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OptiView XG OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

OptiView XG is the #7 ranked solution in our list of top Network Troubleshooting tools. It is most often compared to NetAlly EtherScope nXG: OptiView XG vs NetAlly EtherScope nXG

What is OptiView XG?

OptiView XG is the first network analysis tablet designed specifically for the network engineer. It combines critical functions necessary to automate root-cause analysis of both wired and wireless network performance issues – whether network or application related to reduce time for problem identification. OptiView XG supports repeatable, effective troubleshooting – whether pre- or post-deployment.

Buyer's Guide

Download the Network Monitoring Software Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

OptiView XG Customers

XG is used in all industries. Example customers include: Republic National Distributing Company, Titelive, CitiGroup, Los Angeles Unified School District, Saudi German Hospital, DeKalb County Schools, Valdosta State University, The Everett Clinic, Bio-Reference, Miami-Dade Library, Mitel, Borsa Istanbul, Cimarex, Air National Guard Lowndes County, High Point City, Carrollton City Schools, Kern County, Pruitt Communications and Bosch Group.

OptiView XG Video

Archived OptiView XG Reviews (more than two years old)

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it_user713268
Information Technology Manager
Vendor
Gives us the ability to see our network

What is most valuable?

Gives us the ability to see our network.

How has it helped my organization?

It helps us troubleshoot when we have problems.

What needs improvement?

I would like a built-in tap feature which doesn't interfere with the network, and it allows you to see what is happening there. I would also like to see them lower the cost of maintenance. We paid a lot of money for the product and you also have to pay a yearly fee for technical support.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were no issues with stability.

How was the initial setup?

I was involved in the setup. It was easy.

What other advice do I have?

We can see the sub-net, but we can't…

What is most valuable?

Gives us the ability to see our network.

How has it helped my organization?

It helps us troubleshoot when we have problems.

What needs improvement?

I would like a built-in tap feature which doesn't interfere with the network, and it allows you to see what is happening there.

I would also like to see them lower the cost of maintenance. We paid a lot of money for the product and you also have to pay a yearly fee for technical support.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were no issues with stability.

How was the initial setup?

I was involved in the setup. It was easy.

What other advice do I have?

We can see the sub-net, but we can't see more without using the tap feature.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user651840
Engineer at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
We are looking at packet loss, tracking packets, and figuring out the problems with traffic movement.

What is most valuable?

We are looking at packet loss, tracking the packets which are going to and from a tap to figure out exactly what the problems are with the traffic movement.

How has it helped my organization?

We are using this product to improve our view of what is happening with the packets. We can analyze the information there fairly quickly. We can resolve the issue at hand, whether it is a software issue or a hardware issue.

What needs improvement?

At this time, I can't really think of anything specific. I need to ask my colleagues about that.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for about three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not encountered any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not encountered any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have never engaged technical support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We didn't use any similar solution previously.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was straightforward.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I am not involved in pricing and licensing considerations.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Wireshark and some others, but this product was a better fit for our requirements.

What other advice do I have?

You get what you pay for.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
Find out what your peers are saying about NETSCOUT, Zabbix, Nagios and others in Network Monitoring Software. Updated: October 2021.
541,708 professionals have used our research since 2012.
AA
Senior Network Admin at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
We use it for network discovery, fiber testing, and checking the packet status. It scans the network for problems.

What is most valuable?

  • Network discover: We use it for fiber testing, for checking all the packets that are going in and out, availability, bandwidth, etc.
  • We don't necessarily use it every day, but every time we have some issues with the network, we use it. This could be once a week, twice a month, or three times a month.
  • I usually have it turned on all the time just to scan the network for problems.

How has it helped my organization?

There are a lot of improvements depending on the situation. We have a lot of tools that we can use. If we are in the field and we have OptiView, it is our first line of defense. It is very easy to do the troubleshooting right away. It's an issue of portability.

What needs improvement?

I think everything is OK, except that they integrated AirMagnet already. It's also very heavy, like a brick.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the product for more than ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We had a stability issue when we updated. It froze a few times, but they were able to solve it when we opened a ticket. We had a virus issue, but they solved that as well.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We didn't encounter any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is pretty good. I would give them a rating of 9.5/10.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We did not switch to anything. But again, we have multiple monitoring tools, and we had XG since day one.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was pretty straightforward unless you don't know how to pay attention and listen to the instructions.

What other advice do I have?

  • Make sure that you know what you're doing.
  • Make sure you know where to do the plugins. There are multiple Ethernet ports. Know which one you want to be part of the network, which one you want for management, etc. Sometimes they interchange those things if they don't pay attention. They just plug everything in there, and then you get screwed up.
  • You need to know what SFP you're going to use for a 10-Gigabit and a 1-Gigabit port. Those are important things. But again, you have to pay particular attention to those things, or else you will not get any results.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user602421
Network Analyst at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Enables site surveys and spectrum analysis.

What is most valuable?

We have only been using it for site survey. I've used spectrum analysis as well, just to see what is on the wireless. I haven't used it too much, but it's on our network.

How has it helped my organization?

We use it as a site survey tool. I don't hire out, so it's done in-house. I don't use it every day, but only when I need to.

What needs improvement?

I had some problems generating reports. However, that could be me and not the tool. I don't know. I couldn't get a report out of it for some reason. I have to review that myself.

For how long have I used the solution?

It's been about two years since we starting using this solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were no scalability issues that we experienced. It's running pretty well.

How are customer service and technical support?

I personally have not contacted support. I just haven't had time for anything like that. I had other people use it, and they got the report they were looking for.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

OptiView XG is the first solution that I've gone with. I have not used any other solution yet.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was straightforward. You turn it on. It's really easy to use, once you understand it a little bit. For the site survey part, it's pretty simple. For the other issues, you do need some training. I took some training for it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I did not evaluate other options. I went with this solution because I read the reviews on it and they were good. We had shortage of time to purchase the product, so either you purchase now or never. I ended up purchasing it.

What other advice do I have?

It's a good tool and is pretty simple to use. Once you get the hang of it, it's not too hard to use. You don't have to read a bunch of manuals to get it going, at least for the site survey part.

For the other issues, such as the analyzer and the spectrum, you will probably need some training. I've got to use it more often. If I had time to play with it, I would, but I don't have time.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
it_user613524
Network Analyst at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
The packet capture feature is valuable when there's a troubleshooting issue.

What is most valuable?

The packet capture feature is valuable when there's a troubleshooting issue. Since this is a data center, there are thousands of servers/users.

How has it helped my organization?

When there is a performance issue, we do the sniffer capture on the OptiView XG, and then we analyze the captures. If it helps to determine what the problem is, then it improves the server or application performance.

What needs improvement?

The licensing cost needs to improve since it is very expensive, especially the licensing and maintenance costs.

We used to cover the maintenance, but it's too expensive, so we no longer pay on a yearly basis for the maintenance anymore.

This product is also too bulky.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for around four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

When we first got the second one, there was an issue with the power cable, i.e., when we plugged the power cable into the unit, even if you moved it a little bit, it would turn off. Then we sent it in and it seems a little bit more stable now than it was before. This was a while ago, so it's been fixed.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It has not crashed; there were no scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

When I had the power issue mentioned elsewhere, I contacted them to get it fixed; they sent me a temporary one while they were trying to fix it. So, it was pretty good. I would probably give them a 10/10.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

The new OptiView XGs were purchased because the data center has all 10-gigabit fiber; so that's why we had to purchase that.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was pretty straightforward.

What other advice do I have?

Just test it out. We've always used a Fluke (now NETSCOUT), so I can't really compare it to anything else.

The maintenance cost is obviously too expensive, so our management is not going to approve that type of maintenance cost on a yearly basis.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
it_user599022
IT Manager/Director at a hospitality company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Most valuable to me is its size and the applications that are loaded on it.

What is most valuable?

Most valuable to me is its size and the applications that are loaded on it. It's like a Swiss Army Knife. It's in a tablet size, but not like a laptop. It has handles and straps so it's easy to carry around and survey. The bulkiness I accept only because I need the extra battery life. I don't know if there's a way to do all that stuff and not have the battery capacity. We ordered extra batteries so we can swap them out and keep surveying.

How has it helped my organization?

We've been using it a lot for the wireless portion. We've been doing surveys, heat maps, verification of signal strength, and everything else. If we use the OptiView, we also can use verified LAN and WAN, we do bandwidth throughput testing. Those are some of the big tasks we use it for.

It's the one product that we go to when we have a problem or need to get information, because it can do so much. You don't have to go back and grab this or that other device. It's a Swiss Army Knife.

What needs improvement?

Recently, they introduced a cellular product, so part of what I needed was to add this onto the XG so we can do cellular heat maps for our properties and locations. Our owners come over and expect to have great Internet, as well as connections for their phones when they bring them. That would probably be something I'd want to add on. Size is not a big factor for me, because I realize we ask it to do a lot and for a long time. We may go all day, so I need battery stamina.

Recently, it came out with the web interface or cloud-based feedback; that's good. You got live clients for testing and all that. I'm actually pretty happy with what I've got. I can't think of anything else that I could be improved on, other than the cellular, which they've already done. I've given feedback and they seem to have caught up on that stuff. The cellular was the last one that I had talked about.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using OptiView since the XG came out and we had the generation before that, so we're looking at either six or seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We haven’t had stability issues. We buy the gold support to cover us if there are any issues. One time, we had an issue with a battery and they sent us new batteries overnight. The gold support is important for us, so in case anything does come up, it's covered.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have no stability problems because we maintain network connectivity with the whole state of Hawaii; from here to the Big Island. If I need to run tests, it's usually to set up a reflector and run bandwidth tests. Scalability wise, it can go across and do quite a few things with what we need to test it with.

How are customer service and technical support?

