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Virtual Machines & Bare Metal Servers Widget

The Virtual Machines & Bare Metal Servers widget provides information about the application flows on virtual machines (VMs) and bare metal servers (BMSs) in your data center. Use the widget to start flow analysis on selected active flows on a specific VM or a BMS and to view the analysis results. You can also use this widget to place a critical VM or BMS on a watchlist. Network Director will automatically initiate analysis on all flows on that VM or BMS.

Network Director uses Cloud Analytics Engine to perform flow analysis. The Compute Agent component of Cloud Analytics Engine creates a probe, or synthetic packet, that traces the path of the application flow through the network. When a device detects the probe, it collects various metrics that are sent to the Compute Agent, which then sends the metrics to the Data Learning Engine (DLE) component of the Cloud Analytics Engine. Network Director, in turn, obtains this information from DLE. For more information about Cloud Analytics Engine, see Understanding Cloud Analytics Engine and Network Director.

Flow analysis provides you with the number of hops, latency per hop, and end-to-end latency. For each hop, you can view information about the device—for example, CPU utilization, ingress and egress ports used, and traffic statistics. The information provided enables you to identify congestion points in the network that might be affecting application performance.

In addition to using the Virtual Machines & Bare Metal Servers widget, you can perform flow analysis or view the results of flow analysis by using the following widgets or tasks:

This topic describes:

Requirements for Flow Analysis

To perform flow analysis with Network Director, you must:

See the Cloud Analytics Engine documentation in the QFX Series switch documentation for more information about Cloud Analytics Engine.

Network Director performs flow analysis between VMs and BMSs in the following topologies:

Virtual Machines & Bare Metal Servers Widget Main View

The main view of the Virtual Machines & Bare Metal Servers widget has two tabs that provide access to different flow analysis functions:

Initiating Analysis on Selected Flows from the All Tab

The All tab for the Virtual Machines & Bare Metal Servers widget provides a list of VMs and BMSs known to Network Director. From this list, you can select the VMs or BMSs on which you want to perform flow analysis or for which you want to view flow analysis results.

By default, the All tab displays the 10 VMs or BMSs with the highest bandwidth utilization. To view all VMs and BMSs known to Network Director, click the expand icon at the top of the widget or View all at the bottom of the widget.

You can take the following actions:

To support flow analytics, a device must have Cloud Analytics Engine Compute Agent support. For more information, see Understanding Cloud Analytics Engine and Network Director

Note: Each Compute Agent can analyze only up to 20 flows at a time.

Table 20 describes the fields in the All tab.

Table 20: All Tab Fields

Field

Description

Default Display

Name

Name assigned to the VM or BMS.

Visible

Bandwidth Utilization (KBps)

Total bandwidth consumption in kilobytes per second.

Visible

Host

For VMs, the name of the host on which the virtual machine is running.

Hidden

IP Address

IP address of the VM or BMS.

Visible

Actions

Click Analyze Flows for the device whose flows you want to analyze. Doing so displays the Current Flows window.

Click View Results to view the results of previous or on-going flow analyses on the virtual machine.

Visible

Current Flows Window

The Current Flows window shows the active flows on the selected VM or BMS. Each flow is uniquely defined by source IP address and TCP/UDP port, destination IP address and TCP/UDP port, and transport protocol—either TCP or UDP. When a port number is commonly associated with a well-known service, the service name is also shown.

You can perform the following actions:

Table 21: Scheduling and Advanced Settings

Setting

Action

Schedule

Run Now—Select to start the flow analysis as soon as you click Run Flow Analysis.

Schedule Later—Select to schedule the analysis to run at a later time and enter the date and time in the fields provided. When you click Run Flow Analysis, the analysis is scheduled to run at the date and time you specified.

Scheduled flow analyses are shown only on the dashboard widgets and cannot be managed as scheduled jobs under System > Manage Jobs.

Duration

Specify how long the flow analysis runs.

Frequency

Specify how often a probe is sent on the flow path during the duration in which flow analysis is active.

Timeout

Specify how long the Compute Agent waits before timing out the flow analysis after a probe fails to respond.

Max. number of hops

Specify the maximum number of hops on which flow analysis is performed.

Select Direction

Click the arrow that indicates the direction of the flow you want to analyze: the right arrow for source to destination, the left arrow for destination to source, and the double-headed arrow for both directions.

Capture Flow Bandwidth

Select to have Network Director collect and report information about the flow bandwidth.

If you select this option, you can view the captured flow bandwidth by:

  • Displaying the traffic statistics by mousing over a device in the Flow Analysis Details window, as described in Viewing the Results of Flow Analysis.
  • Viewing active flows through a port in the Device & Port Utilization dashboard wizard.

Mirror Flows

Select to copy the packets in the flow to the IP address you specify.

Apply above settings to all other selected flows

Select to apply these settings to all flows that are currently selected.

