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TruView OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

What is TruView?

Visual TruView by Fluke Networks is a unified solution for Application Aware Network Performance Management (AANPM). TruView embeds the most important data sources such as packet, transaction, NetFlow/IPFIX, and SNMP to present analytics in a time-correlated single dashboard view. These correlated views help you quickly see how well the infrastructure is transporting applications and how well those applications are performing in the context of end-user experience. And, TruView’s integrated 10 Gbps full line rate stream-to-disk packet capture ensures you’ll never miss an important event again.

Buyer's Guide

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

TruView Customers

FloraHolland, Miami-Dade Public Library System, Southeastern Freight Lines, Valdosta State University, Everett Clinic, Bioreference, Key Information Systems, ACER, Odeabank A.S.

TruView Video

Archived TruView Reviews (more than two years old)

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Dom Fitzgibbon
Director at PlexNet Pty Ltd
Reseller
Top 5
Great all in one tool aimed at the AANPM space

What is most valuable?

Being able to see both packet performance data, Netflow, and SNMP together in one screen makes problem resolution easy to tackle.

What needs improvement?

When I first reviewed the TruView solution today it was quite comprehensive but through the version releases Fluke Networks and now NETSCOUT have continued to make the product better. Whilst Citrix could be handled better like their nGenius product line (which does an excellent job) it copes with the centralised type of deployment TruView covers.

For how long have I used the solution?

4 Years

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

I have done a number of demos, PoCs and deployments and whilst all customers/users are different the tool deploys extremely easily. In fact setting up a system in a large government facility with over 33 sites was done in a day. The most work was getting the NetFlow feed from the routers. The TruView part was easy. The most work here was getting the list of IP ranges and subnets for site and application definition.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

TruView is very stable. Whilst no product is devoid of bugs constant 24/7 usage with the product has not thrown up any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

TruView says what it does on the tin. If it can capture traffic at 1G, 2G, 4G or 10G wire-rate it does. The onboard statistics will indicate any loss or discarded packets for the user to understand overloading of the solution. As there are a number of systems available it is certainly able to be overloaded with excessive packets in the packet engine or flows in the NetFlow collector component.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

PlexNet Pty Ltd in Australia provides this aspect of NETSCOUT but I have found the local team to be very supportive. Whilst NETSCOUT don't have a large number of staff in Australia they are a very transparent organisation and provide good service to their partners. The global support team is also very responsive.

Technical Support:

As a partner managing local technical support and often involved in multiple cases I have found the NETSCOUT team to generally have a good level of support. Having support teams in both Europe and America makes things easier for us in Australia. Whilst some cases take longer than others the resolution time is pretty good.

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

Over the years I have been involved with OPNET (acquired by Riverbed) and ClearSight (also acquired by NETSCOUT). I have found that from a simple network and application 24/7 tool the other products required a lot more 'engineering' effort to resolve issues.

How was the initial setup?

TruView takes only minutes to install. Once the IP addresses have been assigned it goes off and autodiscovers your infrastructure. Essentially from that moment you are collecting and analysing traffic. The application / server definition process afterwards can be done as time allows to tune the device. Auto baselining means that you don't even need to understand the application EURT and can be started immediately.

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

Licensing is very simple. There is the product and then Flow and VoIP licenses. If you just want to analyse standard application traffic then there is no more to spend. The Flow and VoIP licenses are inexpensive.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: PlexNet Pty Ltd is a Platinum Partner of NETSCOUT in Australia. Whilst we have experience in other toolsets and other vendors we are primarily a NETSCOUT solution provider in the AANPM segment and a have a few other complimentary partners in the APM space.
it_user382029
Founder at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
It gives us the ability to determine the root of a problem or a network, whether it's on the network side, the database, application server, or server infrastructure.

Valuable Features

It gives us the ability to determine the root of a problem or a network, whether it's on the network side, the database, application server, or server infrastructure. That is invaluable. It saves so much time, it’s ridiculous.

Improvements to My Organization

It's allowed us to be more responsive to application issues. Back in the old days, if there was a problem, it was kind of a fire drill. Everyone was trying to figure out what's wrong, everyone was pointing fingers, and while that was going on, business wasn't running. Now, we're able to use the tool, become extremely efficient in resolving issues, and we get the business back on track relatively quickly.

Room for Improvement

One thing I would like to see is the ability to operationalize it with some templates for various groups. Right now, it's primarily used by the networking group, and then we'll point other groups into a screen that they'll use to do analysis. It would be great if we could just have a set of heuristics that server guys can use or the database guys would use.

Use of Solution

I've used it for two years now.

Deployment Issues

I had no issues with the deployment.

Stability Issues

It's absolutely stable. It's invaluable. Literally, in my job I began as part of the network team, but because I have gotten so good with using the product that my role has kind of merged into being the application performance guy. We really rely on the product.

Scalability Issues

It is scalable. Initially, we under-provisioned what we purchased. We had TruView in just a single box and we were pumping too much data through it. Once we moved to a distributed model, we've been able to monitor our core applications flawlessly.

Customer Service and Technical Support

I give them 9/10. I can't give them quite a 10, because from time to time, I'll work with the folks who, not that they're not good, but there are some who are just phenomenal. The regular guy, he's capable, but he doesn't have a level of understanding that maybe some of the more senior guys have.

Initial Setup

It was straightforward, but there was one thing I thought they could have done a better job of, such as just helping us provision it for our network. They were just, "Okay, this is how you set it up." There's maybe a little more analysis on how we're set up and maybe it was for the best practices on how to analyze specific applications. I think that would have been valuable as part of the set up.

Implementation Team

We paid for and used a vendor team.

Other Solutions Considered

We had a product called NetScout, but it was coming to its end-of-support. We just wanted to see what else was out there, and then the TruView techs came in and gave us part of a general help desk on how to resolve a problem that we had for months. The engineers, they would do it in an hour, and that's what sold it for us.