I rate technical support 5/5, being the best. After our last report and the follow-up, everything's been great.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We've used other products and the biggest problem was lack of support, no warranty or excess warranties; things like that. The OptiView support program was pretty comprehensive, including updates for the XG and the other products that we buy. It's something that an enterprise would need; not some fly-by-night or, "oh, we're going to do this stuff, but we won't do extra.", kind of thing.

How was the initial setup?

Setup was pretty straightforward. We needed a little help from our sales engineer who guided us through some scenarios. Then, once we got the hang of it, we took off with it. We just needed a little nudge.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at freeware options like JDSU. We looked at Wavetec, also.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user496350
Network Engineer at a tech consulting company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
They could improve the tablet hardware itself. It can't support the AirMagnet software.

What is most valuable?

The pre-site survey and the AirMagnet site survey help my company in pre-sales and post-sales.

How has it helped my organization?

We used it for our post-sales, so we can get a better understanding of the customers’ wireless needs.

What needs improvement?

They could improve the tablet hardware itself. It can't support the AirMagnet software.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have encountered stability issues. It crashed. Tech support told us that the OptiView tablet itself needs a better processor and more memory. It's unable to run the software without crashing.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It can’t scale to even one user because it crashes when you're using the AirMagnet survey tool, or even running reports.

How are customer service and technical support?

When I contacted technical support about it crashing, it didn't go very well because they said we need better hardware or better tablets with more processing power.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We didn't have a solution before. OptiView was the first of its kind. We wanted a pre-sales site survey tool and a post-sales site survey tool.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was straightforward.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

With the licensing and putting up the software, I pretty much didn't really have to do much other than activate the license.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing this product, I didn’t evaluate other options.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure the hardware supports the software. I think the software is good. I think it would work better on hardware that would support the software.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
it_user479514
Network Engineer at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Packet sniffing allows us to see where there are communication errors between devices.

What is most valuable?

Packet sniffing - it allows us to see where there are communication errors between devices.

How has it helped my organization?

We had two devices that we didn't know what was wrong with them. Communication wasn't working and the graphical interface actually allowed us to see what traffic was being sent to which device. We were able to find out that there was actually double acknowledgments coming from one of the devices. We were able to share that with the coders and ultimately get it fixed.

What needs improvement?

We found that when we used the wireless section of the AirMagnet, we used to have a laptop dedicated to AirMagnet and it actually ran smoother on the laptop. The device still runs AirMagnet the same way the laptop did but it's not as smooth as it ran prior. It probably just needs more memory or needs to be a little more robust.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues at all.

How are customer service and technical support?

The only thing we used them for was some licensing. Since then we really haven't called back.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We actually used another Fluke Networks solution. It was two of Fluke's separate products and this was a an all-in-one solution.

How was the initial setup?

It's actually very easy. It auto discovers and you can pretty much set it up and let it go. It uses a Windows interface so if you're familiar with Windows computers, it's fairly easy to use.

What other advice do I have?

We were able to try it out so if it's possible for you to try it out, it's definitely worth the trial.

I'd rate it an 8. The wireless portion of it being a little stronger would probably get it a 10.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
it_user225462
Network Architect at a wholesaler/distributor with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
We utilize it to troubleshoot situations, packet analysis, wired and wireless, sifting of traffic, and then accurate analysis.

What is most valuable?

We use it more or less for the troubleshooting aspect of wires and wireless.

How has it helped my organization?

It just made it easy to troubleshoot certain situations and to get a quicker resolution, depending on the situation. Basically, we utilize it to troubleshoot situations, packet analysis, wired and wireless, sifting of traffic, and then accurate analysis; when someone says they've got issues with an application. That's generally what we're doing.

What needs improvement?

  • Ease of updating, automated updating.
  • Basically, based on the unit right now, maybe get it to be a little bit smaller, lighter. That would help.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for 4+ years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not encountered any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not encountered any scalability issues; it's just a good tool. Basically, it's used for troubleshooting, so it's not always used 24/7. When we need to use it, it works.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good. I give them a 4 out of 5; no real changes needed.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Before, we would use Wireshark and similar products. OptiView just made it a little bit easier. It was a neat package that made it easier to utilize.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was easy; it wasn't complex.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Previously, pricing and licensing was easy. We'll see what happens with the change with Netscout.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We basically upgraded. We had some legacy versions of this and we upgraded them. There was no evaluation or comparison.

What other advice do I have?

Just know that it's a niche product, but it works.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
it_user529335
Network Engineer at a aerospace/defense firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
We use it to troubleshoot servers and applications. It supports 10 GigE.

What is most valuable?

The 10 GigE connectivity and ClearSight are the most valuable features for us.

How has it helped my organization?

It helps us with troubleshooting. For example, we have a lot of 10 GigE connectivity in our data centers, so we can inject it into the switches, scan the ports and it enables us to capture that data.

What needs improvement?

It's bulky; it's a big tablet. The physical dimensions need to change a little bit; it needs to be more portable. It needs to be like an iPad. Right now, it’s like carrying around an iPad with three inches of bulk underneath it.

The software's all right, but I don't know how you upgrade it to Windows 10. That's the only downside; it comes with Windows 7 preloaded.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for probably four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I haven't seen any stability issues; the application's pretty stable so far.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The data center supports three to five hundred users. We're using it for the servers and applications. A user might call and report problems; then, we'd go into the data center and try to isolate it. For example, if you call and say, "Hey, we have problems with the SharePoint application," I'm going to say, "What are the problems?" You might say, "Hey, we have connectivity issues or dropouts." I go in there and I scan the port, I connect the OptiView up to it, send all that data to OptiView and analyze it. Another example is, say someone has a connectivity issue in the data center. They might say, "Hey, we're having issues; the 10 GigE connections are not coming up." I'll take the OptiView in there and make sure that 10 GigE connection is coming up, make sure I get an IP address and so on.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have never asked for technical support. I actually went to a training class on it. I know how to use it, so I haven’t needed technical support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used the Fluke Networks EtherScope. We switched to the newer version because it didn't support 10 GigE. The biggest thing is support for 10 GigE connectivity, and the ClearSight software.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was straightforward. If you've used the tools before, you should be able to use this just as well. If you use any of the Fluke Networks tools, you should be able to use this as well.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We were using Fluke Etherscopes, so we just kind of evaluated what they offered with that product. We didn't bring in any other vendors.

What other advice do I have?

I was told that they have something called TruView; I would look into buying TruView as a package with it.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
it_user496356
IT Manager at a consumer goods company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
The sniffer feature helps us troubleshoot user connections by identifying the source and destination. The reporting function codes could be improved.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of this product is the sniffer, where we can troubleshoot user connections by identifying the source and destination, to try to get to the root cause. I'm in the operations role, so I'm always trying to get to the root cause.

How has it helped my organization?

I don't use it that much, maybe once or twice, so I can't really say whether it has helped the way my company functions much. I want to. The challenge is getting the experience with the product to use it successfully. I think that's one of the areas where Fluke (now OptiView) probably needs to step up and make it available to end users so they would use this product more often.

What needs improvement?

I think sometimes the codes that are provided with respect to the reporting function could be improved. Is there a way that we can automate the reporting that dumps the captures to discover what could be the potential culprit? Sometimes I see information that's anecdotal, that is being alarmed on but is not really the root cause.

They could also implement a distributive model: How do you take the current functionality of the product and make it mobile? Where we could deploy it quickly, anywhere, to help us get to the root cause because, right now, Wireshark is our go-to sniffer.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've probably been using it for about five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not encountered any stability issues. I never had it crash, but I don't use it much either.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

As far as I can recall, I don’t think I ever ran out of storage on it. It usually supports over 500 users.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have asked technical support for help, and I had a good experience. Usually, support would push me towards training and so forth, if I had something specific. I would say it was about a 6/10. I think if they provided customers the training as part of the purchase would really go a long way.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I did not previously use a different solution. Honestly, we probably use Wireshark more than we use Fluke in our environment, because we can deploy it to a person's laptop anywhere in the world and use the traces. I think that's one of the challenges with the Fluke product, how I have to ship it somewhere to use it, which is not effective.

How was the initial setup?

I have a ton of challenges with the OptiViewproducts. I think on the wired stuff, it was a little easier to decipher. I think on the wireless side, because I had the combo, it may have been a little bit more challenging there.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I think that the maintenance is ridiculous on some of the products, including OptiView.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing this product, I did not evaluate other options. I don't normally get into that. On the other hand, we do use other products for sure.

What other advice do I have?

Figure out how you're going to deploy it, and whether it will include online deployment. I think there's a lot of competition out there with respect to the online portion of it. You can put probes and so forth that have a similar function to Fluke on the network. I don't know if there's a software version that's similar to Wireshark that can be deployed and then use Fluke's analytics to get to the root cause. I think it's a good product.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
it_user496365
Business Analyst/Quality Analyst at a engineering company with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
When I plug it into a router or switch, it maps my entire network.

What is most valuable?

I like the fact that it can map my whole network when I plug it into my router, my switch, that it can literally discover nodes and clients. That's very helpful, and then drill down to the switch.

How has it helped my organization?

If I'm looking for a client, if I have a MAC address, I can punch in the MAC address and it'll direct me to the switch and the port without me having to home to the switch itself. It can home my whole network, more or less, and find exactly where this MAC address is at. Basically, it streamlines troubleshooting and finding troublesome clients.

What needs improvement?

It didn't used to support 10-gig fiber, which it does now. There wasn't a fiber module, which there is now. It ties into all of your other products, as well, so I'm actually pretty pleased with the product.

For how long have I used the solution?

I don't currently use it, but I have a lot of experience with it, over five years. I used it a couple of times a month.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I had some issues with discovery, but it did not crash during those five years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I did not encounter any scalability issues. It can handle a load.

How are customer service and technical support?

I believe I asked for help once and they were helpful. I had trouble turning a feature on or something and they helped me navigate through it.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I did not previously use a different solution. Prior to OptiView, we did not have a tool of this magnitude or this type, so this was the first tool of this type that I've used and I haven't used any competitors.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was straightforward. It wasn't tough at all.

