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Practical Packet Analysis in Hybrid IT EnvironmentsIt’s no secret that networks have become increasingly complex, making troubleshooting more difficult and complicated. The hybrid nature of modern networks, which are made up of wired, wireless, multi-vendor, and multi-cloud environments, create major visibility challenges for network teams. In fact, a recent survey found 42% of network teams spend too much time troubleshooting and 35% struggle with poor visibility across all fabrics of the network. It is estimated that 80% of network issues can be resolved only using flow data. So, what do NetOps teams do with the remaining 20% of network issues? That’s where practical packet analysis comes in.

Practical Packet Analysis

Fortunately, as the most granular data type network administrators can collect, practical packet analysis can help NetOps teams troubleshoot those complicated issues quicker. In fact, the insight that packets can provide is so granular that it can help NetOps pinpoint the root cause of the issue. This can help lead to less downtime, quicker resolution, better user experience, increased productivity.

Here are some common use cases for practical packet analysis in today’s hybrid networks:

1. Resolving Inevitable VoIP Issues – One common issue that occurs is when a customer is experiencing poor VoIP performance – whether it is a dropped call or poor call quality. The frustrated customer will complain about this issue to IT and expect to get it resolved as soon as possible. However, customers usually know their phone numbers but not their IP address. This is a problem because flow data, even IPFIX, does not typically include phone numbers in the flow record, so IT cannot easily isolate the flows in question. In order to resolve this issue, NetOps teams need to involve other tools, resources, or information to identify the flows in question, which can take much longer to do and can frustrate the customer. Luckily, practical packet analysis can enable NetOps to easily and quickly see sender and receiver IP addresses. This information provides NetOps the information they need to quickly resolve the problem, prevent similar issues from occurring in the future, and deliver better end-user experiences. s

2. Conducting Thorough Forensic Analyses – The unfortunate reality of today is that most network issues are discovered only after they’ve occurred. Consequently, NetOps teams are sent into a frenzy, frantically trying to fix the issue as soon as possible. When a network breach or downtime incident occurs, time is of the essence and your network team will need to act fast to prevent further damage.

Practical packet analysis can allow NetOps teams to go back and determine what caused the incident and where things went wrong. Packet data can be used to reconstruct web sessions to analyze users’ past protocol data, application activity, network activities, and more. Practical packet analysis can also provide a real-time view for performance analysis and troubleshooting. Although there’s no way to go back in time and undo the network failure or breach that occurred in these situations, insights from practical packet inquiry can help NetOps to quickly resolve the issue, re-establish expected network performance and prevent future issues.

3. Identifying the Root Cause – If you work in IT, you’ve likely encountered the common situation where users are experiencing latency, but the network team doesn’t know what’s causing it. A flow with high latency could have several root causes, but NetOps teams don’t have time to troubleshoot each possibility. Luckily, practical packet analysis allows teams to quickly isolate the exact cause of the issue. Packet data can quickly determine whether latency is caused by an application or the network. It can also help pinpoint the exact transaction within an application that is causing latency and provide specific troubleshooting data to application engineers so they can quickly address the issue. Access to packet data enables network teams to see exactly where latency is occurring in a network path, since oftentimes the latency is being introduced by a specific network asset.

As networks increasingly become more hybrid in IT environments, it is critical for IT teams to troubleshoot issues quickly and with confidence. In other words, NetOps teams need access to packet data to meet the demands of modern hybrid networks.

To learn more about how LiveNX can provide your organization with access to practical packet analysis in hybrid IT environments, click here.