presentation, and in the ingestion and processing of flow records. We're also rounding out our Azure deployment story with comprehensive support for Azure managed instances.
Hunting Bandwidth Hogs
One of the key workflows designed into NetFlow Traffic Analyzer is to answer the fundamental question: what's driving the utilization on my interface? You can read more about Bandwidth and Traffic: Hunting Hogs is this posting. While most sources of flow will give you conversations that are visible from the box, it's important to be able to track bandwidth usage on a specific interface to the top conversations - and to understand which applications are the real drivers for that link.
For the Meraki routers, it was a challenge on some releases to obtain and correctly map the interfaces for traffic flow records. In this release of NTA, we're identifying traffic conversations down to the interface level, and also handling some differences in the way that bytes and packets are reported by this equipment. Our goal here is to make sure you can answer that key question about bandwidth drivers, and can take action based on that insight.
MERAKI FLOW SUPPORT
Meraki MX and Z series routers export NetFlow v9 flow records. The implementation has varied over the last several generations of Meraki firmware, as vendors have worked to present the correct flow volumes and interfaces for traffic conversations. With this release, SolarWinds has worked with Meraki to implement support for these devices that accurately represents packet and byte counts, and associates the traffic conversations with the correct interfaces.
The NTA product can adapt it's behavior to different Meraki firmware revisions to ensure we're providing accurate and granular data. For firmware revisions less than 15.14, we'll provide a mapping of the interfaces which is not available through SNMP, and we'll correct the byte counts for revision 14.7 and later.
Getting the traffic by interface correct is important for our bandwidth hogs investigation. Our most common workflow is still the investigation of high-utilization interfaces to determine the primary traffic drivers.
Meraki devices are integrated just the same as other sources of flow data, but are recognized and processed internally to ensure what we're presenting is accurate.
CLASS-BASED QUALITY OF SERVICE INTERFACES
New in this release, we've created a dedicated page for viewing and managing the collection of data from CBQoS enabled interfaces. Class-Based Quality of Service is a Cisco specific feature that maps policies to interfaces. In previous releases of NTA, you could see CBQoS information on the NTA interface details page. Collection was controlled from the NetFlow sources page, which displayed both NetFlow and CBQoS controls for interfaces. In this release we've separated those functions, and provided dedicated pages for each:
The CBQoS Polling Management page consolidates all CBQoS enabled interfaces into a single list, and offers sorting, filtering, and searching for the entire list. Interfaces are listed in a paginated list, with links to the NTA interface details or node details pages.
The Flow Sources page is now exclusively dedicated to sources of all types of flow data, and has been similarly updated to provide for sorting, filtering, and searching. From this page, you can also manually override sampling parameters for sampled flow sources.
The 2019.4 release includes common platform features like support for managed Azure SQL instances, expanded Orion Maps functionality, and platform-wide improvements in web performance.
You can read more about the Orion Platform and all of our Network and System Management modules here: Orion Platform 2019.4 and Its Modules Are Now Generally Available
You can view the Release Notes and System Requirements documentation for this release of NTA here: Orion 2019.4 Product Releases
Post your installation experiences, questions, and comments on the new release here in this forum! Remember to post your NetFlow Traffic Analyzer Feature Requests and upvote existing feature requests.