What other advice do I have?

You need to be familiar with networking. Some people think you can just kind of plug it in. If you're a PC guy, then you can learn it but you need to understand networking protocols. Basically, have a good solid understanding of networking infrastructure before you purchase this powerful tool.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
it_user496344
Network Engineer Supervisor at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
It helps me determine whether I need to add wireless access points.

What is most valuable?

  • All of the wireless applications
  • The packet sniffer

This product helps troubleshoot problems, find issues and fix them.

How has it helped my organization?

On the wireless side, when users say that they have trouble connecting to the wireless network in a certain area, I take the Fluke up and I use the analyzer to see the signal strength and if I need to add wireless access points in that area.

What needs improvement?

I actually don't have any complaints.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for a couple of years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not encountered any stability issues. The only problem I've had with it was the hard disk failed. After that, it wouldn't boot. I had to send it back to get replaced.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I don't know why the hard disk failed. I don't believe it was a scaling issue.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support was awesome. They were quick to respond. They were very knowledgeable. We were kept up to date on the status.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I did use something else before using the Fluke product. I switched because of the more updated capabilities of the OptiView.

For one thing, the OptiView is much more compact. The other things that I was using, I had to carry two or three things. OptiView has a lot of things rolled into one compact tablet.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The licensing was confusing in the beginning, but once I figured out what was going on, it makes sense now. The software upgrade process on it is easy.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend it to others and I have recommended it to others. I told my peers at other remote sites about this and three other sites have gotten one.

They just love it. We love it.

The only reason I haven’t given it the highest rating is because everything can be improved.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
it_user496347
Director of Enterprise Systems with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Its network packet analysis and application monitoring help us pinpoint latency issues.

What is most valuable?

  • Analysis of the packets across the network
  • Application monitoring

We use these features for troubleshooting rogue applications. We look for lost packets when we're having issues across our wide area network.

How has it helped my organization?

Basically, what OptiView XG allowed us to do is, when someone says, "Hey, there's a problem, we're experiencing slow latency in a site", we put it on both ends and we look at the traffic going between both ends and see where the latency lies. It gives us an overall view of what's going across that, and we can make adjustments or we can then pinpoint and say “Hey, this thing's going nuts and talk to whoever is responsible for that server or application.”

What needs improvement?

None of my guys have said anything about improving it or doing anything like that. I really wouldn't have any input on that one.

Nonetheless, to make the product perfect, Maybe the licensing could come down; the price could come down a little bit, that would be kind of nice. I think it's a little bit expensive, but as far as functionality goes, I'm not too sure about any room for improvement; I'm not the one that uses it every day. I don't have any; I'm the guy that pays for it.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using it for four years. It supports the 600 users in my company.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

As far as I know, we have not encountered any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

As far as I know, we have not encountered any scalability issues. I don't know that it's ever crashed.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't had to contact technical support, but my guys have. They said it's fine; they've had no problems with tech support when they've called it before.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I did not previously use a different solution. What we had before the Fluke product, we had the ASUS. Those were in-betweens, and that was just to see what the utilization was. And that's all we ever used, we didn't use anything else. We switched because the ASUS didn't give us much as detail as the OptiView did.

How was the initial setup?

We needed some tweaking from the engineer, so it was a little more complex at the beginning, but once we got the hang of it, everything seemed to go just fine.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It's expensive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing this product, we looked at some others; they didn't have a lot of the things that this product had, so that's why we selected this one. We had previous history with Fluke and we had good dealings with them, so that's why we chose this product.

What other advice do I have?

The only thing I could say is make sure that you get help in the beginning to set it up correctly, and then it pretty much runs on its own and you have no problems. That's the only thing my suggestion would be. Make sure you start out at the beginning with someone to help set it up, and then you'll have no issues.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user260031
Failure Analysis Manager at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
The GUI’s user friendly and it's portable. It's easy for the field service guys to handle.

What is most valuable?

The WiFi debugging features. It's called Debug. It helps solve issues that we deal with, with our product.

How has it helped my organization?

It allows us to be able to troubleshoot, predominantly in the field, with the tools that we would normally have in the lab. The portability, the software of it, is nice to use.

The GUI’s very user friendly, so it's easier for the field service guys to handle.

What needs improvement?

There's some obvious shortcomings with the product. Hardware is unreliable. It's already crashed on me several times. It's unusable for weeks.

There are some problematic features. For example, file sizes cause problems where they're too small. You want to record a certain number of things, but this one limits us due to how much we can record and how large the files are.

Software corruption prevented it from turning on. It resolved itself on its own, just by rebooting it a million times.

For how long have I used the solution?

About 2 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There isn't that much instability.

How are customer service and technical support?

I give it a 8. The response time was okay, but the level of detail didn't help solve the problem.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used the PC-based devices. They were much harder to be mobile, so this device makes it easy to go into the field with. It's more accessible if you're out in the field.

How was the initial setup?

It was straightforward. It was predominantly already set up. All you needed to do is turn it on and register it. There's not much you have to learn to start using it. It's already familiar.

The user interface is intuitive.

What other advice do I have?

Do the proper research into the features that it has and whether or not it's the right fit, because for the cost of how much you pay for, there are other solutions out there that you can get. It's the portability that makes this valuable. If that's really what you're after, you need something that's going to be out in the field and is portable, it's great, but if you're looking for something to set up in the lab or something like that, where it stays fixed, then might not be the right tool.

I'm rating it an 8 because it is easy to use and it is portable. Both of those are the positives. The negatives would be hardware unreliability and scalability or the file size limitation. You should be able to record longer periods of time. This one minimizes. It does allow you to record beyond a certain point.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
it_user490686
Contractor at a consultancy with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
Easy to use. Its effectiveness has improved the way my organization functions.

What is most valuable?

The device is easy to use and is effective very quickly. I can plug it into a network and troubleshoot it in 15 minutes and pinpoint problems that would take days to do otherwise. It is an expensive device but, if you are going to use it, it pays for itself in time and effectiveness.

How has it helped my organization?

Its effectiveness has improved the way my organization functions.

It is hard to say what it takes to analyze a network without this device, and then of course with it. For example, with the wireless. I was able to plug it in and see that the client was using the same channels for communication too close together. They were interfering with each other, causing problems with the client using their laptops. Once we were able to rearrange the channels that the individual access points were using, everything cleared up.

What needs improvement?

I cannot even speak to that because normally what it does for me is so well. Then they come out with new features that I cannot even anticipate that make the product more effective. I do not want to say easier to use. Sometimes it is kind of complicated, but they come up with new solutions and they also stay with the market. With fiber and the speeds of fiber, these devices had to become even more powerful to be able to handle that kind of traffic and that kind of testing.

They really do stay up with technology. If you keep up with your maintenance, you can easily upgrade, obviously your softwares, and the hardware; trade it back in. It is almost like a lease on a vehicle. You can trade it back in and get a newer one for big discounts, and stay up with the technology that OptiView offers.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this solution for over 10 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not had any issues with stability. We have two of them and they are out, and the clients love them. They just love them. Anytime I plug this in and go through testing of a network and you have their network administrators there, they pretty much love the product. I have only had one client who was a naysayer, but otherwise it is extremely effective.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not had any issues with scalability because they built that into their product to handle that. You can capture packets, all of the information, that is coming over the wire, which is immense. You can have these ports that are rather large. Any other testing device can get overwhelmed with too much data but the OptiView does not. They have built into their technology the ability to capture all the packets and not miss any. If you miss any, your capture is basically ineffective because you lose the roadmap. It is an extremely solid product because they know the problems with the industry that they are dealing with. They are right on top of it.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their support from my standpoint is 10/10, because any time I have called them with a question they have an answer, or can give you the insight to help you solve your problem effectively. I have never been disappointed with their support when I have had questions, or think I have had a problem. They will help you out, and their staff really knows their stuff.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We implemented this solution in the first place for testing of wireless, for wireless troubleshooting. We had a lot of problems with our clients implementing their own wireless, and they were doing it wrong. This was a way for me to troubleshoot their wireless infrastructure to offer a road map to make it better. That was my main concern, and then getting into the network testing. After realizing what OptiView can do, I got pulled into basically kind of a white area of testing with it as well.

At the time we started using it, there was no effective software for analyzing wireless. Now there are other software products that you can use to analyze bandwidth usage, or another software product to use for capturing packets, but the OptiView has it all in one bundle. You can do the work that the OptiView does with different software products over a longer period of time. It might take me a day, maybe more. The OptiView, you can plug it in and all the tools are there that you need, and it is effective in very little time.

How was the initial setup?

To set it up, you plug it in and it pretty much discovers on its own, maybe it needs a little bit of technical input from myself. All that is really easy.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Their pricing is expensive. They are the Mercedes. Most people have a problem with that understandably, because if you are only going to use it once, it is hard to justify it. Luckily, a company like us that deals with thousands of clients, it allows it to be effective.

Pricing would be your only problem, because it is expensive. It could be cheaper, in my opinion.

They really do stay up with technology. If you keep up with your maintenance, you can easily upgrade your software, and the hardware, trade it back in. It is almost like a lease on a vehicle. You can trade it back in and get a newer one for big discounts, and stay up with the technology that OptiView offers.

It is a complete package. It is not just a really good testing device, but also the maintenance that goes along with it. There is support when I have questions. Then the continued advancement of the product itself. It is well worth the price quite frankly, if you are in that arena.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have used other products. There were no products that did what the OptiView did as well as OptiView.

They have no competitors because nobody has done it like them, so they basically own it. That is why you have to buy the device, because there is no other.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user490692
Network Engineer at a media company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
It's a great tool for going out in the field. In the beginning, it was not user-friendly. Like anything else, the more time you spend on it, the better you get with it.

