Custom Reports

Custom Reports can answer specific technical and business questions in your environment, such as:
nfa1000
Custom Reports can answer specific technical and business questions in your environment, such as:
  • Which applications are used most heavily in the regional offices?
  • What is the total volume of traffic for global operations?
  • Does the new data center have the capacity to handle additional servers?
To get started, select
Custom Reporting
from the NFA console menu.
The Create New Report Page
The
Create New Report
page lists the existing reports. If you have the required permissions, the page contains functions for creating, managing, and running Custom Reports. You can generate updated versions of reports, add new report definitions, and change report settings.
The
Create New Report
page includes the following functions:
Saved Report Folders
:
  • New
    : Create a report folder.
  • Rename
    : Change the name of a report folder.
Reports
:
  • New
    : Create a Custom Report definition.
  • Run
    : Regenerate the data for one or more Custom Reports.
  • Move to Folder
    : Change the parent folder for one or more report definitions.
  • Cancel
    : Stop one or more reports from running.
Report Types and Usage
Custom Reports can show a variety of data, including the following types of information:
  • Interface: 
    View the total volume of traffic that is generated across particular interfaces.
  • Protocol:
     Discover which applications are used by various business groups.
  • ToS:
     View the distribution of applications by type of service (ToS).
  • Host:
     View the activity or usage levels for applications on a server.
  • Conversation:
     View the top conversations across interfaces or for a particular protocol.
Report on Network Utilization
Create a custom interface report to select the included interfaces so that you can report on network traffic by:
  • Location, such as global, regional, country, state, and individual offices
  • Business unit or department, such as Accounting, Marketing, and Sales
  • Specific interface groups, such as EMEA, WAN, ATM interfaces, and Ethernet interfaces
Report on Application Distribution
Create a custom protocol report to focus on the applications and protocols in use in your organization. You can generate protocol distribution reports to:
  • Show the applications that are used in each region.
  • Understand which applications are used the most frequently.
  • Determine whether any applications can be removed from the network or de-prioritized.
  • Verify that rogue applications are not active on the network.
Report on ToS Distribution
Create a custom ToS report to identify the ToS categories for the most heavily utilized applications in your environment. You can generate ToS reports to:
  • Understand which ToS is most widely used in your environment.
  • Show the ToS categories in use in each regional location.
Report on Server Activity
Create a custom host report to identify the amount of traffic sent to and from particular servers in your organization. You can generate host reports to:
  • Verify that application servers are utilized properly.
  • Determine whether a server is vulnerable to any security risks.
  • Determine whether a specific data center can handle additional servers.
Set Up Custom Reports
Depending on your user account settings, you may be able to perform a number of actions for Custom Reports:
  • View existing reports that have been run.
  • Run existing report definitions on demand.
  • Set up a schedule for running and sending reports by email (typically for Administrators and Power Users only).
  • Create a Custom Report by stepping through the Custom Report wizard.
  • Create a Custom Report by using an existing report as a starting point.
  • Make changes to the following parts of an existing report definition:
    • Report name, parent folder, and description
    • Report summary types: interface, ToS, protocol, host, and conversation
    • Presentation views used for the summary data
    • Reporting period, data resolution, and time filter
    • Report recurrence schedule and email recipients
  • Set the following elements to be included or excluded as report data sources:
    • Interfaces or interface groups
    • Protocols and ToS values
    • A host and subnet
    • A conversation
    • A subnet mask for aggregating data
Scheduled Reports
You can schedule a custom report over a particular duration of time. These duration reports are the only reports which can be scheduled to repeat. You can email a report on a scheduled basis, but the same report is emailed every time unless someone manually runs the report for a different time period.
A scheduled report begins the next scheduled report at the
scheduled_next
value in the database. This value is visible as the
Next run
 in the
Reporting Period
when editing a Custom Report. When the report starts this value is set as the
End Time
of the report. 
The
scheduled_last
value in the database is updated with this value. This time is the last time the report, which is currently running, was scheduled to run.
Using the report time zone, this time is converted to Unix Time and all further calculations are done in Unix Time. A scheduled report will display the results in GMT regardless of the time zone used to specify the start time for the report.
If a time filter is specified it will alter the data which is displayed but not the duration of the report. The time filter allows the user to create a report that shows data only for a time period of interest. That portion of the reporting period which falls outside the time period of interest will have no data displayed.
A scheduled report can be saved or saved and queued. If the report is saved, it first runs at the next scheduled time for the report. If the report is saved and queued, the first run starts immediately and covers the duration specified in the report, with the end time the point in time when the report was queued, not the scheduled time of the report.
Adding information about the duration, time filters, interfaces, protocols, etc. into the description of the report will help a person reviewing the report understand the data being presented.
 
More information: