Software services for beginners

What is a software service?

In NAM, a “software service” is a configuration consisting of

  • a name
  • a traffic analyzer
  • a certain IP address and port number
  • other configuration settings

You use a software service to watch a certain type of network traffic (HTTPS, for example) on a certain IP address and port number (a certain server/port) in your network environment.

The configuration – a specialized traffic analyzer module, and address and port, and any additional tweaks you make – is together called a software service. You need to give it a name so you have something to refer to when you are managing software services.

Viewing software service reports on the NAM Server

NAM can automatically discover software services by monitoring your traffic and comparing it to well-known networking protocols.

  1. On the report server (NAM Server), open the main menu and select Explore ► Software services.
    The Operation explorer opens with a focus on software services.
    See the "per software service" setting in the Performance details table.

    per software service

  2. If you have a working NAM configuration with a NAM Probe feeding data to your NAM Server, the Performance details table lists everything identified as a software service.
    Performance details table

    In the example above:

    • The first row shows a service called HTTPS. You know it was automatically discovered because of the green check mark in the A (for automatic) column.
    • The second row shows a service called Client44-SSL. You know it was manually configured because of the red x in the A column.
  3. In the Performance details table, use the Find box (a the bottom of the table) to find your software service.
    In this example, we randomly use XML HTTP.

    Performance details table - search example

  4. Click the XML HTTP software service in the table to display the following.

    Performance details table -select item

    Click Select your software service to focus the entire report (graphs on the top, other tabs) on just the software service you clicked in the table.

  5. Now you can see filters added to the report: Analyzer, Analyzer group, and Software service
    filters
    Always keep an eye on the filters so you know you're looking at the right report.

  6. Switch tabs to further explore your software service.
    tabs
    These filters are persistent: each tab is filtered by the same three filters.

  7. Click a bar in one of the charts on the Overview tab to add a time filter. This will focus the report on just the selected time interval.
    Zoom to this time
    You can now see a Selected time range filter in the row of filters at the top of the report.
    filters plus time
    Note that the time range filter is not persistent: if you click another tab, the time filter is discarded.

  8. Drill down to other reports from linked data in the Performance details table.

    • Software service
      • ⇲ Show operations for this software service
        Reloads the same report (Performance details) but now with a focus on operations. (Performance details is set to per operation rather than per software service.)
      • Further analyze in the Network explorer report ↗
        Opens the Network explorer with the software service filters from this report.
      • Show metric charts for this software service ↗
        Opens the metric charts with the software service filters from this report.
      • Show traffic details ↗ Opens the Network explorer with the software service filters from this report and a chart of RTT over time.
      • Configure user defined software service Opens the wizard for creating a software service: you select address/port pairs and an analyzer, give it a name, and you're done.
      • ⇲ Show analyzers (or ⇲ Hide analyzers)
        Displays (or hides) the columns for analyzer and analyzer group. You might want to filter the table by analyzer or analyzer group.
    • Requests breakdown
    • Operation time
    • Unique users
    • Two-way loss rate
    • End-to-end RTT
  9. Click the Analyze slow operations button.

Creating a software service

You can also create your own software services if the automatically discovered services do not meet your needs. Essentially, you need to select a certain traffic analyzer to use on a certain address/port to monitor, give it a name, and then monitor its performance through NAM reports.

NAM is a flexible system that offers you more than one way to create and manage software services.

You might, for example, use a simple automated routine to quickly create a software service, but later use more complicated screens to go back and manually tweak your software service definition.

Most commonly, you will start here to create a software service from scratch:

  1. In the NAM Console main menu, select Monitoring ► Software services.
  2. Click the Add software service button above the table.
    This opens the Add software service screen.
    Add software service screen
  3. The method you choose depends on the traffic you want to monitor:
    • With wizard to monitor HTTP or HTTPS traffic (which can include SOAP or XML monitoring).
      See Adding a software service with the wizard for details.

      Tip

      If you are monitoring HTTP, HTTPS, SOAP, or XML, this is the obvious route for you.
      Experienced users can later go back and tweak such a configuration with the manual screens if needed.

    • Using packaged applications to monitor SAP, Oracle E-business Suite, Siebel, or Exchange.
      See Adding a software service using a packaged application for details.

      Tip

      If you are monitoring SAP, Oracle E-business Suite, Siebel, or Exchange, this is the obvious route for you.
      Experienced users can later go back and tweak such a configuration with the manual screens if needed.

    • Manually to monitor other types of traffic.
      See Adding a software service manually for details.

      Tip

      If you are monitoring a protocol not covered by the other two options, this is the obvious route for you. However, be aware that manual configuration of software services is not recommended for less experienced users.

Saving and publishing your software service

Save and publish your configuration and wait at least 5 minutes for the observed traffic to be analyzed and reported.

Viewing reports on your software service

You can see your own software service in the same reports we used to look at automatically discovered software services.

  1. On the report server (NAM Server), open the main menu and select Explore ► Software services.
    The Operation explorer opens with a focus on software services.
  2. If you have a working NAM configuration with a NAM Probe feeding data to your NAM Server, the Performance details table lists everything identified as a software service, including the software service you just created.

Managing software services on the NAM Probe

If you open a NAM Probe configuration panel (select Open configuration from the NAM Probe entry listed on the Devices screen):