Valuable Features:

We are using it to run wireless only. From a wireless perspective, it's a great tool for going out in the field and seeing what's going on.

Improvements to My Organization:

We use it. It's great for going out there and getting environmental information regarding WiFi. It's great for doing surveys. It's great for generating reports that can be submitted to management-type people, that type of stuff.

Room for Improvement:

It takes some time to get used to it. There's always room for improvement in the ease of usability, learning curve type of stuff. It was not that user-friendly at the beginning. Like anything else, the more time you spend on it, the better you get with it.

Use of Solution:

I think we've had it a few years now. At least three years.

Stability Issues:

I have not had any stability issues. Again, we use it infrequently. It's not something that I'm using every day, but anytime I've needed to use it, it seems to work fine.

Scalability Issues:

I have not had any scability issues for what I'm doing.

Initial Setup:

I think initial setup was fairly straightforward. I assume you would need some sort of previous knowledge if you're going to use this product.

Other Solutions Considered:

I played around with some free stuff, but nothing that would be comparable to this particular product.

It was a management decision to go with this product. That's what they gave me to use. I'm just an end user.

Other Advice:

It's worth a shot. Give it a try. Definitely a product worth considering. I'm not sure what else is out there on the market at this point in time. I haven't really looked into it, but it would be definitely something you would want to check out.

I use it a couple times a month. We use it. OptiView does other stuff. We are just using the tablet. It's just running the WiFi analyzer. I could run that product on other pieces of equipment, but we're just running it on the OptiView tablet.

I'm rating it a seven because I haven't used it that much. To be able to say how it could rate higher, I would need to do more with the product, to really dig deeper into it, explore all the functionality of the product.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user490671
Network Engineer at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
Real User
It's a valuable network troubleshooting tool. We'd like it to decode IP tunnels.

What is most valuable?

Packet capture is a valuable feature. It's a network troubleshooting tool.

How has it helped my organization?

We use it to validate new networks.

We use it in our data center.

We need it for troubleshooting WAN circuits, which are LAN circuits. We use it to troubleshoot and validate LAN and WAN circuits. We have approximately 300 servers that we use OptiView for.

What needs improvement?

We would like to use it to decode IP tunnels. That would be it, as far as room for improvement. We have a lot of IP-to-IP tunnels. If we can decode the traffic within the IP tunnel, that would be great.

Also, if they added some software features to enhance usability. If I wanted to do a simple packet capture, I'd like, for example, an online menu to do that, where I'd connect network here, next set this up to put the IP in, and so on - some kind of simple guide that would systematically guide you through a packet capture.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this product for about a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We did not encounter any issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We did not encounter any issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

We've only used technical support a few times, and it was just satisfactory. My big problem is training my new employees. I don't remember the online training suite, but we did attend a couple of seminars. Those were pretty good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We switched to OptiView to be a little bit more flexible. We were using Wireshark before, and wanted something a little bit more flexible. It's more portable. It's more accesible, as well, because it has lots of ports on it to do different things.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was complex. The online training was very helpful with that. Make sure the training seminar's available.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user71994
Director of IT with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
OptiView XG enables us to quickly diagnose, repair and even design networks
Our county has more than 110,000 residents. The county’s IT department supports every elected and appointed county entity, including courts, law enforcement, fire, public works, tax, utilities, internal administration and more. The 3,000-node wired and wireless network provides access to more than 700 users and runs a variety of specialized applications, often from small third-party vendors. With 3,000 nodes spread over a 540 square mile area, 3 data centers hosting more than 100 TB of data, more than 20 buildings with indoor wireless, 70 servers and more than 40 virtual servers, and 700 users, our network is complex. My team needed the ability to monitor, and troubleshoot on a comprehensive, network-wide basis, as well as conduct application-specific testing. In the…

Our county has more than 110,000 residents. The county’s IT department supports every elected and appointed county entity, including courts, law enforcement, fire, public works, tax, utilities, internal administration and more. The 3,000-node wired and wireless network provides access to more than 700 users and runs a variety of specialized applications, often from small third-party vendors.

With 3,000 nodes spread over a 540 square mile area, 3 data centers hosting more than 100 TB of data, more than 20 buildings with indoor wireless, 70 servers and more than 40 virtual servers, and 700 users, our network is complex. My team needed the ability to monitor, and troubleshoot on a comprehensive, network-wide basis, as well as conduct application-specific testing.

In the past, our county’s IT team tried diligently to stay on top of issues by monitoring individual servers and components as often as possible, but the amount of data generated by so many network components and devices made it difficult to stay ahead with traditional tools. The sheer volume of log files from 3,000 nodes could be fairly overwhelming. Furthermore, my team was often forced to use tools on a laptop, which would require manual correlation of data, often at the packet-level.

We support vital services for the county. When problems emerge, we need to quickly isolate root cause and fix the issue before they negatively impact organizations and users. Before the OptiView, we were forced to use multiple tools on several devices and manually correlate/report the results. This cycle was time consuming and taxing for our staff. We needed a solution that could consolidate functionality of other tools, fill in the gaps for tools we did not have and give us complete insight and analysis so we could quickly progress through problems, report those problems and proactively manage the network.

One of the major pain points for our county’s IT staff is dealing with third-party vendors when there is a problem with an application. Since many of the applications are very industry-specific, vendors are often smaller and have limited support resources. They tend to default to blaming network or hardware issues for application problems. As a result, we often have to do their jobs for them. We needed an easy way to document and verify that the network, servers and devices were performing properly to ensure that application vendors would accept responsibility and respond to trouble tickets quickly.

Having tried a number of laptop/server-based network analysis tools with limited success, we selected the OptiView XG Network Analysis Tablet. It delivers automated network and application analysis in a portable handheld solution to speed troubleshooting and give better performance insight. Much more than just a window into networks and applications, it allows users to see detailed information on specific problems, even at the packet level, and provides guided troubleshooting for remediation.

A major benefit of the OptiView XG is that it allows me to better utilize my staff. I can now confidently leverage technicians with less experience and expertise to handle problems that used to require a high-level technician to diagnose, let alone remediate. In effect, the OptiView XG pushes the years of experience of a senior technician to the edge and makes my entire team more capable.

We have been using the OptiView XG to both monitor the network, and to take into the field when a deeper inspection of a specific component is needed. Its combination of features, easy-to-understand insight tools and reporting capabilities has made it an indispensable solution for the team.

We are now able to proactively deal with a variety of issues that we would previously have found only by going directly to a switch or from end-user reports. Now we have a corporate view of our network and we can find and fix problems before users even know they exist.

The OptiView XG has made it simple to evaluate devices on the network, find rogue devices, identify the physical location of devices and retroactively document devices that hadn’t been properly documented when they were installed.

As a troubleshooting tool, the OptiView XG proved its value immediately. A week after we bought the device, we used it to solve a problem we had with a state agency that had been ongoing for weeks. They believed the problem was with our network. We used the tool to capture the traffic and create a report. It took just 20 minutes for the state agency to acknowledge that the problem was on their end and accept the task of fixing it– all thanks to the OptiView.

Those reporting tools have also simplified the job of managing the county’s support interactions with third party application vendors. The reporting capabilities of the device, which go down to the individual network component level, allow our IT staff to document that the network is operating properly and eliminate any doubt about the root cause of application problems.

Our IT team also uses the tablet when they set up new networks. Its ability to evaluate air quality, identify potential interference issues, and evaluate open channels and spectrum availability, streamline the network deployment process.

To me, one of the most valuable aspects of the XG is that it integrates 3 wireless devices, 2 x 1Gbps ports and a 10 Gbps port into one tool. You’re not going to find that kind of connectivity in a standard laptop and you won’t be able to get the same quality of analytics using software tools on a laptop, period.

Each year, along with other local IT professionals, we pitch in to help a local charity upgrade its network with equipment donated from large vendors. During a recent effort for a local private Christian school, we were able to plug the XG into the school’s network — one they had never touched before — find all of the devices on the network in a matter of minutes, identify potential issues that might have hampered the installation of the donated equipment, and create a report that documented the upgraded network for the administration.

I’m also impressed with intuitiveness of the OptiView XG. My staff required very little training to learn how to use it. But more importantly, with ClearSight Analyzer, the OptiView XG presents technicians with straightforward, easy-to-understand information that doesn’t require advanced skills to interpret. This allows less experienced staff to handle problems that would have previously required a more advanced technician.

To a less experienced technician, packet logs can look like a lot of indecipherable data. But the OptiView XG focuses on the information that’s most needed to diagnose and fix a problem. That’s invaluable.

Disclosure: IT Central Station has made contact with the reviewer to validate that the person is a real user. The information in the posting is based upon a vendor-supplied case study, but the reviewer has confirmed the content's accuracy.
it_user480723
Network Admin at a engineering company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
This helps us narrow down if an issue is a network or application problem.

What is most valuable?

I use it most for data capture or to troubleshoot issues on the production floor, because of intermittent issues we're having with communications, not knowing if it's a network problem or an application issue, and this helps us narrow it down.

How has it helped my organization?

When there's an issue of communication, data being dropped, we can prove the network that provided it. That allows the developers or software engineers to work on finding the solution in their area. It tells them that it's in that section. It defines the problem area.

What needs improvement?

The biggest one I can think of right now is probably training. We did have people attend training, but they weren't overly impressed with the training. Other sessions I have taken were OK, but when we first got it they were not thrilled with the instructor.

The reports I got back from the guys I sent to training said the guy spent more time telling stories, war stories and that type, rather than actual training about the product. They got, I won't say turned off, as it was fun at first they said, but they didn't get that much out of the training. Most of the time it was self-learning. I took an online one and that was very good. They went to the class in person.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've had it about two years, but I'm not the main user.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Everything is just fine.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven't seen any limitations scaling it.

How are customer service and technical support?

I'm not the main user of it, but I would say it's good. We're not having problems with it.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used different solutions, such as Wireshark, but they had limitations. This brought everything to one solution.

