WhatsUp Gold: Daily Network Monitor Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘ flow monitor ’

By David Seuss

A facilities manager at a global real estate firm called recently. He was literally hot under the collar. Company headquarters on the U.S. West coast had been fitted two years earlier with a new HVAC system. It was designed to showcase the firm’s commitment to environmental efficiency. A month before we heard from him, temperatures at HQ started to unexpectedly spike up to the high 80s. And just as quickly subside. More than a few hot heads began to complain.

heatmiser

Heat Miser

The contractor who installed the system checked every device but couldn’t find the problem. The facilities manager told us, “Every time the heat kicked in, I tried to monitor network bandwidth on the HVAC controls network for anomalies. But the temperature would return to normal before I could find any latency with network requests.”

He knew that tracking network bandwidth levels would lead to the source of the problem. But he couldn’t find a product that would do that job until he learned about WhatsUp Gold Flow Monitor from Ipswitch. The network bandwidth monitor measures data from multiple devices and ports that can be grouped together by type. It can then report and create alerts when traffic bottlenecks threatened to take a hit on performance.

Ipswitch Flow Monitor supports common network bandwidth management formats and protocols including NetFlow, sFlow, J-Flow, IPFIX and NSEL. The network bandwidth monitor software can manage application performance and oversee network traffic prioritization policies. It ultimately saves money by minimizing wasted bandwidth.

The facilities manager had Flow Monitor installed by his IT team. They configured thresholds to track the volume of traffic between:

  • Network interfaces
  • Conversation pairs
  • Failed connections per host
  • Top senders/receivers
flow monitor

Ipswitch Flow Monitor

He found the device causing the problem using the product’s unified dashboard. The device was immediately replaced.

The heat miser was banished.

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By Gregory Tompkins

Today’s true story from the front lines is about intermittent application performance issues. But it’s also about Fred, who works for one of our customers. (His name has been changed for privacy purposes.)

One evening not long ago, Fred took his laptop home and visited adult entertainment websites. Before logging off, his machine was quietly infected by malware. Fred came back to work the next morning and connected to the network.

AA023549Soon thereafter the network started to crawl.

Application performance became intermittent.

And the help desk got bombarded with user complaints.

To sort out the problem, the company’s IT manager used Flow Monitor from Ipswitch for network monitoring and traffic analysis. A quick analysis provided a graphic representation that showed the source of the problem. There was a very large amount of UDP traffic coming from Fred’s laptop. The machine was removed from the network.

Network and application performance went back to normal. And IT quietly shared a few best practices with Fred.

If you want to know what’s flowing through your network, you can take our software out for a spin for free for 30 days.

Because every company has a Fred.

 

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By Lauren Smith

The WhatsUp Gold team had a wonderful time at Interop 2012 Las Vegas and we hope you all did too!

It was great speaking with so many of you – but we didn’t realize how many folks were unaware of the newest features available in WhatsUp Gold, such as:

  • Integrated Layer 2 discovery, mapping, and asset reporting with one click (together with WhatsConnected)
  • Task-oriented Web User Interface
  • Consolidated alerting and notification management in a single console via Alert Center
  • FIPS 140-2 encryption and validation (Flow Monitor & WhatsVirtual)
  • Monitors (Fan, SQL Query, HTTP Content, APC UPS, Printers, etc.)
  • Absolute-value interface reports

Learn more about the evolution of WhatsUp Gold and all of its advanced features, or give WhatsUp Gold a try (completely free) for 30 days!

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By Lauren Smith

Over 450,000 computers – including half of the Fortune 500 companies and over 50% of government entities – are still infected with the DNSChanger malware. Don’t be one of them! 

As you’ve probably heard (or maybe even experienced) the DNSChanger is a Trojan horse that changes the DNS settings on computers and routers to send users to malicious sites, which then steal personal information and generate illegal ad revenue for the scammers (we’re exhausted just thinking about it). In November 2011, the FBI took over the botnet’s rogue servers and replaced them; however, on March 8th the FBI will be shutting down the servers they put up in replacement of the rogue ones.

On March 8th, any machine still infected with the malware will be unable to get on the Web, send emails, or do anything else online. Luckily, WhatsUp Gold can help!

Flow Monitor will detect if any devices are still infected on your network. You can build a group containing the IP addresses listed below, and then add an alert for DNS traffic to this group. If you are infected with the DNSChanger, you can then run a report for all infected devices.

Potentially Rogue DNS Servers 

–85.255.112.0 – 85.255.127.255

–67.210.0.0 – 67.210.15.255

–93.188.160.0 – 93.188.167.255

–77.67.83.0 – 77.67.83.255

–213.109.64.0 – 213.109.79.255

–64.28.176.0 – 64.28.191.255

 

Take action before it’s too late – Find out if any of your devices are infected with your free 30-day trial of WhatsUp Gold!

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By Lauren Smith

WhatsUp Gold’s most recent survey of some of its 100,000 customers asked how long employees are spending shopping online leading up to the holidays. Shopping online is becoming the de facto route of choice for many during the festive season – comScore, a leader in measuring the digital world, earlier reported that holiday season spending thus far has topped $15 billion in the US alone, marking a 15% increase over last year.

Full results to the question “How long do your employees spend shopping online for the holidays?” were:

  • 0 – 30 minutes per day – 13.4%
  • 30 minutes – 1 hour per day – 15.7%
  • 1 – 2 hours per day – 15.0%
  • Over 2 hours per day – 15.7%
  • I don’t know – 28.3%
  • Our web policies restrict this – 11.8%

To read the full article around the results of this survey, and to find out how the WhatsUp Gold IT management platform and its Flow Monitor and Flow Publisher plug-ins offer the kind of in-depth insight into traffic analysis that network administrators would benefit from (particularly during the Holiday season), click here.