Other Advice

Get it and provision it for your top ten applications.

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, Rapid7, SolarWinds and others in Network Monitoring Software. Updated: October 2021.
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ITCS user
Director of IT with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
We used to lack the ability to examine historical data together with real-time visibility to isolate issues.
Our network includes more than 650 switches, 650 access points, 275 virtual servers, 75 physical servers, 3,800 desktop computers, and hundreds of other client devices. Historically, we didn’t have great visibility into application performance in our data center or on other client devices. We previously were very reactive to performance problems and used a variety of complex tools like packet sniffers to analyze problems. We needed a solution that could immediately tell us how applications were performing and help us quickly solve problems if they emerge. Visual TruView enables us to gather key data sets—including packet storage, application response time, transactional decode, flow and SNMP—to highlight performance metrics for key applications. It delivers this information through a…

Our network includes more than 650 switches, 650 access points, 275 virtual servers, 75 physical servers, 3,800 desktop computers, and hundreds of other client devices. Historically, we didn’t have great visibility into application performance in our data center or on other client devices. We previously were very reactive to performance problems and used a variety of complex tools like packet sniffers to analyze problems. We needed a solution that could immediately tell us how applications were performing and help us quickly solve problems if they emerge.

Visual TruView enables us to gather key data sets—including packet storage, application response time, transactional decode, flow and SNMP—to highlight performance metrics for key applications. It delivers this information through a centralized console and provides us with a clear picture of performance. When issues arise, it helps quickly isolate the root cause by allowing us to immediately drill down into packet-level detail, and its integration with OptiView XG allows us to conduct real-time, inline packet capture for more sophisticated transactional analysis.

TruView allows us to ensure application performance by collecting and correlating all of the application information and presenting that information through a central monitoring dashboard. If a problem arises, we’re just a click or two away from diving into packet level details, so we can troubleshoot instantly.

Visual TruView allows us to:

  • Evaluate bandwidth utilization
  • See bottlenecks
  • Track latency
  • Troubleshoot DHCP server issues
  • Hunt down unused IPs
  • Determine if problems are originating from the network or application side of IT

For example, our team was recently called in to troubleshoot a database connection issue with Oracle. We were trying to transfer large amounts of data from physical servers to virtual ones, but it kept failing. Because of the data center’s history, our first assumption was that the core was the problem, but we could not isolate the issue. Using TruView we immediately identified the problem as a setting in the Oracle application, not with the data center core, so we modified the setting and quickly resolved the problem.

We had another issue with our SMTP server being hit by an attack, telling it to flood another server with emails. The security team locked down the firewall and claimed the attack was coming from inside the network. We created an application that could capture the SMTP traffic to the server and then analyzed it to find out the attack was coming from an IP in Amsterdam, not internally as initially assumed.

TrueView is very intuitive, and because it gives you real-time visibility and historical data, our troubleshooting flexibility is very robust and amazingly accurate. If a user complains about an issue, we can look at historical data to isolate the problem fast. We couldn’t do that before. If application performance is slow, we can instantly isolate the domain and identify whether it’s a network or application issue. Again, we couldn’t do that 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_user164037
Director of Technical Services at a transportation company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Single reporting interface allows us to isolate issues easier by displaying data visually.
We provide services to 82 remote service centers and our network supports 4,000 - 5,000 applications developed in-house, as well as several third-party applications. Most of our application users reside at remote locations, accessing the application via VPN or wireless clients. We have up to 1,000 concurrent VPN users during peak hours along with 1,500 users accessing the network via wireless clients. This distributed environment, along with the interactive nature of the applications, requires network and computer services with consistently low latencies. We installed a Visual TruView 4800 at our datacenter and have found that it leverages key data sets, such as stream-to-disk packet storage application response time transactional decode IPFIX (NetFlow) SNMP TruView presents network and…

We provide services to 82 remote service centers and our network supports 4,000 - 5,000 applications developed in-house, as well as several third-party applications. Most of our application users reside at remote locations, accessing the application via VPN or wireless clients. We have up to 1,000 concurrent VPN users during peak hours along with 1,500 users accessing the network via wireless clients. This distributed environment, along with the interactive nature of the applications, requires network and computer services with consistently low latencies.

We installed a Visual TruView 4800 at our datacenter and have found that it leverages key data sets, such as:

  • stream-to-disk packet storage
  • application response time
  • transactional decode
  • IPFIX (NetFlow)
  • SNMP

TruView presents network and application performance analytics through a single reporting interface which depicts network performance visually to demonstrate when and where problems occur, allowing us to dive into the data and isolate issues to the application, server interface/device, transaction, or event packet level. As it processes network performance analytics, it time correlates the results providing cross-functional IT teams – such as network engineering, application, and server teams – with an increased ability to work more collaboratively and solve problems fast.

TruView acts as a window into our network and applications, telling us if and when performance issues arise and helping us identify the proper fix before it causes service interruptions.

We’ve been especially pleased about how the appliance has impacted how we manage our network bandwidth. We use it to identify, monitor, and reduce network traffic surrounding “chatty” and “background” applications, such as SQL server pings and distributing virus updates, as well as rogue devices connecting to the network.

In one example, it identified an excessive number of SQL updates requested by a third-party application. We tweaked the application as soon as the TruView system identified the issue, reducing the load on both our network and our SQL server.

It also allows us to analyze captured packets to dig into individual client sessions and solve problems reported through the help desk. The appliance consolidates information that we previously accessed from multiple sources and adds to it. It allows us to find all of the information needed that we previously had to gather from multiple tools. It has made troubleshooting issues faster and easier.