How was the initial setup?

It depends on how far into it you want to get. I have not gone that far, but I understood it. It takes some setup to get done, to run a whole network, but we're just slowly adding into it. Discovery of devices, that type of stuff was simple, but it only discovered local devices.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
it_user480744
Network Administrator at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
You can do a packet capture at a line speed up to 10 GB which is critical in a data center.

What is most valuable?

The ability to a packet capture on the fly and more recently, to use the ClearSight software to analyze it. From an operational standpoint, when you have an issue in the data center you want the ability to not only do a packet capture but also to do a packet capture at a line speed up to 10 GB which is critical in a data center.

How has it helped my organization?

I think it cuts down the time to resolution drastically for an environment that would not have the ability to do these packet captures.

What needs improvement?

The biggest is that the storage space is very limited. I'd like the ability to capture more data.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have had a version of it for over 10 years. We started with the classic, and have had several classics. We mainly use it in the data centers.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've had no issues with its performance.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's had no issues handling the data it captures.

How are customer service and technical support?

8/10

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We did use a different solution and we switched because of the portability, and we had a very good salesperson that worked with us.

How was the initial setup?

It was functional right out of the box.

What other advice do I have?

One thing what I would ask is that they attend the offered training courses. Sometimes they, Fluke Networks or NetScout, will offer training courses for the product in areas close to large cities. They seem to go around the country and have training for particular products. I think a technical or operational team would get great benefit out of seeing all the features of the OptiView XG in real time as opposed to looking at documentation and going through it themselves.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
it_user480750
Network Specialist II at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
When we do a capture, it gives us the details of where the problem is and what it could be.

What is most valuable?

We don't use them much unless we have an issue. We do the packet capture feature, we do the bandwidth testing and we even get to use the wireless scanning features they have. Those are the features we use.

How has it helped my organization?

When we do a capture, it gives us the details of where the problem is and what it could be. It gives a detailed report of what it found on the network.

What needs improvement?

We use the tablet version, and I'd like it to have a longer battery.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using it for five years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's fine. For our organization it's good enough.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

It was already in place when I…

What is most valuable?

We don't use them much unless we have an issue. We do the packet capture feature, we do the bandwidth testing and we even get to use the wireless scanning features they have. Those are the features we use.

How has it helped my organization?

When we do a capture, it gives us the details of where the problem is and what it could be. It gives a detailed report of what it found on the network.

What needs improvement?

We use the tablet version, and I'd like it to have a longer battery.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using it for five years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's fine. For our organization it's good enough.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

It was already in place when I arrived.

How was the initial setup?

I haven't had to call them. I use their online instructional videos.

What about the implementation team?

It wasn't complex but it wasn't easy for the registration and licenses.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
it_user479022
Telecom Project Leader at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
We primarily leverage the Wi-Fi analytics software as well as the Wi-Fi survey and design software.

What is most valuable?

We are leveraging it with the Wi-Fi analytics software, and also Wi-Fi survey and design software. Specific to my group, we're responsible for Wi-Fi design. Those are the features that we use primarily.

How has it helped my organization?

We use it for all of our predictive Wi-Fi designs. We get standards reports, so we're able to do more of the designs, more quickly, and more consistently.

What needs improvement?

I know we're not using it for all of it's capabilities, but what we do use it for certainly a larger screen size would benefit us. We typically attach it to a larger external monitor to assist with that. Also, the overall weight of the product is a lot to carry around for a long period of time. Because we're typically dealing with detailed designs of building layouts, to be able to zoom in and see it would be nice. It's better if we connect it to an external projector or larger monitor.

For how long have I used the solution?

2 years

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No

How are customer service and technical support?

It's been excellent.

Not that we've had any issues with the OptiView, but where we've used support, they've been good with communicating what the process is to get things upgraded and the timeliness when we send it back for upgrades. Certainly the ease of doing that.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We had not been using a different solution previously and when we looked at this product, we were looking at both the combined analyzer as well as something that was running the design software packages.

How was the initial setup?

Very straight forward. Pretty much everything came pre-installed and ready to use. There was very little customization and configuration that we needed to do with it.

What other advice do I have?

I think it's a niche product. It isn't something that's easily used on a daily basis by a large number of people. It is rather expensive, so it isn't something that we can support a large number of.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
it_user368679
Sr. System Tech at a non-profit with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
We use it for key devices to let us know if we lost communication with any of them.

What is most valuable?

We use it for key devices to let us know if we lost communication with any of them. We use it if we get a complaint about slowness or whatever on the network but for the most part, to let us know of problems with communication to like the switches or servers.

How has it helped my organization?

Right now, we haven't gotten into it as much as we can. We did use it to troubleshoot our VLANs because we were having a problem with the VLANs. That helped quite a bit with displaying our VLANs and the paths things took.

What needs improvement?

Right now, I can't really add anything. I haven't used it enough. We use it for some troubleshooting, but we're not heavy into using Fluke Networks yet.

For how long have I used the solution?

1 year and a half.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues deploying it. They helped us get it initially set up and really had no problems with setting it up.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has been stable. There is the app mobile piece of it, which I will have to call to maybe get working. I'm not sure whether it's our firewall blocking it. I haven't been able to really get the mobile app to function right, but that's minor.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I think we will be using it more and more as our infrastructure starts growing.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

As I said, we had an older Fluke Networks unit in here before and this was really an upgrade. It's a trade up that we did from that work group analyzer.

How was the initial setup?

Straightforward.

What was our ROI?

My opinion is yes, we have seen an ROI. For me, just resolving our one VLAN problem really makes it worth it.

What other advice do I have?

I'd give it an 8 because there's little things that we've used it for. I can see it being used for a lot more and I can't rate on anything that I haven't tried, but for the pieces that we have used it for, it has been very accurate and truthful.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
it_user279882
Network Services Coordinator at a educational organization with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Layer 2 trace routing, among other wireless features, allows us to tune our networks as we haven't been able to before.

What is most valuable?

All the wireless features are valuable. Also, the Layer 2 trace routing is pretty valuable. In general, it's a very nice product, works well, and it does what they say.

How has it helped my organization?

It allows us to tune our wireless networks in a way that's never been done before.

What needs improvement?

I've not used it long enough to determine this.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using this model since April, and it was an upgrade from the previous model.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and

What is most valuable?

All the wireless features are valuable. Also, the Layer 2 trace routing is pretty valuable. In general, it's a very nice product, works well, and it does what they say.

How has it helped my organization?

It allows us to tune our wireless networks in a way that's never been done before.

What needs improvement?

I've not used it long enough to determine this.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using this model since April, and it was an upgrade from the previous model.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

10/10.

Technical Support:

10/10.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We just upgraded from Fluke's previous model.

How was the initial setup?

It was a little complex due to the licensing.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented it in-house.

What was our ROI?

We haven't calculated it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No other solutions were evaluated.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend the device.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
it_user260031
Failure Analysis Manager at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
The product has helped with troubleshooting and has simplified the way the organization functions.

What is most valuable?

Interface Ease of use

How has it helped my organization?

It has helped with troubleshooting and has simplified the way the organization functions.

What needs improvement?

None.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using it for a year, on and off.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We didn't have any issues with deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We didn't have any issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We didn't have any issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: 9/10 Technical Support: 9/10

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

No, this is the first monitoring…

What is most valuable?

  • Interface
  • Ease of use

How has it helped my organization?

It has helped with troubleshooting and has simplified the way the organization functions.

What needs improvement?

None.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using it for a year, on and off.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We didn't have any issues with deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We didn't have any issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We didn't have any issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

9/10

Technical Support:

9/10

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

No, this is the first monitoring solution we've used.

How was the initial setup?

It was straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

It was implemented through our in-house team.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No, this was the only solution we considered.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend trying it out first and making sure it fits your needs.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
it_user259992
Network at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Helps us troubleshoot problems faster than we would normally be able to.

What is most valuable?

It's too soon to tell.

How has it helped my organization?

OptiView XG helps us troubleshoot problems faster than we would normally be able to.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for about 2-3 months.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We didn't have any issues with deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We didn't have any issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We didn't have any issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: I would give it a 9. It's Fantastic. Technical Support: I've never had to use it.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used an…

What is most valuable?

It's too soon to tell.

How has it helped my organization?

OptiView XG helps us troubleshoot problems faster than we would normally be able to.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for about 2-3 months.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We didn't have any issues with deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We didn't have any issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We didn't have any issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

I would give it a 9. It's Fantastic.

Technical Support:

I've never had to use it.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used an earlier version of Optiview and we switched as an upgrade to the solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward and simple.

What about the implementation team?

It was implemented through a vendor team who were excellent. I would give them a 9/10.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I have no advice as licensing and purchase were not an issue for us.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We didn't evaluate any other solutions.

What other advice do I have?

You can't go wrong with it!

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
it_user147555
Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Complete, small, portable and has the power to solve several kinds of problems which makes it a fundamental tool for us.

What is most valuable?

For me, it's the clearsight, the possibility to capture and see clearly what is occurring is fantastic. Previously, I would spend hours and hours checking the flow of traffic using Wireshark for example.

How has it helped my organization?

I work for a Cisco partner company and and a certain part of the demand of our customers is characterized in troubleshooting of their networks. We always use the OptiView XG to detect failure points on the network of our customers, because it is fast to identify problems. We've solved problems involving spanning tree, duplicity mac address, timeouts for databases, delay and latency and so on, all this using the OptiView XG.

What needs improvement?

I think that the discovery of a network can be improved if the OptiView would recognize more kinds of devices independent of the manufacturer.

For how long have I used the solution?

I used it for less than one year, but it was enough to see how powerful the OptiView XG is.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No, deployment has always been easy. I never had any issue with it.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No, the device always was very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No, we were able to use the OptiView for small businesses and large companies.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

My company always used the OptiView XG.

