Network trending – Network Instruments Observer User Manual

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Getting Started with Observer Modes and Tools


Observer® Quick Start Manual

Network Trending

Network Trending is probably the single most important collection and

predictive tool. By collecting and analyzing data on a historical basis,

Network Trending permits the network administrator to create a baseline of

network performance, by collecting, storing, viewing, and analyzing network

traffic statistics over long periods of time. The network administrator can

often identify problems before they occur by examining this data.

Most acute problems are associated with sudden changes; the baseline

Network Trending provides can help to point toward those.

Network Trending can also give advance warning of impending chronic

problems and help to spot opportunities. For example, if the network’s

bandwidth utilization has been steadily rising over a period of months, it

may predict a need to upgrade to a faster network. An upward trend in the

use of the WWW protocol may indicate increased recreational use of the

World Wide Web—or it may signal an increased load on the company Web

server and predict the need to upgrade the present Internet connection to a

faster one.

Most of Observer’s real-time troubleshooting modes have an associated

trending statistic that can be used as a baseline to compare to current

statistics, as a way of helping to isolate problems.

You can run Network Trending continuously, start it automatically every

time you start Windows, or both. The statistics data is stored in a format that

can be easily compressed and passed for viewing to any site that has a

Network Trending viewer installed. This practice permits a network

administrator on one site to easily confer with a colleague on another one—

provided, of course, they both have copies of Observer.

Many network administrators will choose to keep Network Trending

running constantly as a way of generating a continuous historical baseline.

The simplest way to assure this is to put a shortcut to Observer in the

Windows Startup group:
1. Check the “Run Network Trending continuously” checkbox under the

Data Collection tab of Network Trending Properties. (To do this, click on


icon on the Network Trending toolbar and then click on the Data

Collection tab.)