When looking to manage network resources it is critical to understand how the network is being utilized in order to optimize it. XRoads Networks' XFlow Reporting Engine (XRE) was designed to do just that, with its built-in real-time packet analyzer and backend database, the reporting engine can collect, summarize, and display detailed network information.
The XRE module actually captures the packet data which comes in to each of the active interfaces of the EdgeXOS platform. This packet data is then summarized and recorded to a backend database which is built-in to the EdgeXOS platform. Additional analysis of the data is then performed by various components of the XRE module. This analysis creates additional data which is used to generate various graphical displays of the data. Finally, the data is displayed to the network administrator via tabular and 3D graphical format.
The EdgeXOS platform includes a number of reporting capabilities. Some of these include the ability to report on the service level (packet loss, latency) for each connected ISP link, the ability to see how much traffic a specific user/server or application is using as compared with the rest of the network, the ability to see total bandwidth utilization and per application bandwidth utilization in real-time (updated every five seconds). When enabled, the XFlow packet collector can also determine which users and applications are using the most network bandwidth (and automatically throttle when combined with DBM).
XFlow™ is the name of XRoads Networks' built-in packet analyzer. This technology collects usage statistics on a per user / per application basis which allows the EdgeXOS appliance to produce a number of reports, including top users and top applications.
The XFlow (XRoads Flow Collector) module examines each packet going through the EdgeXOS appliance. Packets are examined for their source/destination address/port, protocol, size, and session information. All of this information is then captured in statistical format and summarized for reporting purposes. The reports are dynamically created and are generated using a 3D graphics engine.
Typically customers will use these reports to identify top network users and applications and then create bandwidth prioritization and shaping rules in order to meet their organizations usage requirements, i.e. placing rate-limits on certain applications and/or end-users or prioritizing certain application servers.
One of extra features of the XFlow technology is the ability to output the packet data collected to an external collection server. This information can then be saved on a large drive array for future reporting purposes. The data is dumped via the OpenSource standard 'sFlow'.