Unlike NetScope’s ‘Interactive Reports’ menu option which allows you to explore network activity in real
time, the ‘Reports’ option generates material periodically. These reports are produced in the background and when complete can be emailed as a PDF or viewed in the ‘Reports’ tab. Generating reports can take several minutes, especially for large time periods such as for one year. So instead of waiting for a yearly view to display in ‘Interactive Reports’, one can set up the generation of reports on a periodic basis. They are viewed in an instant after they are generated.
Reports provide useful insight into historical, ongoing and alert related activity on your network. They provide the kind of summary detail which can be invaluable for:
- planning capacity
- explaining network traffic at a glance at your next executive meeting or
- giving an overview into what’s happening on your network.
NetScope comes with a number of predefined reports. However it is also possible to create your own customised reports to suit your specific needs.
The following example demonstrates how to create a customised standard report.
Select the ‘Reports’ tab from the main menu. You will be presented with a screen showing some pre-configured reports which have not been switched on yet.
Click the ‘Edit Mode’ button on the top of the left-hand side bar to switch into edit mode. To create a new report click the ‘New’ button on the edit menu. You will be presented with the new scheduled report window where you can begin to configure the report details.
Following is an example of a Weekly Data Usage report. Enter the values in the following pictures yourself to become familiar with automatic-report-generation and to get accustomed to the user interface. Let’s start with the first screen titled ‘Summary’:
The ‘Report Type’ selected is ‘Bandwidth Usage’. Look at the other built-in network view
types available. They expand upon those in the ‘Interactive Reports’ tab and are designed to adapt to the client’s particular needs.
The ‘Report Period’ is how often reports are generated.
The ‘Report From’ option and ‘Report Until’ option is specified as YYYY-MM-DD. One can also specify ‘now’. The Ongoing option means that report generation will continue into the future.
The ‘Switched On’ checkbox is set by default, meaning that when you finish creating the report it will be in
effect immediately. The report generation process will begin after one has selected ‘Save’ on the last screen. Reports will be generated from the ‘Report From’ date to make the list of reports up-to-date. Future reports will be generated at their next period.
With the Summary report details now complete, click the ‘Next’ button.
The reports ‘Target’ configuration screen presents options to determine which traffic classes will be the
focus of the report. There are options which allow the report to focus on one single traffic class; one traffic class including or excluding its child traffic classes; or simply include every available class.
Those classes in the currently activated policy will be available under ‘Class Name’.
With the Target configuration complete, click the ‘Next’ button.
The final tab configures the ‘Notify’ settings for the report, configuring email recipients for notification when the report becomes available.
For more information on how to specify and configure mail server settings for NetScope please refer to the “Mail and SMTP settings” article.
Once you are satisfied with the configuration settings click on ‘Save’ to get the report generation process started. Click on ‘Edit mode’ to exit edit mode and view the reports.