Q: Are any network configuration changes required to accommodate your appliances or to enable your services?
A: Because the appliances are integrated with cloud-based application services, certain ports and protocols need to be open at your internet edge. We provide a document detailing the required ports and protocols during the kickoff meeting with customers.
Q: Where in my network should appliances be installed?
A: Appliances should be installed at key locations in your network, such as data centers. We will work with you to identify the appropriate sites based on your network’s topology, as well as the nature and location of the problems you are experiencing. Within each site, appliances should be connected to a LAN core switch. A typical installation consists of two connections. The first connection is an Ethernet port to provide general accessibility to and from the appliance. The VLAN for this connection is based on the nature of the problem. For example, if troubleshooting videoconferencing issues, the network port should be configured with an IP address from the VC address range. The second is an Ethernet port mirrored from the network aggregation port to capture flow data. This connection does not require an IP address assignment.
Q: Will I need to have equipment installed at all of my locations for proper troubleshooting?
A:Depending on the size of your network, the number of locations and the problems you are experiencing will determine the number of devices that we would need to deploy, usually 3-5 devices is sufficient. In limited instances, a software client can be installed to perform some diagnostics versus a hardware appliance.
Q: Will our IT staff have access to information once the appliance is in place, or is this information provided at the end of the engagement?
A: We create customer User ID’s, providing visibility to the full scope of reporting provided by the appliances’ licensed applications, throughout the engagement.
Q: I see that you offer a Network Health Check which evaluates my network / applications for two weeks. Do you have a longer term option for leaving the appliance in place?
A: Yes, we offer weekly, monthly, yearly and multi-year appliance placement options (the yearly and multi-year agreements fall under ourl Managed Services offerings)
Q: A two-week assessment appears to be your standard assessment period. Do you provide any options for a longer term engagement?
A: Certainly – we can customize the term of our engagements based on your specific requirements.
Q: As your team identifies potential problem areas, do you fix the problem, or do you provide recommendations for us to evaluate and implement?
A: We view our role as that of a trusted advisor – therefore we do not make any changes to any aspects of your network environment. We do point out problems and recommend corrective actions. We rely on your in-depth knowledge of the intricacies and interrelationships within your network to evaluate and implement these recommendations. Note: as part of our managed services we will work closely with your team ongoing to resolve and validate problem until they are resolved. We will work with vendors as well in this environment.
Q: Do appliances have the ability to send notifications when performance thresholds are violated?
A: Notifications can be sent either via eMail to key personnel, or SNMP traps to your Network Management Platform. There are a variety of pre-defined thresholds to select from. Thresholds can also be customized, if none of the stock settings are appropriate to your environment.
Q: At what layer in the Open System Interconnect (OSI) model does the appliance test/operate?
A: Depending on what applications are licensed for the appliance, all seven layers of the OSI Model can be addressed.
Q: How much traffic do appliances add to my network?
A: The appliance generates 20 test packets per minute, totaling 2.5Kbps per path.
Q: Once the appliance is in place, how often can we generate reports?
A: Reports can be generated as often as you would like, we would recommend error reports daily and larger more detailed reports on a weekly and monthly basis. Real time reporting is always available via the web interface as long as the appliances are online and gathering data.
Q: Can the appliance be reconfigured once it is in place on the network without being moved?
A: Appliances support remote login and configuration via the internet. In addition, on-site engineers or technicians can connect directly to appliances to perform configuration changes.
Q: Can the appliance discover how many and what type devices are within my IP range on our Network?
A: The appliance has a feature that allows us to do a discovery across your entire IP ranges and this discovery will not only identify what IP’s are in use, it will identify the IP device type, i.e phone, server, router ….
Q: Can appliances discern if Web traffic is business versus recreational? Can they identify the bandwidth consumed by category?
A: Appliances have the ability to collect and report on flow data. This application includes a library (over 1,000 pre-defined applications) that classifies over 1,000 pre-defined applications. For example, traffic can be classified as ‘streaming media’, ‘recreational’, and ‘social networking’, and many others. Reporting also provides utilization by top classes, as well as which individual devices are generating the traffic.
Q: Are there tests specific to my Voice, Video or Data network that can be run individually?
A: Yes. Voice, Video and Data test can be generated, saved as Templates, and Scheduled on an as needed basis.