Cisco® Performance Visibility Manager (PVM) is a proactive network and application performance monitoring, reporting, and troubleshooting system for maximizing network availability. Cisco PVM increases early visibility into network and application behavior issues, to identify them before they become critical.
Cisco PVM gives visibility to the performance of your network and application resources. Cisco PVM can provide an intuitive and integrated end-to-end view of network traffic, protocol types, and application and host bandwidth usage. It provides a centralized network view of the application performance, tracks the application response times, localizes the cause of application performance problems, and can account for the impact of other traffic on application performance. Cisco PVM provides critical performance information through a GUI for troubleshooting, traffic analysis, monitoring, and capacity planning. It includes comprehensive, preconfigured reports that provide a complete assessment of performance. Cisco PVM can automatically establish a baseline network performance level and then proactively monitors for various deviations to that baseline so that network performance problems can be identified and resolved before end users are severely affected.
Cisco PVM aggregates and correlates data from multiple Cisco NAMs and network devices to analyze traffic on your network. It provides details about the protocols, hosts, conversations, differentiated services, VLANs, switch ports, and router interfaces. Cisco PVM performs Top-N analysis to identify top talkers and top protocols in the network. It supports several data visualization modes including tabular text and graphics so that you can easily see what is going on in your network (Figure 1). Cisco PVM stores the collected and analyzed information for historical reporting and further analysis on demand.
Figure 1. Traffic Analysis Reports
Application Response Time Monitoring
Cisco PVM collects application response time (ART) data from multiple Cisco NAMs and correlates the data to determine the cause of poor application performance. Cisco PVM breaks down each response time measurement into average network delay and average server delay metrics and displays the data in a set of intuitive tables and graphs (Figure 2). This allows you to quickly identify whether the problem is caused by the network or by the application. Cisco PVM stores the collected information for historical reporting and further analysis on demand.
Figure 2. Application Response Time Data
Cisco PVM performs automatic baselining for each statistic and metric combination based on current and previous performance data collected. The designated amount of deviations from the baseline results in alerts generated as threshold-crossing events so that problems can be detected before users are affected (Figure 3).
Figure 3. Threshold-Crossing Alert
Cisco PVM can retain performance data for one year by default; the retention period is user configurable. The real-time and near-term historical information allows you to distinguish what is happening now as opposed to what happened in the recent past. The GUI provides comprehensive network visibility to help you quickly pinpoint trouble spots and obtain details for further troubleshooting.
Cisco PVM provides a set of preconfigured reports on traffic analysis, bandwidth utilization, and ART. Reports, accessible through the Web-based interface, can either be scheduled or requested on demand. The report types include real-time, historical, and trending views. The historical reports include daily, weekly, monthly, annual, and custom interval reports based on start and end dates. Table 1 outlines the various suites of report types available from Cisco PVM.
Table 1. Report Suites
The Applications reports provide detailed and historical information about the applications on your network, how these applications utilize the bandwidth, which hosts access the applications, and which pair of hosts generated the most traffic.
The Hosts reports identify the hosts that are using the bandwidth, the top hosts in your network, and the protocol usage.
The Conversations reports provide traffic statistics for each pair of hosts, application protocol usage, all conversation partners with their corresponding protocols, number of packets, and byte counts. The reports can be used to determine the most "talkative" host IP pairs for traffic from a specific protocol and location.
The Differentiated Services Code Point (DSCP) reports monitor traffic by DSCP allocations defined by quality of service (QoS) policies. These reports can be used to refine the QoS policies in your network and identify violations of QoS policies.
The VLANs reports allow you to analyze the amount of traffic, and show which applications and hosts are consuming network bandwidth on your VLANs.
Switch/Router Link Utilization
The Switch/Router Link Utilization reports include port names, bytes, packets, broadcast packets, multicast packets, and errors collected for switches and routers.
Application Response Time
The Application Response Time reports provide response time statistics for your critical applications.
Table 2 summarizes the features and benefits that Cisco PVM offers:
Table 2. Benefits of Cisco PVM
Data collection and aggregation from multiple Cisco NAMs
The centralized and integrated end-to-end network view provides a high-level operational perspective so that trouble spots can be quickly identified, thereby accelerating the resolution process.
