Cisco’s NBAR2 delivers detailed visibility into application performance and prioritization
A long long time ago in a galaxy far away…
I read a research note from Gartner (circa 2001) that suggested deep packet inspection (DPI) would render other forms of measuring application performance less meaningful.
Has that day come?
Maybe, maybe not, but this gets us a lot closer and the data could prove invaluable providing metrics, diagnostic, and deep-dive data to application performance processes within an enterprise or service provider network.
With the flurry of news over the last week about vendors (ManageEngine, CA, Plixer) leveraging this new application performance data I had to take a closer look. What I found was incredibly interesting.
AVC stands for application visibility and control. It is Cisco’s built in capability for discovering and controlling applications on the network. Leveraging NBAR2, Cisco’s next generation of DPI, more than 1000 applications are recognized out of the box, and this data is available just like standard netflow data for visualization in Cisco’s tools or 3rd party tools.
The demand for bandwidth consumption in the enterprise is growing along with video, mobile and cloud. While this is often good for business it can be challenging for operations who need visibility into which applications are running on the network, performance metrics by application, and a way to manage and prioritize to control the end-user experience.
How many times have you walked around your office and seen too many desktops watching something on youtube? Listening to music streaming from youtube is not the most productive use of bandwidth I think.
NBAR2 provides visibility at the application level for collection of performance metrics such as:
– breakdown of applications in detail going accross the network
– by IP, by port, by application
– in interface
– out interface
– out bytes
– out packets
– response time
– application delay
– network delay
– client delay
– server delay
Because AVC is built into the latest gear (ASR 1000 and ISR G2 routers) it may eliminate the need for other costly DPI hardware currently used to measure application performance or shape traffic.
Check out this very short video demo of ActionPacked Networks net flow reporting tool showing the new application performance data.
This data is awesome and needs to be accessible to APM tools to diagnose performance issues as well as fed into analytics (ITOA) engines that perform anomaly detection and correlation.
AVC also supports prioritization of applications using QoS to improve user experience for critical applications and enforce fair-use policies.