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_user112599
Network Team Lead with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
We needed a mechanism to pinpoint issues and determine if the root cause lay with the database, application, or network.
Due to the nature of our business, we require continuous operations with zero tolerance for network performance delays or downtime. Performance expectations are high for our IT team and network. We rely on optimal network response times to our auction applications and databases to present, track, and sell plants and flowers as quickly as possible. As soon as one product is sold, we need to be able to showcase the next item immediately. Time is of the essence, and we can’t waste it with unnecessary troubleshooting steps. In an auction clock environment, plants and flowers are brought into a room to be bid on by both in-person and online buyers. A database pushes information to the clock, which displays the product, quantity, price, and time left at auction. Bidders push a button to…

Due to the nature of our business, we require continuous operations with zero tolerance for network performance delays or downtime. Performance expectations are high for our IT team and network.

We rely on optimal network response times to our auction applications and databases to present, track, and sell plants and flowers as quickly as possible. As soon as one product is sold, we need to be able to showcase the next item immediately. Time is of the essence, and we can’t waste it with unnecessary troubleshooting steps.

In an auction clock environment, plants and flowers are brought into a room to be bid on by both in-person and online buyers. A database pushes information to the clock, which displays the product, quantity, price, and time left at auction. Bidders push a button to purchase flowers based on the price displayed on the clock at that particular time. As soon as the product is sold, a new product is displayed as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately, we recently encountered a response time delay between the database and the auction clock. The delay slowed the clock display information by up to two seconds between each auction, which is far too long in our environment. We needed a mechanism to pinpoint the issue and determine if the root cause lay with the database, application, or network. That was easier said than done at the time, given our organization’s complex, homegrown databases and applications.

A delay of even a few seconds is unacceptable when we’re auctioning more than 50 million items each day to on-site and international bidders. Time literally translates to money, so we do everything possible to mitigate delays.

We evaluated multiple technologies before implementing a Visual TruView unified network and application performance monitoring and troubleshooting solution from Fluke Networks. We deployed Visual TruView to monitor and troubleshoot both our backbone and marketplace networks. The backbone network is made up of two core switches, two connected server switches, and five distribution switches. This infrastructure powers the organization’s home-grown applications and databases. The backbone network is connected to the marketplace network, which powers all auction bidding through numerous connections to in-person bidding devices and online bidding applications.

Visual TruView uses key data sets (including packet storage, application response time, transactional decode, NetFlow and SNMP) to highlight performance metrics through a single dashboard. The comprehensive overview of both network and application performance provides us with a clear picture of where issues originate across both our backbone and marketplace networks.

TruView tracks the networks and devices for all auction activities. It doesn’t make any difference what the issue is or where it originates, giving us immediate access across our entire infrastructure. The response-time savings are phenomenal.

We used Visual TruView to troubleshoot our delays between auctions. The solution monitored performance from the application data query across the network to the database and back. TruView immediately identified the database as the root cause, taking an extra second or two to process the query and respond. We optimized the database and fixed the problem without wasted effort scrutinizing the entire network and application since the issue was isolated immediately.

Visual TruView provides visibility into the our network, applications, and databases from a single solution so we don’t waste time unnecessarily pinpointing where issues originate. The result saves us two hours of accumulated delays each year, equaling €200,000 in annual savings, along with an improved image for our operations.

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_user87237
CTO, COO and Senior Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Gives us the ability to see all levels of the network and applications through one single management console
Before utilizing Visual TruView, we were forced to take a reactive approach to client problems. Any incoming issues would be investigated through a limited platform we had, providing only basic network and application information. While we could identify if an application was running and see generic network information, any real intelligence was absent and required hours of manual testing and analysis before our consultant or engineer could find and resolve the problem (if they could resolve the problem at all). We wanted to expand our presence in the network monitoring field, but to do so, we needed a network and application performance monitoring solution that could provide a complete view and detailed analytics. This would allow our team to strategically identify, track and remediate…

Before utilizing Visual TruView, we were forced to take a reactive approach to client problems. Any incoming issues would be investigated through a limited platform we had, providing only basic network and application information. While we could identify if an application was running and see generic network information, any real intelligence was absent and required hours of manual testing and analysis before our consultant or engineer could find and resolve the problem (if they could resolve the problem at all). We wanted to expand our presence in the network monitoring field, but to do so, we needed a network and application performance monitoring solution that could provide a complete view and detailed analytics. This would allow our team to strategically identify, track and remediate problems for its customers – essentially delivering a powerful and reliable service.

When working with large enterprise clients, you really have to be able to address, diagnose and resolve issues quickly, which can be a huge challenge when you’re working with such complex networking structures. Our toolset was too limited. We were only able to see basic network information. We needed better visibility to dive into the real root cause of issues, so we could resolve them, move forward and really establish a solid value in our services.

In addition to proactive problem detection and resolution, our team also wanted a solution that could provide data that validated when the network was working properly, so they could eliminate false network accusations.

In many cases, it’s just as important to prove the network is working properly when people begin pointing the finger at perceived network outages. Especially if you’re providing services, because at some point, that finger may point at us. We needed a solution that could quickly provide accurate data that clearly showed if an outside source or provider was impacting the overall network or application delivery ecosystem.

We chose Fluke Networks’ Visual TruView to provide real-time network and application visibility for our clients. The appliance delivers an integrated monitoring platform with a unified view of both network and application performance, quickly locating lurking issues and making troubleshooting a more efficient process. With TruView, we are able to monitor large client networks in real-time and pinpoint any network or application problem efficiently.

Fluke Networks’ Visual TruView has been a godsend for us and for our customers. It allows us to immediately deliver exceptional value and knowledge to the client by not only informing them of a network or application problem in real-time, but also being able to isolate the source of the problem so they can immediately take steps to resolve the issue on their end.

Fluke Networks’ Visual TruView has provided valuable insights to us and our client base, and has led to the resolution of many performance issues since its deployment. Most notably, a large retail client was experiencing degradation in its end-user performance, which was consistently blamed on the network. By using TruView, we were able to analyze the network and its applications, and noticed the customer had deployed an anti-virus system that was trying to update all signatures to all users at once. This was consuming 99 percent of the available bandwidth at certain locations during the day, which had a profound impact on other network operations that were key to business.

