Frequently Asked Questions
Here you will find a list of some of the questions we have been asked more than once. Of course, if you don’t find what you are looking for, you may always contact us in order to have your query answered. We’re always happy to discuss our network monitoring solution with you.
Network Monitoring Questions
Q: What is network monitoring?
Network monitoring is a process whereby status and performance data are collected from devices on an IP network, stored on a central server, and reported in near-real time to security professionals who are concerned about the health or performance of the network.
Q: How does network monitoring work?
IP devices collect data using open IT protocols and relay the information via agent software to a management server. The server, in turn, interprets, reports, transmits and displays the data via the user interface. Monitoring can be as simple as an on-off status or as complex as the byte count flowing through a specific port on a network switch.
For more information, see our Architecture Data Sheet
Q: What is discovery and how does it work?
Discovery is a procedure to inventory and characterize the IP network infrastructure.
Several standard IT protocols are used to collect status and performance data from the IP devices. Protocols are dependent upon the type of device, the protocols supported by that device and the type of data being collected. Information about specific protocols is found below:
Simple Network Management Protocol
SNMP is the primary protocol used by Vunetrix Network Monitor and consists of UDP packets that contain small bits of information about the device being monitored. There are three versions of the SNMP protocol, all of which are supported by Vunetrix Network Monitor for the ultimate in flexibility. v3 allows for secure authentication to be utilized in highly secured networks.
Windows Management Instrumentation
WMI is a very powerful protocol which uses username and password credentials to access management information about Windows systems. It uses additional processing overhead with a payoff of rich amounts of management data.< br />Talk to your Vunetrix technical support representative to discuss design considerations when planning the usage of WMI sensors in your network.
The Secure SHell protocol was originally designed to encrypt management sessions with Unix servers.
Vunetrix Network Monitor uses SSH to establish a secure, encrypted connection to Linux-based servers to obtain health and performance data from them.
Web-Based Enterprise Management
WBEM is an open standard set of management technologies established specifically to provide easy access to management information from distributed computing systems.
Vunetrix utilizes this powerful protocol to query information from applications on servers.
Simple Object Access Protocol
SOAP is a protocol specifically designed for communicating structures information using XML syntax. Vunetrix utilizes SOAP to gather performance and management datafrom VMware ESX servers.
Data can be obtained from both the host server along with virtual machines making SOAP a powerful weapon in the Vunetrix arsenal.
Internet Control Message Protocol
ICMP is a lightweight protocol that provides basic status information and errors between network devices. It was one of the original protocols invented in the Internet Protocol suite and can relay query messages without the exchange of high volumes of data.
It is used to provide basic diagnostic information such as whether a device is alive on a network or not.
Q: What is a 'sensor'?
A sensor represents a single point of monitoring on the IP network. Each sensor can monitor a single metric, or activity, on an IP device (i.e, the memory utilization on a server) or can monitor several metrics per device (i.e. utilization per CPU core on multi-core CPUs.)
A single device on the network can be configured with multiple sensors to monitor overall health (i.e., the CPU, disk and services activity on a server).
For more information, see our Architecture Data Sheet
Q: How many sensors are needed?
The sensor count is determined solely by the coverage required. Obviously, the physical scale and extent of the security architecture will influence the count; however, the security needs, goals and objectives of the user must also be considered.
Contact us for a discussion about your security environment, monitoring needs and overall objectives. We can recommend a proper monitoring platform and provide an estimate of sensors needed for your application.
Q: Who should monitor?
Anyone with a network, especially security professionals who rely on their networks to be fully functional and predictable. Dependability and confidence only go so far. Network monitoring enhances and maintains trust in the network.
We are passionate about monitoring and have dedicated an entire page to the topic.
Vunetrix Hosted Service Questions
Q: What is The Cloud?
The Cloud is synonymous to distributed computing where shared resources are offered as a service rather than a product, and there is little or no capital cost for access to computing infrastructure. The Cloud on the Internet can act as a data repository, is independent of location and is available to multiple users on demand.
There are two main types of cloud services: public and private. A public cloud is accessible to all whereas a private cloud is designed solely for use by a single person or organization.
Vunetrix operates and offers a private clouds for use by its customers and partners.
Q: Can The Cloud be trusted?
The Cloud is safe when providers devote resources to secure the infrastructure and data and solve issues as they arise. Users should be aware of the cloud provider’s performance assurances and limitations before committing to cloud services.
At Vunetrix, the cloud service is secured at many levels. The remote probe software forwards the performance and status data via encrypted sessions. The cloud servers store the data in a proprietary database. User access to the data is restricted to a secure web page. Access to data is determined by user and group permissions set only by Vunetrix staff. All hosted cloud data centers are physically secured.