What about the implementation team?

I only did implementations through a vendor team and their level of expertise was good.

What was our ROI?

Time: we used to spend days with a lot of IT workers from different areas. This time spent was reduced by hours. We're able to find the problem and hand it over to the responsible team solve it.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It was easy, as I mentioned earlier, we only need to understand the problem of the customer and we then define an action plan, in other words where to put the OptiView XG, what devices we need to pay attention to.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Well, Wireshark for example, but the problem was that we needed to understand a lot of the customer's topology and to mitigate and analyse the errors which was a waste of time.

What other advice do I have?

With this product there is no longer a need to spend hours and hours solving problems related to networks. You can get a report on the origin of the problem and deliver it to the responsible team to solve it.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user138162
Technical Specialist at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
We've rented units to resolve issues on customer networks. It has streamlined and simplified troubleshooting problems.

What is most valuable?

Line-Rate Packet Capture, AirMagnet Integration, ClearSight Analyzer Software.

How has it helped my organization?

It has streamlined and simplified troubleshooting complex networking problems that would be nearly impossible to uncover with other products.

What needs improvement?

The price could come down quite a bit.

For how long have I used the solution?

About 1 year

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: 9/10Technical Support: 9/10

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used other solutions but switched for…

What is most valuable?

Line-Rate Packet Capture, AirMagnet Integration, ClearSight Analyzer Software.

How has it helped my organization?

It has streamlined and simplified troubleshooting complex networking problems that would be nearly impossible to uncover with other products.

What needs improvement?

The price could come down quite a bit.

For how long have I used the solution?

About 1 year

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: 9/10Technical Support: 9/10

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used other solutions but switched for some of the advanced features and ability to capture at rates higher than 1Gbps.

How was the initial setup?

Straightforward, if you want a complex configuration it is possible but not required to gain the main benefits from the product.

What about the implementation team?

Obtained training from a certified Fluke Networks vendor, they are at a 10/10.

What was our ROI?

We have not purchased the product due to the high cost. We have rented units as necessary to resolve issues on customer networks.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user112182
Manager of Engineering at a tech vendor with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Covers all testing parameters, eliminating the need to tweak configurations for testing system specifications.
We’re a business communications provider with solutions that allow our customers to connect anywhere, anytime, and on any device through cloud communications, business phones and collaboration software as well as contact centers. We needed a solid and reliable network testing solution that could provide accurate details in a quick and easy-to-understand format. As the system installer, we work with many service providers and often get service calls to identify network issues. When that happens, our engineers must quickly identify the root cause and tell the appropriate party where the issue resides. The OptiView XG dramatically streamlines this process with its granular testing and reporting that pinpoints the root cause of issues with certainty, saving frustration and critical staff…

We’re a business communications provider with solutions that allow our customers to connect anywhere, anytime, and on any device through cloud communications, business phones and collaboration software as well as contact centers. We needed a solid and reliable network testing solution that could provide accurate details in a quick and easy-to-understand format.

As the system installer, we work with many service providers and often get service calls to identify network issues. When that happens, our engineers must quickly identify the root cause and tell the appropriate party where the issue resides. The OptiView XG dramatically streamlines this process with its granular testing and reporting that pinpoints the root cause of issues with certainty, saving frustration and critical staff resources.

Our deployments rely on a high-performance network when delivering quality communications services. This can quickly become complicated when the customer is the one ultimately responsible for internal network performance (not to mention coordinating with other service providers that could impact performance). When issues do arise on the network, customers often look to external vendors for resolution. We’re often on the front line and can get calls for a variety of networking problems. To help resolve the issue, we pinpoint the issue on the network. This makes identifying the root cause of networking issues vital for me and my team.

To accomplish this, it takes advanced network monitoring and orchestration, often across multiple network providers, to quickly and accurately diagnose the performance issues. We need to know without question where the issue lies to enable resolution.

Without accurate testing and a deep diagnostic of the network, understanding the issue and how to resolve it becomes a challenge. We set out to find a better network testing solution that could quickly single out root cause issues with pinpoint accuracy in a pre-loaded, easy-to-use, and portable form factor.

We evaluated a number of options and chose the Fluke Networks OptiView XG Network Analysis Tablet, which delivers granular network testing and reporting, and allows my team to pre-load testing parameters into the portable tablet.

The OptiView XG performs end-to-end network performance and stress tests covering bandwidth, latency, jitter, loss, and availability. It automatically detects and analyzes network problems before offering step-by-step resolutions. The OptiView XG supports both 1GbE and 10GbE, along with full 802.11 a/b/g/n wireless LAN analysis. It can be utilized in any environment, whether in a data center, with virtualized servers, or out in the field at a remote site.

We deployed our OptiView XG tablets along with LinkRunner AT Network Auto-Testers to conduct in-depth performance testing in almost any environment or network configuration. I configured test parameters and reports on a single OptiView XG and then exported the profile to the other units. With the tablets configured, we can easily customize test parameters per the customer’s need. We simply ship a unit to any customer site to conduct pre-deployment checks, testing and, ongoing monitoring. The engineer then only needs to take it out of the box, turn it on, connect, and start running.

We save considerable time and resources with each use of the OptiView XG. End-to-end testing takes less than 15 minutes, cutting labor costs while still pinpointing definite root causes. What’s more, the OptiView XG covers all testing parameters, eliminating the need to coordinate with network managers to tweak configurations for testing system specifications.

The OptiView XG delivers better end-to-end testing and root cause analysis in an easy-to-use touch screen interface. It takes minutes to run customer tests, and we know it is delivered consistently with quality every time – no exhausting setup needed. It saves us money in so many ways – travel, time, customer satisfaction, trouble ticket reduction, and more.

We saw an immediate benefit from using the OptiView XG tablets. We helped a hospital diagnose finicky connections as a potentially larger problem by conducting end-to-end Quality of Service (QoS) stress testing with an OptiView XG on each end of the network. We saturated the connections to test Layer 2 and Layer 3 performance and priorities with the head-to-head OptiView XG configuration, allowing simultaneous testing of both upstream and downstream pathways. The test results revealed that the hospital only received 50 percent of its bandwidth agreement from the service provider. This took only minutes to diagnose, and in the past could have taken days or a week. We were able to optimize the hospital’s communications as a result.

In a second testing application, a major clean energy company reported occasional dropped calls with ongoing voice quality issues, jitter, and echoes. Customers were registering complaints about poor customer service attributed to call quality. The OptiView XG found that the service provider circuit delivered less bandwidth than specified by the service level agreement and that voice was not prioritized. Again, this took only minutes to identify root cause, saving countless hours.

As our service lines grow, we expect the OptiView XG and LinkRunner AT solutions to provide a whole new level of service for our customers. Using OptiView XG, we anticipate adding services for pre-testing VoIP deployment services, along with ongoing network monitoring to limit staff travel requirements, which will both confirm customer readiness for our technology deployment, and generate additional revenue for us.

Fluke Networks provides a value-add for everyone involved, presenting a great opportunity for us to generate additional revenue streams while satisfying customer needs and resolving issues faster than ever before.

Disclosure: IT Central Station has made contact with the reviewer to validate that the person is a real user. The information in the posting is based upon a vendor-supplied case study, but the reviewer has confirmed the content's accuracy.
it_user112176
IT Analyst at a manufacturing company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Whenever I need support, their engineers are fast and spot on in their diagnoses.

Valuable Features

The network discovery ability.

Improvements to My Organization

With network discovery, the troubleshooting process was easy, but with this resource, we can see the pathway from the device to the resource, it's amazing!

Room for Improvement

I wouldn't change anything about the OptiView XG.

Use of Solution

About 6-7 months.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Whenever I need support, their engineers are fast and spot on in their diagnoses.

Initial Setup

No issues, it's easy to set-up!

Implementation Team

We implemented In-house.

Other Advice

The OptiView XG uses the best practices to understand your network. In this way, I think OptiView XG is the best all in one solution.

Valuable Features

The network discovery ability.

Improvements to My Organization

With network discovery, the troubleshooting process was easy, but with this resource, we can see the pathway from the device to the resource, it's amazing!

Room for Improvement

I wouldn't change anything about the OptiView XG.

Use of Solution

About 6-7 months.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Whenever I need support, their engineers are fast and spot on in their diagnoses.

Initial Setup

No issues, it's easy to set-up!

Implementation Team

We implemented In-house.

Other Advice

The OptiView XG uses the best practices to understand your network. In this way, I think OptiView XG is the best all in one solution.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user108435
Network Engineer at a university with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
A portable and durable solution. It's also easy to upgrade hardware to current standards.

What is most valuable?

  • It's an integrated, purposed package. 
  • It's fairly portable, durable, and usually easy to upgrade hardware to current standards (10gb for example).

How has it helped my organization?

Troubleshooting becomes less of a mystery, particularly when showing the problem to other people. It's a lot more difficult showing someone Wireshark and explaining what's going on. I can lend my Linkrunner to Help Desk and have them check out a port with little training. I can show the problem on an OptiView and the graphs will make it easier to understand.

What needs improvement?

Hard to say for sure, but I'd almost want to see what a VM appliance version would be like. You would definitely miss out on AirCheck and AirMagnet but perhaps the cost could go down quite a bit and you'd still have about 80% of the product. Also, I've never been a fan of the touchscreen. I have big fingers and don't always have the stylus handy. The device is not convenient for holding in one hand.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used many Fluke Networks products since 2000 when I worked at Disney. This includes OptiView, One-touch, AirCheck, Linkrunner, etc.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Typically, I encountered no issues at all beyond the initial learning curve. However, the OptiView really is more for experienced network troubleshooters.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I've never encountered a problem like this with Fluke Networks products.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

With the cost it's hard to justify having more than one in our school. Also, the OptiView is overkill for 90% of the troubleshooting I do, making the much more portable Linkrunner, One-touch, or AirCheck better options. I've literally thrown those products in my back pocket.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I've tried some different software solutions in the past. I've switched to Fluke Networks products because having an all-in-one tool is more convenient, and the way information is presented makes it easier to share knowledge.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is always ways straightforward IF the network is set up correctly in the first place.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented in-house.