Within 10 to 15 minutes of receiving the initial troubleshooting phone call, TruView helped us quickly identify the massive bandwidth issues surrounding the anti-virus system. Without TruView quickly isolating the problem, it would have continued to be a recurring phantom issue that impacted the system. Because we were able to identify the cause immediately, we had the ability to pause the update, schedule it for another time, and return the company to its normal performance standards quickly.

On the business side, TruView also allows us to establish greater credibility with our customers by providing real, actionable data that helps reduce network finger pointing.

The big deciding factor for selecting TruView was that it gives us the ability to see all levels of the network and applications through one single management console. Resolution time with this tool is phenomenal – it succinctly highlights and helps us solve issues we probably would not have discovered without it. With Visual TruView, we can see the full picture, which lets us provide a level of service that is invaluable to our clients.

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_user153084
Cloud Architect at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
MSP
Enables us to dive into packet-level information for deeper analysis when necessary
We offer a variety of professional IT and network architectural services. Like any business, we have several important applications, such as Exchange, SharePoint, Salesforce, SAP and VoIP, along with other technologies that our internal teams rely on to do their jobs. We needed a centralized platform that was a trusted source of network intelligence and we also need to provide the same network and application visibility for customers that use the our data center for application hosting. We chose Visual TruView which helps us quickly isolate the root cause by allowing us to easily drill down into context-sensitive packet-level detail. We can navigate through the UI to understand problem domain isolation, which applications are running slow, what servers and sites are impacted, etc. TruView…

We offer a variety of professional IT and network architectural services. Like any business, we have several important applications, such as Exchange, SharePoint, Salesforce, SAP and VoIP, along with other technologies that our internal teams rely on to do their jobs. We needed a centralized platform that was a trusted source of network intelligence and we also need to provide the same network and application visibility for customers that use the our data center for application hosting.

We chose Visual TruView which helps us quickly isolate the root cause by allowing us to easily drill down into context-sensitive packet-level detail. We can navigate through the UI to understand problem domain isolation, which applications are running slow, what servers and sites are impacted, etc. TruView also builds a filter for relevant packet data which allows us to quickly access specific packet data at any point in the process from any UI screen.

It gives us a centralized platform with visibility into key network and application performance metrics, and it allows us, in just a couple clicks, to dive into packet-level details to further troubleshoot in real time.

Most tools tend to go a mile wide and an inch deep. TruView is the opposite. It focuses just on network and application performance, giving us a complete overview of our assets. But then, with just a click, it allows us to go all the way into the packet weeds and do heavy analysis.

For example, when several clients started experiencing massive packet loss and data drops when connecting to applications in the data center, TruView instantly noticed the problem. When we drilled down to find the root cause, we discovered the problem was coming from the same destination port at each client location. By cross-referencing the technology parameters, we realized they all had a Juniper firewall that was running an old software version that couldn’t combat a Layer 7 application (denial of service) attack. I’m not sure how we ever would have found out that all of these clients had the same firewall update issue. TruView illuminated the problem, and we drilled down to the root cause in 23 minutes.

We recently had another customer using VoIP from a partner that was hosted in the data center. After 30 minutes on a call, the VoIP service would drop. Of course, the customer’s analysis said the issue resided with the provider, and the provider’s analysis said it was a customer firewall issue. We jumped in with TruView and captured an entire transaction in transit and inspected it. We found that the client’s firewall was seeing the conversion timing out. The provider was acknowledging the timing-out issue and killing the call. We were able to share that information with the provider and the customer so they could work together to isolate and fix the problem.

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
User at a healthcare company with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
We needed a way to quickly identify the source of problems with our network applications
We have more than 25 dispersed clinic locations connected through a central data center and we run hundreds of critical applications. One of the largest software applications is Epic, which is a huge multi-tiered application suite that includes several smaller applications that all bounce from server to server, gathering data requests from different sources and funneling back responses to our clinical and administrative teams. Visual TruView uses key data sets (including packet storage, application response time, transactional decode, NetFlow and SNMP) to measure performance of hundreds of applications and then report the results through a single dashboard. The comprehensive overview of both network and application performance provides us with a clear picture of performance and, when…

We have more than 25 dispersed clinic locations connected through a central data center and we run hundreds of critical applications. One of the largest software applications is Epic, which is a huge multi-tiered application suite that includes several smaller applications that all bounce from server to server, gathering data requests from different sources and funneling back responses to our clinical and administrative teams.

Visual TruView uses key data sets (including packet storage, application response time, transactional decode, NetFlow and SNMP) to measure performance of hundreds of applications and then report the results through a single dashboard. The comprehensive overview of both network and application performance provides us with a clear picture of performance and, when issues arise, helps us quickly identify the root cause.

We also use TruView to evaluate top talkers (i.e., applications) on the network, identify unknown applications, identify the most-used at any moment, and measure other indicators of network health. TruView delivers this information via simple graphs and alerts that trigger when minimum performance thresholds aren’t met. It helps immediately narrow down the scope of performance problems, so we can do further analysis on a specific node or server.

For example, when we used TruView to identify which applications were affecting network performance the most, we were surprised to find a marketing screensaver as the main culprit. The screensaver (which runs on hundreds of computer screens and is displayed in every patient room) was not deployed properly. Instead of caching information from each individual computer’s hard drive, it was pulling high-resolution images and marketing materials from remote servers and serving them to desktops. This created a huge amount of traffic every single day. We used TruView to identify this unnecessary bandwidth-intense application as a problem.

TruView helps us tell right away when a problem happens and the scope of the issue. If something is slow, we can tell the location or application affected. When it’s a multi-tier application, we can see which element is the problem and don’t need to involve the vendor – it’s eliminated a lot of the troubleshooting frustrations we used to have.