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By Lauren Smith

When it comes to holiday shopping, consumers don’t hesitate to take advantage of online sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Last year, PCWorld reported on the craziness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday with its release of “Black Friday-Cyber Monday Debrief:2010 Beat 2009”, noting that 2010 beat 2009 with an estimated $1 billion spent Monday online.  PCWorld also reports that online shopping grew by 44 percent on Black Friday in 2010 and many wonder what is in store for 2011 in terms of growth.  With more and more people taking advantage of Cyber Monday, many bandwidth and security concerns face businesses with employees frantically searching the web for deals.  Of course, our go-to tip is to “Monitor the networks” with the WhatsUp Gold plug-in, Flow Monitor, that allows you to track and resolve bandwidth issues and network traffic or congestion problems. 

Learn more about the Flow Monitor and ensure critical business applications will receive the necessary bandwidth to perform.

Try it free for 30 days!

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By Erin Hayes

Ever wonder how other IT professionals use WhatsUp Gold?

Marston’s, Britain’s largest brewer of cask beer, has a cool use-case story. The brewers were interested in growing their business to become known for more than great beer and pubs. They wanted their evolving clientele to know them for also providing a fun public WiFi hotspot and the place to play the latest internet-connect gaming products.

In order to do this they needed to not only enhance both front of house and back-office infrastructure but also improve communications and reliability of connection between the individual pubs and head office so they could start offering these new services to clients.

To achieve this, Marston’s took on the ambitious and innovative step of moving into the telecoms industry in its own right, allowing it to package and deploy its own customized services to various parts of the business.

But creating its own broadband network and taking responsibility for the infrastructure of its 500+ managed pubs meant that Marston’s needed to invest in a scalable networking monitoring solution to provide visibility across the new telecoms network and to help identify problems with hardware and connectivity.

Luckily, their partner, Level 8 Solutions, stepped in and recommended Ipswitch’s WhatsUp Gold.

This wasn’t Marston’s first experience with WhatsUp Gold. They’d been using within their head office for several years. They then deployed a separate WhatsUp Gold installation to monitor routers and WiFi hotspots installed at its managed pubs, as well as to support home workers also served by Marston’s Telecom.

“Using Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold, we are able to monitor the remote infrastructure installed at our estate of managed pubs across the country, ensuring that equipment is functioning correctly and that the connectivity we are providing through Marston’s Telecom is also performing as expected,” McMinn explained.

Plus sides to using WhatsUp Gold over other products like HP Insight were WhatsUp Gold’s clear and easy to follow feedback on the state of the network and the devices connected to it; its single point of view over the health of the network being monitored; and the clear visual guidance when a device encounters a problem.

As in . . . Green is Good, Red is Bad.

If you’re interested in reading the full Case Study click here.

So what about you? Do you use WhatsUp Gold to monitor something even more interesting that beer? If you do, let us know about it in the comments!

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By Erin Hayes

As technology evolves so does the ability for people to hack it.

Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold is staying ahead of the game with its versatile network traffic analyzer, Flow Monitor.

Did you know it’s rarely an apocalyptic hack, like the ones depicted in SyFy films, of which businesses should be weary? Instead – according to a recent report on the Black Hat Briefings by SearchSecurity.com- – it’s the persistent, targeted attacks that weaken a company’s IT infrastructure and compromise its business.

SearchSecurity.com reported last week on two researchers who demonstrated examples of hacks at the Black Hate Briefings. The duo’s hacks ranged from zero-day PDF attacks to memory-based rootkits.

The presenters, Nick Percoco, senior VP at Trustwave’s SpiderLabs and Trustwave senior forensic investigator Jibran Ilyas pointed out what WhatsUp Gold Flow Monitor customers already know:

That attackers are hiding in plain sight and that they are moving data out of organizations using tried-and-true means, such as FTP, HTTP and SMTP.

Firewalls are of little use in these situations. They won’t flag HTTP traffic as an anomaly.

What you need is the ability to monitor traffic moving over TCP port 31337. WhatsUp Gold Flow Monitor, in conjunction with Alert Center, provides this ability and alerts users in real-time when a security breach happens.

In addition, the new release of WhatsUp Gold Flow Monitor allows users to set up monitors on multiple TCP ports (80.8080, etc) so by setting up an alarm specifically for port 31377, you can monitor in real-time and detect the kinds of attacks that Black Hat is reporting.

For the full article click here.

To download a free trial of Flow Monitor click here.

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By Erin Hayes

The World Cup is just three short weeks away. But before you prepare your wardrobe for the month of matches (get those jerseys laundered will you??) we suggest preparing your network for the event.

Now, you may be saying “Huh? What are you talking about; why should I be thinking about my network when I have my team to worry about?”

You should be thinking about your network because you are most definitely not the only one in your office who has their team on their mind.

According to a study by IDC Research, the average organization wastes between 30% and 40% of its network bandwidth to non-work related online activities. Just imagine the spike the in that percentage once the World Cup gets underway!

The 2010 World Cup is the first in the history of the tournament where every game will be streamed online live. You can bet video streaming sites such as YouTube, BBC iPlayer and other BitTorrent video sites will be used to their full potential during these games.

And while it’s nice that your co-workers will never have miss a game at work, you can bet your job will be made more hectic than ever, reacting to bandwidth chokes  from the extra usage – or even worse – complete outages.

Check out our Network Traffic Calculator to gain a better idea of your current bandwidth data – and then check out our Flow Monitor plug-in and start preventing bandwidth problems before they ruin your day!

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