It is recognized that not all organizations embrace the Cloud. When corporate policy or industry regulations dictate that data cannot be transmitted across the Internet, Vunetrix offers the identical monitoring service via a licensed hardware appliance which is installed behind the corporate firewall.
Q: How secure is the Vunetrix Hosted Service?
Vunetrix has taken numerous precautions to ensure data integrity and the security of our Hosted Service. These are detailed in our Hosted Service Security FAQ document.
Q: Which ports do I need open on my firewall to communicate with the Vunetrix Cloud?
Simply have TCP port 23560 opened by your firewall team to allow secure communications from your Remote Probe to the cloud host.
Q: Doesn't opening a port on the firewall create a potential vulnerability?
Technically, yes although all modern firewall products have multiple methods with which to combat vulnerabilities such as this.
The easiest is to create an ACL (Access Control List for port 23560 traffic to only send destination traffic to, and accept source traffic from, cloud.vunetrix.com. This locks down traffic to a single source/destination and drops traffic originating from other outside sources.
Port 23560 is not a well-known port and uses the ‘security-through-obscurity’ concept.
Vunetrix Hardware Appliance Questions
Q: What happens if I need more licenses than the appliance I bought came bundled with?
We’re not into limits! There is no problem to move to a license with a larger number of sensors at any time. Just ask for a quote to upgrade your existing license to the next level or beyond.
You will require an up to date SMA (Service and Maintenance Agreement). That’s all – Easy!
Q: My IT department only installs hardware from XYZ Vendor in our environment. Can you help?
Coming from IT backgrounds, we are completely familiar with this common inquiry. There could be many reasons why you don’t want our hardware, and we don’t take it personally.
- Your purchasing power with a specific vendor is diminished if you purchase hardware from other vendors
- Your IT support staff receive specialized training on supporting vendor XYZ’s hardware
- You don’t like the specifications that we use in our appliance
- You only like servers that are a certain colour in your racks
We will work with you and your IT team to install the software on a server you provide.
Q: Our mandate is to use virtual machines where possible. Can your software be installed on a VM I provide?
This is another familiar issue these days with customers trying to get as much “bang for the buck” out of the hardware platforms they are on. We salute your efforts to being as green as possible.
We will work with you and your IT team to install the software on a VM you provide. There are certain functionalities of VMware ESX servers that are not officially supported by our platform, such as VMware FT (Fault Tolerance or running two VMs in lock-step), but we’d be happy to have a conversation in order to discuss in full the limitations and benefits of the virtual platform.
Q: What is the v-Open appliance?
We offer a v-Open appliance that allows for an Unlimited number of sensors to be licensed.
We don’t call this an ‘Unlimited’ or a ‘v-Unlimited’ because there is technically a limit to the number of sensors that can be monitored, analysed and stored on one of our appliances. With limitless horsepower, memory and storage space, a truly unlimited license is possible but because there is a limit, we didn’t want to mislead anyone.
You can always contact us to have a discussion about your environment, your monitoring needs and goals. We can provide an estimate of how many sensors you may need to have available and whether an appliance or the cloud is the best solution for you.
Q: How do you pronounce 'Vunetrix'?
We pronounce it “VIEW-neh-tricks”
Q: What is the origin of the name Vunetrix?
Vunetrix is derived from a combination of three words: View, Network and Matrix. Our Network Monitoring solution enables clients to “View a matrix of the health and performance of their network infrastructure.”
Q: How do I buy Vunetrix Network Monitoring?
We sell our solution through a network of highly-skilled integrators known as Vunetrix Certified Solution Providers (VCSPs) who install, configure and support the solution for their customers.
Contact us to determine if there is a VCSP established in your area already. If there is not, we’re happy to have a conversation with you and your current integrator or VAR to determine if they are a good fit to sell and support Vunetrix Network Monitor. Let’s start it off with a conversation!
Q: My business has multiple locations. Can I still utilize Vunetrix Network Monitoring?
Of course! Vunetrix’s Cloud Service was developed specifically with this scenario in mind. We can scale from one to hundreds of locations using a software-based Remote Probe. All you need is a Windows-based PC or server in each location for the Remote Probe to run on, all data is communicated encrypted back to the central database in your data center or other location.
If you wish to install an Appliance in your environment and monitor devices in multiple sites, this too is easy. You simply need routing (or a VPN connection) between your locations and Vunetrix Remote Probes will do the rest for you.
For more information, see our Architecture Data Sheet.