Product Documentation

Analytics: TCP Insight

Dec 29, 2016

The TCP Insight feature of NetScaler Management and Analytics System (NetScaler MAS) provides an easy and scalable solution for monitoring the metrics of the optimization techniques and congestion control strategies (or algorithms) used in NetScaler appliances to avoid network congestion in data transmission. This feature uses "TCP Speed Report" capability, which measures TCP file download or upload performance with and without TCP optimization.

You can view the key Transport Layer metrics, such as data volume, throughput, and speed, and use that information to measure the traffic volume served by the NetScaler instances and validate the benefits of TCP Optimization. Breakdowns by stream direction (from client to NetScaler and NetScaler to origin server), TCP port, and virtual LAN are provided for the above metrics.

Prerequisites

Before you begin configuring the TCP Insight feature, make sure that the following prerequisites are met:

  • The NetScaler instances are running on software version 11.1 build 51.21 or later.
  • You have installed NetScaler MAS running on software version 11.1 build 51.21 or later.
  • All the virtual servers configured for an application are licensed for management and monitoring on NetScaler MAS.
    For information about NetScaler MAS licensing, see Licensing.

Hardware requirements for NetScaler MAS:

Component Requirement

RAM

8 GB

Virtual CPU

4

Note: Citrix recommends that you use 8 CPUs for better performance.

Storage Space

120 GB

Note: Citrix recommends that you use 500 GB for better performance.

Enabling TCP Insight

Before you can view the TCP Insight metrics, you must enable the feature on NetScaler MAS.

To Enable TCP Insight

1. In a web browser, type the IP address of the NetScaler MAS virtual appliance (for example, http://192.168.100.1).

2. In User Name and Password, enter the administrator credentials.

3. Navigate to System > Analytics Settings > Configure Features, and select Enable TCP Insight.

4. In the confirmation window, click OK.

Viewing the TCP Insight Metrics in NetScaler MAS

After enabling TCP Insight in NetScaler MAS, you can view key Transport Layer information such as traffic mode (internet or mobile data), data volume, throughput, interfaces, ports, average upload speed, average download speed.

To display TCP Insight metrics in NetScaler MAS

1. In a web browser, type the IP address of the NetScaler MAS virtual appliance (for example, http://192.168.100.1).

2. In User Name and Password, enter the administrator credentials.

3. Navigate to Analytics > TCP Insight.

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You Can hover your mouse pointer on the bar graphs to view the data volume of the corresponding transport techniques. Also you can view the data volume, and other metrics, in the table below the graph.

NOTE: You can customize the metrics displayed in the graph by using the settings icon on the table. You can also select the time period to which the metrics pertain, and use the time slider adjust the time period.

You can also view metrics for such things as interfaces, ports, and bit rates by selecting from the TCP Insight drop-down menu. 

Use Cases

The following use cases illustrate some of the ways to use TCP Insight on NetScaler appliances:

  • Assess Benefits of TCP Optimization
  • Tune TCP Parameters
  • Measure Impact of TCP Optimization on Traffic Volume

Assess Benefits of TCP Optimization

How much does NetScaler TCP optimization actually benefit a mobile (radio) or enterprise network (internet). You can view the speed of data transfers that take place over TCP, and compare unoptimized and optimized performance. These measurements are displayed separately for the download and upload directions (always on the radio/client side), and for different destination ports, HTTP (80) and HTTPS (443).
By examining the TCP Insight metrics, you can quantify the speed improvement gained by optimizing TCP flows.

To see a summary of these parameters, log on to NetScaler MAS and click the TCP Insight tab. Then, click Sides and select Internet or Radio from the bar graph or the table below the graph.

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Tune TCP Parameters

Using different TCP Profiles might yield different outputs for the same traffic. In such situations, you might want to view and compare the speed measurements of periods in which NetScaler is running different TCP optimization profiles. You can use the results to tune TCP parameters for faster transmission, and develop a TCP profile that maximizes the user-perceived experience in a specific customer network.

To view the reports, log on to NetScaler MAS. Then, on the TCP Insight tab, click Bitrates, and select the desired bitrate form the bar graph or the table below the graph.

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Measure Impact of TCP Optimization on Traffic Volume

Measurements of IP-layer Data Volume/Throughput handled by a NetScaler instance can be compared between different time periods, to evaluate the effect of TCP optimization on subscriber data consumption. The measurements can be applied separately for each side of the network (radio-side vs. internet-side), for different traffic segments (delineated by different interfaces or VLANs), for each direction (downlink vs. uplink) and for different destination ports (HTTP and HTTPS). The comparison can be used to confirm that TCP optimization encourages subscribers to consume more data.

For a summary of the measurements, log on to NetScaler MAS, and on the TCP Insight tab click Sides, and then select Internet or Radio from the bar graph or the table below the graph.

You can also select a different timeframe from the time drop-down list. You can customize the time frame by using the timeframe slider. 

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