Traffic and bandwidth analysis including Top-N analysis
Cisco PVM identifies the types of traffic running in the network. It identifies the top talkers, the top protocols, the most utilized links, and so on. You can differentiate your business-critical applications from your recreational traffic and understand how your business actually uses the network infrastructure. This helps you make effective decisions to optimize the usage of your network to best meet your business needs and prevent misuse of critical resources.
ART collection and correlation
Cisco PVM can identify whether the response time problem is caused by the network or by the application server. The ability to quickly identify problem sources can greatly minimize the impact to your business.
Real-time traffic monitoring and alerts based on threshold settings and baselining
Cisco PVM automatically profiles and monitors your network and application behavior. This proactive approach is essential in rectifying potential issues before they affect your business.
Real-time, historical, and trending reports
The comprehensive reports help you with effective capacity planning, trend analysis, and network-status monitoring.
Management of multiple Cisco NAMs including the capability to invoke the NAM Web-based GUI
The full integration with Cisco NAMs provides the capability to easily navigate directly to NAMs for faster and further troubleshooting and analysis.
Integration with CiscoWorks Device Credential Repository
This integration minimizes the ongoing administrative task of managing your network equipment.
The Cisco PVM architecture (Figure 4) consists of a highly scalable and modular real-time data collection, correlation, and aggregation application suite and infrastructure that provide centralized and integrated end-to-end performance views of networks and applications.
Figure 4. Cisco PVM Architecture
The collection layer supports a number of collection adapters. The adapters are designated to support the managed Cisco NAMs and associated network devices. The Cisco PVM collection capability is highly customizable and configurable to give you a high degree of control and scalability.
The mediation layer consists of a number of applications. The analysis, aggregation, and correlation engine can process near real-time data with management intelligence for proactive monitoring, baselining, trend analysis, and QoS assurance.
The presentation layer presents the aggregated and integrated data for comprehensive visibility and rich and flexible reporting and viewing capabilities. The Web-based client application uses Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) technology for management operation, management information navigations, and views including reporting and alerting.
Cisco NAM for Cisco Catalyst® 6500 Series and Cisco 7600 Series (both NAM-1 and NAM-2 models)
Cisco NAM for branch routers (NM-NAM)
Cisco NAM Traffic Analyzer and Cisco NAM Software 3.4 and 3.5
CiscoWorks Common Services 3.0 Device Credential Repository
Protocols supported between Cisco PVM and NAM
HTTP and HTTPS
Simple Network Management Protocol Version 1 (SNMPv1) and SNMPv2
The scalability in terms of the number of supported NAM devices is determined by a combination of multiple factors. The key factors include total number of conversations collected across all NAMs per collection cycle and the frequency of collection.
Reliability and availability
Collection redundancy and load balancing
High availability configuration available for applications, data storage, and network interfaces
Collects management information from Cisco NAMs, switches, and routers with the following major MIB groups:
• MIB-II (RFC 1213)
• RMON (RFC 2819)
• RMON2 (RFC 2021)
• SMON (RFC 2613)
• DSMON (RFC 3287)
• Cisco Application Response Time MIB
Table 4 lists system requirements for Cisco Performance Visibility Manager 1.0.
Table 4. System Requirements
Minimum 250 GB
2 Intel Xeon CPU (3.4 GHz)
Minimum 2 GB RAM
Only English-language versions are supported:
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Version 4 (inclusive), Red Hat Enterprise Linux Version 3 (with update 8 or higher), both with 32-bit architecture
Cisco Performance Visibility Manager 1.0 is available for purchase through regular Cisco sales and distribution channels worldwide. To place an order, visit the Cisco Ordering Home Page.
Service and Support
Cisco delivers a wide range of services through a unique combination of people, processes, tools, and partners, resulting in high levels of customer satisfaction. Cisco services help you to protect your network investment, optimize network operations, and prepare the network for new applications to extend network intelligence and the power of your business. For more information about Cisco services, visit Cisco Technical Support Services or Cisco Advanced Services on the Cisco Website.