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_user143970
Operation & Infrastructure Manager at a wellness & fitness company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Deployment was rather simple, but did require quite a bit of time to configure since our applications are so complex.
We develop our applications in-house to address our organization’s specific mission and operational needs. The data housed within these applications are critical to us, as evidenced by a spike in incoming technical support calls immediately after any network, application, or database outage. Application and network issues would inevitably arise within our infrastructure. These issues, no matter how minor, were hard to troubleshoot since each application integrates with multiple data sources. We evaluated multiple network monitoring solutions. Visual TruView was selected and deployed to solve our IT challenges and resolve the ambiguity associated with technical support calls. As TruView processes network performance analytics, it time correlates the results, which helps cross-functional IT…

We develop our applications in-house to address our organization’s specific mission and operational needs. The data housed within these applications are critical to us, as evidenced by a spike in incoming technical support calls immediately after any network, application, or database outage.

Application and network issues would inevitably arise within our infrastructure. These issues, no matter how minor, were hard to troubleshoot since each application integrates with multiple data sources. We evaluated multiple network monitoring solutions. Visual TruView was selected and deployed to solve our IT challenges and resolve the ambiguity associated with technical support calls.

As TruView processes network performance analytics, it time correlates the results, which helps cross-functional IT teams—such as network engineering and application development teams—work more collaboratively and solve problems faster than before without the usual finger-pointing. The effort is centralized with a dashboard that tells us whether the problem is database, application, or network related so we can assign accountability and get to a solution faster.

The ability to see across our network and monitor each node along with all applications and databases is of great benefit, it helps us immediately identify the problem’s root cause so we can bring in the appropriate service team to solve the issue.

Deployment was rather simple, but did require quite a bit of time to configure since our applications are so complex. But, once we got it up and running, the results were almost immediate.

It also provides ongoing monitoring for external and third-party applications as well. TruView can easily pinpoint problems, letting us know if the issue lies internally or with the external application provider.

For example, we used TruView to troubleshoot a third-party application that was performing slowly over the VPN connection. The application used specific protocols for querying data from multiple sources. We reviewed all data transactions – one after another. In each transaction, data took no more than 30 milliseconds to process. Some of the files, however, exceeded 15 MB in size. These larger data calls required several minutes to process over the VPN. Because we could isolate the specific data call culprits, the system could be optimized to solve the issue quickly and effectively.

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_user111267
Tech Infrastructure Security Admin at a educational organization with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Helps our Network Team Respond to Potential Issues Before they Become Larger Ones.

Valuable Features:

Being able to track down network anomalies and problems quickly.

Improvements to My Organization:

Visual TruView helped our network team respond to potential issues before they became larger ones.

Room for Improvement:

Nothing comes to mind, it's a great product.

Use of Solution:

I've been using Visual TruView for 1 year now.

Deployment Issues:

No, we haven't experienced any issues.

Customer Service:

Good to excellent

Initial Setup:

I didn't set it up. However, I heard it was pretty straightforward.

Implementation Team:

I believe it was a combination of vendor and in-house.

Other Advice:

It is a great product and will help you save time…

Valuable Features:

Being able to track down network anomalies and problems quickly.

Improvements to My Organization:

Visual TruView helped our network team respond to potential issues before they became larger ones.

Room for Improvement:

Nothing comes to mind, it's a great product.

Use of Solution:

I've been using Visual TruView for 1 year now.

Deployment Issues:

No, we haven't experienced any issues.

Customer Service:

Good to excellent

Initial Setup:

I didn't set it up. However, I heard it was pretty straightforward.

Implementation Team:

I believe it was a combination of vendor and in-house.

Other Advice:

It is a great product and will help you save time trying to find out where the issues are in the network.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Manager of Engineering with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
We lacked visibility into network and app performance, so we chose Visual TruView to proactively manage our network
Our IT department is responsible for maintaining key systems and applications for all corporate locations, more than 500 stores across the U.S., and the e-commerce retail websites. Not having insight into these key applications and the underlying network infrastructure that supports them meant teams were always in a reactive mode when isolating and fixing problems. As a member of the networking team, we’re responsible for monitoring performance of more than 100 custom applications, store circuit performance, database applications, key business applications like Exchange and Lync, client access, vendor networks and more. If we can’t access the needed network and application performance data, we can’t isolate and fix the problem. Teams just finger point and the guesswork begins to try and…

Our IT department is responsible for maintaining key systems and applications for all corporate locations, more than 500 stores across the U.S., and the e-commerce retail websites. Not having insight into these key applications and the underlying network infrastructure that supports them meant teams were always in a reactive mode when isolating and fixing problems.

As a member of the networking team, we’re responsible for monitoring performance of more than 100 custom applications, store circuit performance, database applications, key business applications like Exchange and Lync, client access, vendor networks and more. If we can’t access the needed network and application performance data, we can’t isolate and fix the problem. Teams just finger point and the guesswork begins to try and isolate root cause. And the worst part, while this is happening, the business is being negatively impacted.

As a matter of fact, during the holiday season, our online retail site experienced sporadic performance issues. Without solutions in place to proactively monitor performance, the IT department struggled to isolate what was causing the problem.

We knew this could never happen again, and it was the tipping point for us to find a solution to help solve the problem. We needed complete insight into the application performance layer so we could identify if it was a network or application issue. We also needed the ability to generate hourly reports for key executives and managers so they could monitor site performance.

In a nutshell, our company lacked visibility into network and application performance. If you can’t see it, you can’t manage, which means when problems happen, you can't easily fix them. This creates a big problem for IT and a bigger problem for the business. We needed to take off the blinders so IT could become a strategic resource.

To meet these challenges, we selected Fluke Networks’ Visual TruView, a unified application and network performance monitoring and troubleshooting appliance. It leverages key data sets such as stream-to-disk packet storage, application response time, transactional decode, NetFlow and SNMP, to present performance analytics through a single visual dashboard view. It eliminates the need for swivel chair correlations and gives teams the ability to quickly drill down into packet-level details if needed. With intuitive guided workflows, we’re never more than a few clicks from isolating performance problems.

