With so many factors at play in the modern network, from ongoing security threats, internet-based calling, and now fully remote work, networking engineers need a way to look at all of their networks holistically to make quick, informed decisions and keep things running smoothly. PathSolutions and their TotalView product, which they displayed at a recent Networking Field Day event, provide a top-down view across all of the aspects of your network so you can get the information you need to act fast and effectively to keep your network safe and efficient.
Gaining the Right Network Visibility
Network monitoring is crucial to keeping today’s infrastructure operations running both smoothly and securely. Without a comprehensive view of everything going on in the network, small breaks can end up causing big problems in the long run.
Unfortunately, although there are many options available to organizations with regard to monitoring tools, some are limited in their overall scope of view, only alerting network engineers that there is a problem and not necessarily what the problem is. Without the ability to dig into the actual root cause behind a problem, network engineers have to go on a hunt that can potentially end up as a wild goose chase. Add these endeavors to the already long list of daily tasks faced by networking professionals and it’s no wonder hardly any of them have enough time in a standard workday to complete all of the facets of their jobs.
PathSolutions and TotalView
PathSolutions believes they have the solution to alleviate the visibility woes of networking engineers through their TotalView product. From a top-down perspective, TotalView analyzes network data to identify the root causes of issues, automating much of the actual pathfinding behind them so they can be addressed efficiently and effectively.
Installed on a single VM in your infrastructure, TotalView leverages data points already being generated by every device and interface across your entire environment. Once collected, all of that data is fed into TotalView’s built-in heuristics engine. There, the data is analyzed and compared against standard operating procedures to identify any potential issues.
In turn, TotalView provides:
- Path mapping
- Port mapping
- Server monitoring
- Event correlation
- Cloud service monitoring
- Full inventory
- MIB Browser
- Configuration management
- Configuration automation
With all of these together, you can drill into the actual root causes behind your network issues, whether it’s a poorly configured WAP or even just a cabling snafu.
Using TotalView in Action
At May’s Networking Field Day event, PathSolutions’ CTO Tim Titus presented the capabilities of their TotalView product as it relates to several key use cases today, namely call tracing/simulation, security, and remote work.
Using TotalView’s complete networking diagram picture of your network, you can simulate the traffic pattern of Voice over IP (VoIP) calls as they would travel through your network. Along the way, if the call would experience any latency snags or other drops in performance, TotalView lets you know, identifying the spots where these breakdowns occur. You can simply go back to the direct source of the issue and address it with an informed perspective, rather than troubleshooting around multiple false positives in the network to no avail.
TotalView’s Security Operations Manager function provides security orchestration, automation, and response (or SOAR) for network-based security threats. For example, if an unknown IP address attempts to access the network, TotalView takes in all of the information it already knows, such as the system in question, its user, status, and access rights, and compares them against known attack sources and behaviors. If the attempt seems any bit fishy or out of the ordinary, TotalView flags it for quarantine, saving SecOps teams massive amounts of time tracing the same information across a host of tools.
TotalView also provides similar functionality for policy-based network access, say to a high security database or server. TotalView gives you a real-time look into how those policies are actually working to ensure only the right people have access to said resources. If an attempt is made, or even if a policy is changed somehow, TotalView alerts you to these occurrences so the correct actions can be made accordingly.
Perhaps one of the most relevant pain points of today’s networking teams is keeping remote workers’ network connections secure and stable. TotalView leverages an agent downloaded on a remote user’s machine, collecting similar networking data as it would across your entire infrastructure, except only pertaining to the user’s home office and associated connectivity.
Then, as the network admin, you can sit down and assess their home network’s health, identifying the same snags and snafus that you would in the office, mapping signal strength, firewall throughput, speeds, and traces of that individual user’s connection. From there, you can provide them with the tips they need to better improve their network performance without ever having to step foot in their home.
With near-full visibility over the ins and outs of your in-office network, as well as the at-home ones of your remote workers, PathSolutions’ TotalView automates much of the troubleshooting capabilities you need to keep things running smoothly. Add to that the security and call simulation capabilities TotalView provides, and it’s safe to say that PathSolutions wants your network to be the best it can be while making sure you don’t have to work 80 hours in a week to keep it that way.