What other advice do I have?

Know your audience and IT technical level. You cannot hand this over to desktop support and expect immediately results like with the One-Touch. However, this is still an easier product than interpreting Wireshark, or other similar software. It's also easier to show to others and explain plainly.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user71997
Network Manager at a local government with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Saves us time & money by immediately spotting problems & allowing us to drill deeper for insight
Our city’s IT department is responsible for keeping systems running across a wide range of municipal services, from libraries and utilities to police and fire. The department oversees 30 fiber sites, 29 metro Ethernet networks, and a broad range of PCs, servers, databases and Cisco equipment that connect residents and more than 1,600 employees. Our IT team faces two primary challenges. The first is the basic task of working quickly and efficiently to keep all of the city’s systems operating and ensuring workers remain connected. They city’s emergency services add a sense of urgency to that troubleshooting, as they must stay up 24 x 7. Our IT team can’t afford days of guesswork when trying to identify and fix any issues, so for the past several years the team had been relying on an old…

Our city’s IT department is responsible for keeping systems running across a wide range of municipal services, from libraries and utilities to police and fire. The department oversees 30 fiber sites, 29 metro Ethernet networks, and a broad range of PCs, servers, databases and Cisco equipment that connect residents and more than 1,600 employees.

Our IT team faces two primary challenges. The first is the basic task of working quickly and efficiently to keep all of the city’s systems operating and ensuring workers remain connected. They city’s emergency services add a sense of urgency to that troubleshooting, as they must stay up 24 x 7. Our IT team can’t afford days of guesswork when trying to identify and fix any issues, so for the past several years the team had been relying on an old OptiView Series III from Fluke Networks as our go-to troubleshooting tool.

The OptiView III was great, routinely saving us time and effort in troubleshooting problems. We’d often use it to pinpoint an issue before even going out for a site visit, and it never failed to deliver. For example, when a major virus hit the city’s systems, we were able to use the OptiView III to identify the problem and isolate the affected machines. That allowed us to lock down the VLAN before the virus could spread and take down the whole city network, which would have been a disaster. The OptiView III more than paid for itself in just that instance alone.

The other challenge is also a common one: our IT team is responsible for a broad range of new initiatives, and planning for those deployments, testing and managing the installation, and troubleshooting any problems that arise is difficult without the proper tools. We are working on PoE, IPv6 and 1G upgrades, VMware and Wi-Fi rollouts, ERP integrations and database migrations, and planning for a future VoIP deployment – just to name a few. My group needs to be able to first assess our current systems, make a business case for upgrades and gauge readiness for any changes. We also need to be able to look at and test the new deployments as they happen, to make sure they are on-track and correct any problems as they arise. And once the systems are up and running, we need to be able to tweak various configurations or troubleshoot issues to ensure peak performance and uptime.

The proper tool is critical to making all that happen. We needed to invest in a new more comprehensive solution that could go beyond troubleshooting and help us really understand what’s going on with our systems. We wanted to know when and where we could benefit from changes, but have a tool that was easy to use and fast… something that could help ensure things would go smoothly during the process.

Since I was already familiar with Fluke Networks OptiView series, I had been watching – and coveting – the steady stream of new capabilities the company was adding. I knew that these improvements could save my team significant time and effort on a broader range of network issues, and I made that case to my boss. When he saw what Fluke Networks delivered with the latest OptiView XG Network Analysis Tablet, he realized the time had come to upgrade.

The OptiView XG gives us the ability to quickly troubleshoot issues and identify root cause. And, its support for a broad range of connectivity profiles, from Wi-Fi and PoE to 10GbE and IPv6, makes it ideal for use in any environment, whether in a data center, with virtualized servers, or out in the field at a remote site. Its intuitive user interface with smart navigation and built-in guided problem solving allows network operating teams to leverage customizable dashboards to view data as needed. And OptiView XG’s graphical path analysis and reporting features provide not only an instant view of connections between switches and devices for faster network mapping, but also allow even unsophisticated users to better understand what’s actually happening on the network.

OptiView XG doesn’t just help us fix network issues fast, it allows us to understand – and show – how various aspects of our IT infrastructure are operating. That’s critical when we’re trying to work with different department heads to improve network performance. IP addresses and numbers just don’t give the insight and understanding we need for people to approve changes, allocate budget and stop the finger-pointing. This has quickly become the tool we start with for most everything we do.

The OptiView XG makes it simple for us to gain a holistic view of different aspects of network and application performance, immediately spot problems and drill deeper for insight. I can look at 1G, 10G or Wi-Fi networks, see DNS and virtual servers, gather VoIP information with just a click, anything I need. I really like that I can tailor different panes on the home screen for my environment, then just drill down to individual devices, processes and protocols as necessary. I can even do a quick packet capture if I need hardcore details. Whatever we want to see, the OptiView XG seems to anticipate it.

I estimate that the OptiView XG has cut troubleshooting time for the city by more than 75 percent, which not only saves resources for the IT department, but ensures greater uptime for city personnel. Being able to remotely analyze a problem is huge for us. It eliminates travel, pinpoints issues so we’re not just walking around, and allows us to effectively service any part of the organization from a central location. During weather-related emergencies that’s particularly important as we can’t have teams just out and about.

As we look to upgrade our systems, the OptiView XG routinely proves its value. For instance, our migration to a new ERP system involved significant testing, tweaking and troubleshooting throughout the deployment process. These systems are pulling from multiple servers, databases, sites and applications to bring data back to your screen. How can you show why things are lagging? With the OptiView XG we could drill into specific apps or connections to see what’s going on, and understand that ‘oh, this application’s not responding’ or ‘there’s too much information in this database building process and it’s slowing things down.

Before we had this device, we’d have to get programmers to look at the servers, then the database folks would come in, then a security team for the network throughput. It was a time consuming, frustrating, finger-pointing exercise. Now we just look at the OptiView XG, isolate the specific issue and fix it.

The OptiView XG is always our starting point. It helps collaboration, gives the insights we need to make a case for upgrades or plan for deployments, allows us to test new implementations in real time, and quickly troubleshoot and fix problems as they arise. We look to this device first so we never waste time or money.

Disclosure: IT Central Station has made contact with the reviewer to validate that the person is a real user. The information in the posting is based upon a vendor-supplied case study, but the reviewer has confirmed the content's accuracy.
ITCS user
Vice President with 51-200 employees
Vendor
In place of tools including Wireshark, OptiView provides one solution for gathering, displaying and drilling down data
Deploying VoIP systems requires a high-level of engineering expertise to accurately integrate with existing network and application infrastructure. When not deployed, or when troubleshooting is done incorrectly, they can have a significant performance impact on the existing network and be a point of frustration for end-users. For us, the first step in any new rollout is an assessment to verify the readiness of the network. Unfortunately, our old tools didn't have the functionality to make network assessments cost-effective for our clients. Therefore, we outsourced this portion of the project to an assessment specialist. While they did a great job, it meant we lost out on additional project revenue, which was a strategic disadvantage for our company. In addition, once the network…

Deploying VoIP systems requires a high-level of engineering expertise to accurately integrate with existing network and application infrastructure. When not deployed, or when troubleshooting is done incorrectly, they can have a significant performance impact on the existing network and be a point of frustration for end-users. For us, the first step in any new rollout is an assessment to verify the readiness of the network.

Unfortunately, our old tools didn't have the functionality to make network assessments cost-effective for our clients. Therefore, we outsourced this portion of the project to an assessment specialist. While they did a great job, it meant we lost out on additional project revenue, which was a strategic disadvantage for our company. In addition, once the network assessment was complete, our engineers were responsible for troubleshooting any issues that surfaced during the initial testing.

When problems do emerge following assessment, we have to identify them and give a recommendation to the customer on a fix. This requires providing comprehensive information on the root cause of the issue and how it could impact the deployment. Sometimes this requires significant investment on our end and the process can take days.

Once the network is ready for the VoIP deployment and any problems addressed, our team begins to implement the new system. There are a variety of factors that can impact the rollout and performance. Troubleshooting problems as they arise was a time consuming process as our engineers evaluate performance, identify misconfigured devices and simulate performance of the VoIP system.

Problems often arise when deploying a new system and the burden is on our team to analyze and identify what is causing the issue. In most cases, the issues are not related to the new implementation, but are brought to light because of other configuration issues. This required our team to leverage a variety of tools and manually correlate data and calculations. This complex troubleshooting extended the cycle of a project.

Following the rollout, we validate the performance of the system to ensure it meets the expectations of the client and provides ongoing support. If there is a problem, the engineering team needs to quickly isolate that issue and fix it. So many factors can impact a VoIP deployment. We can leave a system performing perfectly and get a call a week later that there's an issue. The first impulse of a client is to blame our system, but more often than not, it's something the customer changed or added to the network that's impacting performance. Having to travel to the site to fix the problem with tools that require heavy engineering expertise put a heavy burden on our support team. We needed to automate the troubleshooting process and dramatically simplify problem isolation.

We selected Fluke Networks' OptiView XG Network Analysis Tablet. It gives us the ability to quickly troubleshoot problems and identify root cause fast. And, with its support for 1 and 10GbE, along with full 802.11a/b/g/n wireless LAN analysis, it can be utilized in any environment, whether in a data center, with virtualized servers, or out in the field at a remote site. Furthermore, OptiView XG's new Network Performance Test (NPT) feature allows us to instantly verify network readiness prior to VoIP rollout and address any issues.