There are only two solutions I keep up and running at all times, and Visual TruView is one of them. It gives me complete visibility into the application layer and when problems emerge, I can identify the source and work to fix it before it has an impact on the business. We can monitor all of our key sites and applications easily, immediately see if and where a problem is occurring, drill down into extensive details if needed, and isolate and fix the issue in real-time. It’s our eyes and ears for the network, and it’s made the engineering team shine.

Since deploying Visual TruView, our IT team now has complete visibility into application performance and can proactively manage the network.

TruView has allowed us to completely revamp site performance for the website. We use the full map view to manage all sites and can easily see when performance is degrading or if there is an outage – and immediately identify if it’s an application or networking issue. The information is easy to process and the search function allows us to quickly get graphs for usage, top conversations and more.

To make sure the networking team keeps on top of all performance issues, we created custom monitors and hourly reports that automatically get pushed to key team members and executives. This helps track everything from general performance data for key business applications to site transactions associated with e-commerce. If an issue emerges, the teams can instantly work to remediate.

From the moment TruView went live we had instant visibility into pressing issues and were able to immediately fix problems and do application rollups. And while the networking team owns access, we also provide access to the application team so they can instantly work on response time issues and drill down into individual connections that may be causing the problems. No more finger pointing, just data that helps isolate and fix a problem.

We also find Visual TruView simple to use. I can easily set alarms for application performance, site performance, network performance and more. There’s no need to manually correlate data and I can instantly prove or verify if a problem was the result of a networking issue.

The workflow is very logical and easy to use, and because it pulls all the data sources we need, we can get as granular as needed to isolate an issue. Every night it seems some issue occurs, whether that’s a server failure or a sales query, and TruView makes it easy to log in, put in a source destination and get results on any activity and how it impacted performance. It’s a critical tool for our day-to-day management of performance.

I can't imagine doing my job without Visual TruView. Previously we couldn’t provide concrete answers on performance issues. Now we can…and with extensive detail, which allows us to prove the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of a problem.

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 at a energy/utilities company with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
We tested several products, but Fluke Networks provided the visibility we needed to improve our network performance
With a team of just three engineers and a network spanning the country, we required a solution that provided support for each location’s specific data centers, servers and storage without requiring a vast amount of engineering support. With hundreds of people on the network at any given time, identifying and troubleshooting end-user delays was an important and time-consuming issue for our engineering team. We needed visibility into each data center and the ability to quickly identify and segregate network issues from application problems. With such a small team of engineers managing all the networking needs — from plugs, to wiring, to power — it was challenging for us to dedicate the required amount of time to troubleshooting end-user issues, especially with a user base spread across the…

With a team of just three engineers and a network spanning the country, we required a solution that provided support for each location’s specific data centers, servers and storage without requiring a vast amount of engineering support. With hundreds of people on the network at any given time, identifying and troubleshooting end-user delays was an important and time-consuming issue for our engineering team. We needed visibility into each data center and the ability to quickly identify and segregate network issues from application problems.

With such a small team of engineers managing all the networking needs — from plugs, to wiring, to power — it was challenging for us to dedicate the required amount of time to troubleshooting end-user issues, especially with a user base spread across the country. It was nearly impossible for us to tell where an issue was coming from; was it a network problem? A smaller location based issue? We just didn’t have the visibility we needed to fix issues efficiently and still have time to dedicate to our other pressing projects.

In addition to normal internal network issues, we utilize many different applications throughout our three data centers, including a newly implemented video over IP capability that allows our geologists to stay on site and still participate in key company meetings. Because of the large number of internal and external applications running at any given time, in any location, our engineers were tasked with solving issues without any clear knowledge of the origin – whether network or application based.

Often problems would arise in Tulsa that had to be diagnosed and fixed from a different location. A large building and hundreds of different devices connecting to the server at any given time hindered the troubleshooting process and often non-vital issues were left unresolved and became the new normal end-user experience.

Our team also faced the challenge of managing third party, subscription-based applications that weren’t always performing up to standard. Conversations with vendors yielded few results and most users were left dealing with a slower, less efficient process.

We chose Fluke Networks OptiView XG to begin monitoring our biggest data center, located in Tulsa. The OptiView XG allowed our engineers to track the normal network use levels and establish a benchmark to compare degraded performance to. Currently, we use the OptiView XG mainly as a diagnostic tool, running continuously and conducting network assessments, validating new infrastructure and devices, testing service provider SLAs, and troubleshooting problems from end to end.

After our success using the OptiView XG, we expanded our Fluke Networks’ product line to include the Visual TruView. With TruView’s Application Performance Monitoring (APM) and Network Performance Monitoring (NPM) combined capabilities, we are able to identify, test and resolve issues across LAN, WAN or Cloud environments and across multiple data centers.

The entire team tested several different product solutions initially, but Fluke Networks provided the visibility we needed to make a discernable difference in our network performance and engineer time management. With the TruView, we’re able to identify an issue, zero in on the location and solve it quickly.

With the TruView and OptiView XG helping to streamline our networking troubleshooting process, our engineering team now has the ability to remotely identify, diagnose and resolve our connectivity problems.

Using Fluke Networks TruView and the OptiView XG together allow us to shed light on issues that pop up when managing a cross-country network. It gives the entire team insight we’ve never had before and enables us to differentiate between normal traffic and bigger problems. It’s a great tool for not only day-to-day network monitoring, but also troubleshooting and effectively leading us to issue resolution.

In one specific example, my team was called in to deal with an application problem reported by a group of users in Tulsa. It turned out the users were all on the 14th floor of the same building. The IT team first used the OptiView XG to eliminate some obvious potential causes with the network on that particular floor and then used TruView to see how the performance on that floor compared to other floors. With the network ruled out as the cause of the issue, TruView helped to identify a file server that had been configured improperly after a power outage.

