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1. What is NetUsage Console?

NetUsage Console is a business management service for networking. It addresses significant challenges faced by CIOs, CTOs and FDs by providing transparency of network usage by business. This visibility helps to determine whether to upgrade, downgrade or redesign the network, data centre or server farm environment. NetUsage also assists in deciding how applications should be deployed, and provides accurate budgeting of network bandwidth costs.

2. What does NetUsage do?

NetUsage provides network traffic profiling to understand how business applications are consuming bandwidth. It also provides Application & Host Profiling to model the impact of business changes on the network, and performance benchmarking and troubleshooting.

3. Who uses NetUsage?

NetUsage is designed for use by any organisation wanting to have visibility of their network 24x7, without the need to increase their staff to support it. NetUsage is used by Financial Institutions and Retail organisations to monitor their WAN traffic and to assess the impact of Data Centre moves, and in engineering companies to monitor local network and WAN traffic. With the client list growing all the time can you afford not to be using NetUsage?

4. What are the typical problems that Netusage tries to solve?

The network manager needs to be able to answer questions such as:

And over-riding all of this is the issue of how the information necessary to answer these questions can be obtained without spending vast amounts of money on monitoring equipment and staff, both now and in the future as the network scales.

5. Is NetUsage scalable for my Enterprise network?

NetUsage is very scalable. As a testament to this, it is currently used within some of the largest global investment banks to monitor their global WAN traffic!

6. Can I monitor my WAN, MAN and LAN with NetUsage?

Absolutely! NetUsage can monitor most network topologies such as ATM, MPLS, etc. The flow volume will normally dictate which NetUsage appliance to deploy. For more information, please refer to the NetUsage Deployment Guide.

7. How does NetUsage differ from the traditional Network Monitoring tools?

NetUsage Console differs in that it takes NetFlowtm data and turns it into meaningful reports, not only for the Network department, but also to provide management reports and answers to questions such as which applications or users are putting the network under strain? Or can you provide evidence to justify a network upgrade to business managers? It does this all within a single plug-and-play appliance, is extremely intuitive and offers full visibility at a very competitive price.

8. Do you have a white paper to compare NetFlow with SNMP, RMON, Probe, IP Accounting etc.?

Yes. Please see the Cisco NetFlow Briefing Paper.

9. Do I need to provide the hardware?

The beauty of NetUsage is that it is an appliance; that is, a complete solution in a box; it is quite literally a plug and play device that needs only a minimal amount of configuration, and includes all hardware and software.

10. Can NetUsage be configured for high-availability?

Absolutely. With NetUsage Distributor, this simple but clever technology provides the key to deploying NetUsage as a high availability solution, or deploying multiple NetUsage servers on the same router.

11. How much effort does it take to get NetUsage up and running in my environment?

The simplicity of NetUsage is that it is a plug-and-play appliance. The NetUsage appliance simply requires connectivity to the network, and the router to send NetFlowTM traffic to it. That’s it! Within 30 minutes you can have NetUsage up and running producing reports!

12. What do I need to have switched on in my network for NetUsage to work?

NetFlow should be enabled on your network. This technology has been around for about 5 years, but if your organisation is using routers that do not support NetFlowTM or is not enabled, the NetUsage Probe can be deployed which will capture network data, convert it into a format that NetUsage can use to report on.

13. How much support effort is expected from my IT/Network staff?

Once the initial set-up has been completed, NetUsage will happily run 24x7 monitoring your network. Minimal effort is required to maintain NetUsage if a change is made to the network environment. There is certainly no requirement to increase headcount in order to use and support NetUsage. 

14. How much training is required?

NetUsage is very intuitive. Whilst training is available, one of the benefits of NetUsage is that the clients who use it find it veryeasy to use, as it is designed to be self-explanatory and runs in the background with very little maintenance required.

15. What is a link?

A link means two points connected by two network devices and it can be a physical connection or a virtual connection. For example, a leased line between London router and New York router is a physical link. Other physical links include ethernet, fast ethernet, gigabit, MPLS circuit. A virtual link is typically a frame relay or ATM circuit where there is NO physical cable to connect between two devices.

16. What versions of NetFlow supported?

NetUsage supports NetFlow versions 1, 5, 7, 9.       

17. What is the function of the NetUsage Probe?

The main function of the NetUsage Probe is to provide the granular flow based data required for network monitoring. It does this by sniffing the traffic from the network, and converting it into NetFlow V5 format data, before writing it away to the NetUsage Console.

18. How much CPU is used when Netflow is enable?

Typically, there will be additional 3% to 15% CPU impact. Cisco recommend running with a CPU level at or below 60% after enabling Cisco NetFlow. This allows for growth and traffic surges.

19. How much data is generated by Netflow?

Netflow will add minimal network impact e.g. for a typical MPLS network, 1 packet will be sent every 2-3 seconds from a remote location. Netusage also reports the number of netflow datagram per second for each NetFlow device. Below illustrate how to estimate NetFlow impact to the network.

The volume of traffic generated by enabling Cisco NetFlow can be estimated after enabling Cisco NetFlow caching but prior to enabling data export. This is a four-step process:

To illustrate with an example

This calculation can be repeated for each Cisco NetFlow enabled interface to obtain the total impact.

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