OptiView XG has allowed us, for the most part, to eliminate our bag of tools and rely on a single integrated solution for network and application performance testing and analysis. When we deploy our VoIP systems, we have a big list of technical requirements to meet. OptiView XG gives us all the information we need in a handheld tablet that's intuitive and easy to use, but that also gives us the freedom to dive into packet level details. And, when we need to troubleshoot remotely, we can just ship a unit to the customer and access it from our main office.

Since putting the OptiView XG into service, we have rolled pre-network assessments into our service portfolio allowing us to capture additional revenue. When we first saw the OptiView XG in action, we were impressed with its functionality. But, once we got it into action we realized just how powerful it really was. It finds devices and networks in a matter of seconds and actively queries hosts. You can immediately see what's on the network and where it's connected – by switch, slot and port number. It even discovers VoIP devices including call managers, IP phones and more.

Once discovery is complete, we run the new Network Performance Test function allowing us to generate and measure traffic flows across the client and service provider networks. This helps prove the network can support VoIP, and if problems emerge, we can quickly drill into detailed information to isolate and fix the issue, or make any necessary infrastructure changes.

The Network Performance Test function gives us a huge advantage on projects. It allows us to create multiple streams of traffic to one or more endpoints on the network, to measure throughput, loss, latency and jitter at speeds up to 10GigE – with specific QoS settings, frame sizes and rates. The ability to test and ensure QoS throughout the network is a key factor in the success of deployments.

Prior to OptiView XG, we used a variety of tools and packet sniffers, such as Wireshark, to gather information. The manual correlation of data was time consuming and required highly skilled technical engineers. Now, we have one solution that automates all data gathering, presents that information in graphical format, and allows the team to drill down into more detail instantly.

We've never seen this level of functionality in one solution and it allows our engineers to be more efficient and effective. That translates into happy customers. We now use the OptiView XG for all of our network and application troubleshooting. It allows our engineers to dramatically increase problem resolution time by isolating root cause in minutes, instead of hours or days. The graphical representation of information simplifies the process for engineers, and the reporting capabilities allow team members to convincingly show customers where problems are hiding.

VoIP deployments can be incredibly complex. Evaluating the readiness of the network prior to rollout is key to ensuring system performance. Having a solution that can handle network assessments and automate network and application troubleshooting is a huge step forward for the market and our engineers. The OptiView XG allows us to offer additional services to customers, ensure system performance, and provide the ongoing troubleshooting support our clients expect. It truly provides our team with a strategic advantage when deploying VoIP systems.

Disclosure: IT Central Station has made contact with the reviewer to validate that the person is a real user. The information in the posting is based upon a vendor-supplied case study, but the reviewer has confirmed the content's accuracy.
ITCS user
Network Engineer with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Troubleshooting HTTP Connection Issues With Fluke Optiview XG
This is another tool in the HTTP Troubleshooting’ series. I really get excited when I am able to reproduce problems in the lab. With this specific case, the customer was experiencing errors within their web browsers that looked like either a network or server issue. The specific symptom was that certain images would not display. If you waited a while, and ‘refreshed’ the page, more of it loaded or the entire page loaded properly. I’m sure you can imagine the chaos this type of intermittent problem causes. The sequence of events unfolds in the following manner; the client reports the webpage issue to the help desk and the help desk tests the webpage with mixed results. In either event, the problem goes to the server group who tests and finds nothing wrong, and then the problem goes…

This is another tool in the HTTP Troubleshooting’ series.

I really get excited when I am able to reproduce problems in the lab.

With this specific case, the customer was experiencing errors within their web browsers that looked like either a network or server issue. The specific symptom was that certain images would not display. If you waited a while, and ‘refreshed’ the page, more of it loaded or the entire page loaded properly.

I’m sure you can imagine the chaos this type of intermittent problem causes. The sequence of events unfolds in the following manner; the client reports the webpage issue to the help desk and the help desk tests the webpage with mixed results. In either event, the problem goes to the server group who tests and finds nothing wrong, and then the problem goes to the network group which, in most cases, does not see the problem. Then the political fist fights, finger pointing and witch hunt commence…..

In this case, they even managed to capture some packets during the problem and saw a HTTP “Service Unavailable” message and were having issues interpreting exactly what that would mean. I was there doing some other work when they dumped, uh, I mean asked me if I could help.

They explained that when the problem was occurring, the network management system was not reporting that the server or application was down. I asked how they knew that and they said that they pinged the server, tested for tcp port 80 and lastly retrieved the html page. Wow, I was impressed. I don’t see too many people monitoring from the IP layer up to the Application layer.

I then told them that even though this was an excellent way of monitoring, I wasn’t too surprised that no outages were recorded. If it was an application issue, the pings will still work as well the TCP port check. If all you did was retrieve a single html file, it would not use the same number of connections as actually loading a page and rendering images, etc…

That’s when the lab work came in. I went to my lab and configured IIS to only accept 1 connection, created a simple html file which had a few images on it. The next thing I did was to setup an Application Infrastructure test in The Optiview XG.

After refreshing the page while the XG was testing, I saw the exact same issue the client experienced as well as the same HTTP message in the XG. AWESOME!!!

In the video below you will see how I did it and the results.

Enjoy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-7fxIoNfT0

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Network Engineer with 51-200 employees
Vendor
New ITU Testing
What does troubleshooting, baselining, capacity planning and implementation have in common? Every one of those tasks involves some sort of bandwidth or throughput validation. Figuring out your true throughput transcends all network disciplines and becomes a common ground in all my engagements. We have all been asked at some point in our careers to prove that your carrier has delivered what they promised. Or maybe that age old question, “How much bandwidth can we get out of your internal network", to justify an equipment upgrade. Traditionally, analysts have used simple ftp or other file transfer applications to ‘load up’ or measure throughput. But as network latency surpassed disk drive delay, these results would be called into question. Simply put, the network is faster than the…

What does troubleshooting, baselining, capacity planning and implementation have in common?

Every one of those tasks involves some sort of bandwidth or throughput validation. Figuring out your true throughput transcends all network disciplines and becomes a common ground in all my engagements.

We have all been asked at some point in our careers to prove that your carrier has delivered what they promised. Or maybe that age old question, “How much bandwidth can we get out of your internal network", to justify an equipment upgrade.

Traditionally, analysts have used simple ftp or other file transfer applications to ‘load up’ or measure throughput. But as network latency surpassed disk drive delay, these results would be called into question. Simply put, the network is faster than the disk drive. That is when applications like iperf, Chariot, Qcheck and traffic bit generators came into the picture since they can be configured to not access the disk.

As the industry struggled with some sort of standard for network testing, common important points were identified. Things such as varying frame sizes, rates or utilization became common dials that we turned while testing throughput.

When RFC2544 was created in 1999 as a methodology to benchmark network devices such as switches and routers, we finally had a common methodology to provide accurate and comparable values for comparison when benchmarking. For those of you not familiar with RFC2544, it basically describes 6 subsets. In many cases, I have seen test equipment measure Latency, Loss and Throughput which has more than adequately helped us all out.

Since then, service providers shifted from only providing pipes to enabling various services through links such as Voice, Video as well as good old data. Unfortunately RFC2544 testing can take several hours to complete which is an issue when troubleshooting in the field. Lastly, certain applications (IPTV) and protocols required additional measurements such as jitter.

The ITU Y.156sam defines three key test rates based on the MEF service attributes for Ethernet virtual circuit (EVC) and user-to-network interface (UNI) bandwidth profiles.

When Fluke Networks announced that the latest software upgrade to their Optiview XG is compliant with ITU (International Telecommunications Union) ITU‐T Y.1564 standard for performance testing, I was very curious. The Performance testing can measure end‐to‐end network performance in terms of bandwidth, latency, jitter, loss and availability up to 10 Gbps. With Class‐of‐Service testing and multiple test streams (up to 8 simultaneous) you can ensure availability and performance of QoS throughout your network, and whether carrier links are supporting QoS.

As an added bonus, Fluke has allowed reflector support which means you can use other Fluke networks equipment other than an XG for this testing.

In this video I use an XG and a LinkRunner AT to setup and perform a test.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72I33Lf8r3k

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Network Engineer with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Provides visibility into a network regardless of vendor
When I go onsite to troubleshoot a customer issue, I cannot assume that they will give me access to their network management system. As an independent, I can’t possibly know every vendor’s management system, products and system commands as well. As a troubleshooter, I am always looking for vendor independent to add to my kit that will give me visibility into a network regardless of vendor. In other words, I like the fact that I can use the XG in multivendor environments and monitor various vendor’s equipment without having to mess around with various management systems, commands, etc.. In this example I take you through a brief peek at Fluke Network’s Optiview XG and what information you can gather. The Optiview XG can cause a bit of confusion since it can be sold with Fluke…

When I go onsite to troubleshoot a customer issue, I cannot assume that they will give me access to their network management system. As an independent, I can’t possibly know every vendor’s management system, products and system commands as well.

As a troubleshooter, I am always looking for vendor independent to add to my kit that will give me visibility into a network regardless of vendor. In other words, I like the fact that I can use the XG in multivendor environments and monitor various vendor’s equipment without having to mess around with various management systems, commands, etc..

In this example I take you through a brief peek at Fluke Network’s Optiview XG and what information you can gather. The Optiview XG can cause a bit of confusion since it can be sold with Fluke Network’s AirMagnet product suite, which in its own right is very good. But in some cases the customer might not need the full blown AirMagnet suite or may just want to poke around at a higher level and possibly work their way up to the AirMagnet software, if required.

This tool relies on SNMP (ver 1,2 or 3) to gather the statistics shown in this demo, so in reality I would need a valid IP address on the customer network, be positioned on the same VLAN as the AP (or add the AP manually) and finally I would require read only SNMP access to their equipment.

Most of the time, getting read only SNMP access during a troubleshooting exercise isn’t out of the question and avoids having to go through the bigger ordeal of getting access to a network management system or login accounts for specific network equipment.

In this video I show you how to record the signal strength of various clients, from the access points perspective.

Enjoy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6obIb2YxJ0

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.