Network Instruments Updates Observer Management Platform

Ensures application uptime with auto-baselining, solution-centric workflows

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Network Instruments has released Observer 14, its upgraded performance management platform. The release focuses on the most challenging problems network teams face in quickly identifying and resolving application issues before they impact users. Observer redefines how engineers manage performance by greatly reducing investigation time and providing a more intuitive approach to problem solving.

The platform also recognizes the growing role network teams play in ensuring application uptime by increasing its in-depth support of critical applications, as well as allowing companies to maximize the value of their NetFlow monitoring applications by expanding their visibility.

Observer 14 features include:

  • Auto-baselining for performance management: Observer's auto-baselining enables engineers to identify and respond to performance problems before they impact the user. The platform automatically establishes baselines for all performance and time-based metrics. Network teams can quickly determine if application delivery and performance is acceptable based on current and past network’s traffic patterns.

  • Solution-focused workflows: Observer 14 offers a new approach to tracking and investigating performance problems. Traditionally, for every network or application issue the network engineer is forced to navigate through the same investigation path as dictated by their analysis software. Rather than having to follow a set process to find relevant data, the network team can use Observer Reporting Server to take the shortest route to resolution.

  • Application transaction analysis: In managing application performance, network engineers need to determine whether application delivery occurred on time and if the content was delivered successfully. Observer's Application Transaction Analysis does both. Engineers can verify delivery and diagnose specific application failures. In Observer 14, all application protocols provide greater error and transaction details. In addition, greater support and analysis for Citrix, DHCP, LDAP, and VoIP (H.323/225, H.323/245, H323/RAS, Megaco H.248, SCCP (Cisco Skinny), and SIP) have been added.

  • GigaStor NetFlow agent: Although leveraging NetFlow is popular for performance management, most NetFlow agents are limited to routed traffic. The new GigaStor NetFlow Agent allows engineers to utilize NetFlow data about any device in any environment. GigaStor captures and converts packets into NetFlow data flows, pushing it out to multiple destinations simultaneously. This is especially valuable for Network Behavior Anomaly Detection (NBAD) and compliance monitoring applications.

  • Unified communications management: To protect against unauthorized review of corporate phone conversations, many organizations have implemented VoIP with secure RTP streams. However, encrypting VoIP severely limits the monitoring and troubleshooting of call problems. Observer 14 now provides call quality metrics on SRTP without impacting the security of the traffic. Another difficulty engineers can have is analyzing and troubleshooting VoIP issues when call components are split among multiple captures. Observer solves this issue by combining separate independent captures into a single view for analysis. The latest version also expanded in-depth, application-specific support and analysis for a variety of VoIP protocols.

Product Pricing

Observer Expert, with expanded application analysis and robust VoIP support, is available for $2,895. Observer Suite, with SNMP console and Web reporting, is available for $3,995. The Observer Reporting Server appliance begins at $25,000. The GigaStor begins at $16,995 for the 2 TB two-port configuration. Additional product information is available at

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