In addition to dealing with our own internal network issues, Fluke Networks’ tools have allowed us to help identify and resolve third-party application issues as well.

In one instance, using the OptiView XG, our engineers were able to log into an end user’s machine, take a packet capture then decode it using Fluke Networks ClearSite Analyzer software, which showed specific metrics around application performance.

The data showed an application problem that was a surprise to the vendor. While they were able to fix the problem and improve the end user experience, without the conclusive data provided by the Fluke Networks tools, we may have been lost in an endless cycle of back-and-forth between the internal team and the application company.

Without Fluke Networks, we just wouldn’t have the same visibility. It’s an essential part of our network infrastructure.

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_user70026
Senior Project Manager at a local government with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
TruView provides a high-level overview of what’s going on which enables us to address issues quickly
Recently, our government moved forward with a plan to combine two separate county councils into a single entity. One of the more complex tasks involved in the merger is the creation of a single, unified IT infrastructure for the county’s services and public-facing websites. The €1.8 million IT consolidation project includes the creation of a primary data center and disaster recovery site connecting to 57 remote county offices and sites over a variety of connections (point-to-point, VPN, private DSL, MPLS, etc.). When completed, the network will include a mix of internal applications, public-facing websites and portals for services such as housing, water, roads, environment, planning and other key local government functions. In addition to standard business applications for communications…

Recently, our government moved forward with a plan to combine two separate county councils into a single entity. One of the more complex tasks involved in the merger is the creation of a single, unified IT infrastructure for the county’s services and public-facing websites. The €1.8 million IT consolidation project includes the creation of a primary data center and disaster recovery site connecting to 57 remote county offices and sites over a variety of connections (point-to-point, VPN, private DSL, MPLS, etc.).

When completed, the network will include a mix of internal applications, public-facing websites and portals for services such as housing, water, roads, environment, planning and other key local government functions. In addition to standard business applications for communications, productivity, CRM and financial management, the network will also host some bandwidth intensive GIS and mapping applications. It will also support remote access and a variety of mobile services and applications.

Creating a single unified network across all of our county is a major undertaking. All of the merged authority’s back-end infrastructure will be located in the North of the county. As a result, all WAN services from the Southern part of the county are being relocated and re-terminated at a separate head end. Major sites in the south of the county will send traffic out through a switch core, up the point to point link to be dropped off in the primary data center core. About 800 users will be connecting to services hosted in the data center, of which approximately 450 will be from the southern part of the county.

The technical complexity of merging existing systems, applications and data was just one of my major concerns. We are especially conscious of the fact that users from the Southern part of the county are sensitive to performance issues in light of the division of labor and responsibility for the unified network. Being able to remotely diagnose and solve network and application problems is a priority.

We need a tool that can give us a complete picture of what is happening with applications, servers and the network across the entire county. Right now, we’re still building the network. But in the medium term, it’s important for us to be able to isolate the source of performance issues so we can get application problems on the desk of the applications team and network problems to the network team so they can address them quickly.

We chose the Fluke Networks Visual TruView appliance to provide the application and network performance monitoring we need. TruView leverages key data sets such as stream-to-disk packet storage, application response time, transactional decode, IPFIX (NetFlow), and SNMP to present analytics through a single reporting interface. As TruView processes analytics from these data sets, it time correlates the results providing cross-functional IT teams such as network engineering, application, and server teams with a new found ability to work more collaboratively and solve problems fast. We deployed TruView directly in our data center core.

With TruView you can get a high-level overview of what’s going on with a particular site or a particular application very quickly. It’s very easy to interpret. We can see which applications are having or causing problems. With our previous solution, it took much longer. And, of course, with TruView you can drill down into the data when you need to take a closer look.

I’ve been a user of Fluke Networks products for more than 12 years. We even had one of the earliest OptiView portable network monitoring devices which was extensively used across the network. So when it came time to choose a performance monitoring solution, I knew Fluke Networks could deliver.

We had no identified budget for a TruView appliance this year, but we could clearly see the benefits we could realise from deploying the solution. We managed to identify savings and re-prioritise some other projects within our budget in order to fund purchase of the TruView. We chose the TruView because it offered better value than the other performance monitoring solutions we saw.

Before deploying the TruView, performance monitoring was fairly manual. We’d used and were very familiar with NetFlow. With TruView, we have a much better view of application performance, particularly from the user perspective.

For example, we had an application response time issue with Exchange. TruView helped to isolate the particular server that was the root of the problem. As the launch of our unified network approaches, TruView has helped my team find “bits and pieces” of things that might have impacted application performance had they gone undetected.

Another recent example of practical use was an issue in which slow user logins were being reported from the southern end of the network. Using the TruView, within minutes we eliminated the point-to-point link, server side performance and end user response times and firmly diagnosed the issue to be local to the southern end of the network. This is exactly the type of scenario we knew the TruView could help us with. Prior to this it would have required an exhaustive search to figure out what exactly or where exactly the issue was.

As the launch of the new, unified network gets nearer I see TruView becoming even more useful. We’re looking forward to seeing how much more it can do. I don’t think we’ve taken full advantage of it yet.

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
Infrastructure Expert at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
I've used WhatsUp Gold and this is one of the best SNMP/monitoring solutions I have seen.
Fluke Networks is a well known name when it comes to network testing hardware and devices. That being said, their Visual TruView monitoring software is top notch and one of the best SNMP/monitoring solutions I have seen. I have used the competitors products in the past, namely WhatsUp Gold and others, and they don't even come close to offering what Fluke does with their product! The way that TruView presents its information, via a HTML5 front-end applet with the visual and textual renditions of the data is superb, the dashboards are full featured and make it easily readable to even the entry level IT professionals. It helps you narrow down the problem areas quickly and efficiently, and drill in to fix the issue with little to no downtime. From what little I've used this solution (I've only…

Fluke Networks is a well known name when it comes to network testing hardware and devices. That being said, their Visual TruView monitoring software is top notch and one of the best SNMP/monitoring solutions I have seen.