Initiating Flow Analysis on All Flows on a VM or BMS from the Watchlist Tab

The Watchlist tab of the Virtual Machines & Bare Metal Servers widget lists all VMs or BMSs currently on the watchlist. When you place a VM or BMS on the watchlist, flow analysis traces start immediately on all flows in the VM or BMS. Each trace lasts for an hour. If the VM or BMS remains on the watchlist after the hour is up, another hour-long trace is started. During the time the VM or BMS is on the watchlist, Network Director automatically starts flow analysis on any new flows that appear. To prevent the introduction of unintended overhead on devices that are not on the watchlist, flow analysis is always unidirectional—from source to destination.

You can take the following actions on this tab:

Table 22 describes the fields in the Watchlist tab.

Table 22: Watchlist Tab Fields

Field

Description

Default Display

Name

Name assigned to the VM or BMS.

Visible

Bandwidth Utilization (Kbps)

Total bandwidth consumption in kilobits per second.

Visible

Host

For VMs, the name of the host on which the virtual machine is running.

Hidden

IP Address

IP address of the VM or BMS.

Visible

Actions

Click Analyze Flows for the device whose flows you want to analyze. Doing so displays the Analyze Flows for VM window.

Click All Traces to view the results of previous or on-going flow analyses on the virtual machine.

Visible

Add to Watchlist Window

To add VMs and BMSs to the watchlist, click Add to Watchlist on the Watchlist tab. The Add to Watchlist window opens, which lists the VMs and BMSs that can be added to the watchlist.

To add VMs and BMSs to the watchlist, select one or more VMs or BMSs and click Add to Watchlist.

Note: If a VM or BMS has more than 20 active flows or if adding a VM or BMS to the watchlist would result in more than 20 flows being traced by a Compute Agent, flow analysis on the VM or BMS is not started.

Analysis on all flows starts immediately on all the VMs and BMSs you add to the watchlist. Each trace runs for an hour. After an hour, another trace automatically starts unless you remove the VM or BMS from the watchlist.

By default, a probe is sent every 20 seconds. Because all flows on the VM or BMSs are traced, you might want to reduce the frequency with which probes are sent to one every 30 seconds or longer. To change probe frequency and other settings, click Advanced Settings before you click Add to Watchlist. The available advanced settings are described in Table 23.

Table 23: Add to Watchlist Advanced Settings

Setting

Action

Frequency

Specify how often a probe is sent on the flow path during the duration in which flow analysis is active.

Timeout

Specify how long the Compute Agent waits before timing out the flow analysis after a probe fails to respond.

Max. number of hops

Specify the maximum number of hops on which flow analysis is performed.

Capture Flow Bandwidth

Select to have Network Director collect and report information about the flow bandwidth.

If you select this option, you can view the captured flow bandwidth by:

  • Displaying the traffic statistics by mousing over a device in the Flow Analysis Details window, as described in Viewing the Results of Flow Analysis.
  • Viewing active flows through a port in the Device & Port Utilization dashboard wizard.

Mirror Flows

Select to copy the packets in the flow to the IP address you specify.

Apply above settings to all other selected flows

Select to apply these settings to all VMs and BMSs that are currently selected in the Add to Watchlist window.

Viewing the Results of Flow Analysis

You can view the flow analysis results for a VM or BMS by clicking All Traces on the All tab or Watchlist tab.

You can also view flow analysis results from the Recent Flow Analysis dashboard widget.

The following sections describe:

Flow Analysis Results Window

The Flow Analysis Results window shows summary results for the flow analyses run on the VM or BMS.

Each flow analysis consists of one or more traces—a trace being a period during which flow analysis was active. Multiple traces can exist because a flow can become inactive and then active again during the duration of a flow analysis or because multiple analyses have been performed on the same flow over a period of time. By default, the Flow Analysis Results window shows the results for the most recent trace for each flow.

You can:

For each flow, the information described in Table 24 is displayed.

Table 24: Flow Analysis Results Fields

Field

Description

Source IP
Source Port

Source IP address and source TCP/UDP port for the flow.

If the port is associated with a well-known service, the service name is also shown.

Destination IP
Destination Port

Destination IP address and destination TCP/UDP port for the flow.

If the port is associated with a well-known service, the service name is also shown.

Status

Status of the most recent trace analysis:

  • Active (rotating circle)—Trace has started and is ongoing.
  • Completed (check mark)—Trace completed at the end time shown.
  • Failed (red triangle)—Trace was unable to complete.
  • Scheduled (clock)—Trace is scheduled to start at the start time shown.

Start Time
End Time

Start and end time for the most recent trace analysis.

Min Latency

Lowest end-to-end latency experienced during the trace, in milliseconds.

Note: Time drift on the network devices between NTP synchronizations can result in negative values.

Max Latency

Highest end-to-end latency experienced during the trace, in milliseconds.

Avg Latency

Average end-to-end latency experienced by the trace, in milliseconds.

Action

Click View Details to open the Flow Analysis Details window, which provides in-depth path analysis for this trace.

Click All Traces to display all previously completed traces for this flow. For each trace, the information described in this table is provided.

Flow Analysis Details Window

The Flow Analysis Details window provides detailed information about a flow trace.

The Flow Analysis Details window is divided into three sections:

You can perform the following actions in the Flow Analysis Details window.

General actions:

On the flow path diagram, you can:

On the Latency Trend charts, you can:

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