Network Instruments’ Observer 13 Expedites Problem Resolution, Improves Application Performance Analysis

Enhanced monitoring tool combines real-time network health insight and root-cause analysis

Network Instruments released an upgrade to its flagship monitoring platform. Observer 13 provides a view of the complete network and includes tools for identifying, understanding, and resolving problems. Troubleshooting can be performed in real time or or by looking at historial information, reducing reduce mean time to resolution (MTTR). Users work with the Observer Reporting Server (ORS) for central management hub to identify and resolve performance problems.

Observer 13 features include:

  • New real-time TopN visibility using ORS NetLive

  • Root cause analysis using application-level ORS reports

  • Support for the 802.11n wireless standard as well as OC-3/12

"More than 80 percent of application performance and availability failures will be blamed on network problems, but the network will actually represent less than 20 percent of the root cause," said Debra Curtis, research VP for Gartner, in a Network Instruments release. "This 'blame game' means that network teams are increasingly dealing with troubleshooting complex applications in addition to traditional network issues. Their expanded role requires tools that can analyze end-to-end application transactions to triage performance problems and determine the root cause, whether that be the network or elsewhere."

ORS can auto-baseline application performance and identify unexpected application behavior abnormalities. Users start at the application level and drill down to specific host servers or compare performance over several days.

Observer 13 includes components that meet the specific monitoring requirements of financial organizations; because trade effectiveness is measured in nanoseconds, rather than milliseconds. "With millions of trades and transactions flowing over their networks, costs from degraded performance and downtime for financial organizations can quickly add up," Charles Thompson, manager of systems engineering, explained.

The release uses an upgraded GigaStor navigation interface and enhanced problem isolation and troubleshooting, including presentation of activity within very short timelines.

Additional product information can be found at

About the Author

James E. Powell is the former editorial director of Enterprise Strategies (

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