I have used the competitors products in the past, namely WhatsUp Gold and others, and they don't even come close to offering what Fluke does with their product!

The way that TruView presents its information, via a HTML5 front-end applet with the visual and textual renditions of the data is superb, the dashboards are full featured and make it easily readable to even the entry level IT professionals. It helps you narrow down the problem areas quickly and efficiently, and drill in to fix the issue with little to no downtime.

From what little I've used this solution (I've only deployed it twice), it has quickly become my "go-to" for my clients when their in house IT needs a management solution, and especially when I am doing the management myself!

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user68994
VP of Network/Comms/Infra at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
We saw the benefits of using VPM within days. It plays a key role in managing and optimizing our entire infrastructure
Like many companies in the financial services market, our bank has grown significantly in recent years through a careful strategy of acquiring and merging with other banks. Combining the networks of these separate organizations with overlapping and often completely different hardware, applications and third-party service providers requires us to have a deep level of understanding about how applications and services are behaving on the network and how users interact with them. The network we manage is fairly typical of a company in an industry with a lot of merger and acquisition activity. It’s a mixed bag. We inherited some smaller networks that were not up to our overall standards, we have some aging equipment, and we also have state of the art platforms including a lot of virtual…

Like many companies in the financial services market, our bank has grown significantly in recent years through a careful strategy of acquiring and merging with other banks. Combining the networks of these separate organizations with overlapping and often completely different hardware, applications and third-party service providers requires us to have a deep level of understanding about how applications and services are behaving on the network and how users interact with them.

The network we manage is fairly typical of a company in an industry with a lot of merger and acquisition activity. It’s a mixed bag. We inherited some smaller networks that were not up to our overall standards, we have some aging equipment, and we also have state of the art platforms including a lot of virtual desktops and servers running on Citrix.

With a wide variety of service offerings for customers, we require a number of hosted and cloud-based applications. This large stable of applications presents a challenge when evaluating usage, rationalizing support and executing ongoing management.

We are also in the midst of opening a new data center in Birmingham, Alabama. This creates a major new challenge: identifying users that rely on specific applications in order to make the migration process as painless as possible. While we have a list of all the applications running on our network, we don’t know who is running them and when. We just want to be able to give users notice when we need to shut down their applications in order to move the servers that are running them into the new data center. But, without an easy way to see this data, the migration process has the potential to create a lot of problems.

The most common complaint that our network team gets is about a “slow network.” Users experience delays in opening applications and files or accessing data, and assume it is a network performance problem. Some problems were consistently occurring at the same time every day for weeks or months. I knew that these problems could just as easily be utilization issues, with applications creating large amounts of traffic simultaneously or at the wrong times. Unfortunately, our team lacked the ability to easily analyze utilization information.

We selected Visual Performance Manager from Fluke Networks because of its combination of capabilities, price and its ability to be a turnkey solution for a wide variety of visibility issues. This was something we needed yesterday, and Fluke Networks was clearly going to be able to come in and get us up and running quickly.

I was familiar with VPM from using it with a previous employer and knew it was the right tool to help us solve our challenges. In particular, VPM could play a key role as we consolidated networks and applications from a collection of separate and overlapping organizations.

One of the main reasons we purchased VPM was to give us visibility into applications and connections. We need to be able to map out an application to user connectivity and vice versa so that we were not blind to what was on our network. When we go forward with the consolidation of all of our applications, we need to ensure we’ve identified all of the users who are using each application so it’s seamless.

We saw the benefits of using VPM within days, as it was able to identify some unexpected disk-to-disk replication that was causing a network slowdown. In another case, VPM helped to uncover storage replication traffic between three branch offices that was also affecting network performance. The replication was supposed to occur over night during non-business hours, but was taking too long and bleeding into the business day where it impacted users. After using VPM to find the source of the slowdown, we were able to apply some QoS policies to the replication traffic to address the problem.

As we bring more of the responsibility for managing our network in-house, VPM’s ability to generate utilization reports is extremely valuable. In some cases, VPM can create reports that third-party vendors cannot. And with a small team – we have just 4 people managing the network across more than 100 locations – the ability to remotely identify and diagnose problems saves on time and travel costs.

By using VPM, we have been able to discover a number of utilization issues that affect network performance. It turns out that many “slow network” complaints are actually the result of things like traffic from automated updates to Microsoft Office applications and virus definition downloads. VPM allows us to identify those issues and apply policies that control when they happen.

And, VPM has helped me get a handle on the circuit optimization problem. By taking a close look at application and user behavior with VPM, we believe that we can significantly reduce the number of broadband circuits they require. In fact, the savings will be so great that I expect we will have payback on the purchase price of VPM within 6-8 months based on circuit optimization alone.

Looking ahead, I see VPM playing a key role in managing and optimizing our entire network infrastructure. We want to use application fingerprinting to ensure that business critical applications are consistently performing within target parameters and not being slowed down by network latency or server response time issues. We want to create an automated reporting system that will alert them if packets are moving to and from a server in a timely fashion. With a growing base of users and locations, we also expect to use VPM to uncover trends that will allow us to proactively add circuits to sites that are trending toward overutilization and better optimize key financial service applications.

Down the road, we also plan to bring some application development in-house. We plan to use VPM as part of the application testing and network validation process. We even envision an automated help desk process that would use VPM data to quickly identify whether a problem is network, application or server related.

VPM gives us a level of insight we previously didn’t have and will allow our team to work more collaboratively to solve IT challenges. It’s already proven itself as an indispensable system and the go-to resource when evaluating problems, planning changes or taking the pulse of the key 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.