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MI Application Analytics

Application Analytics Overview

The Application Analytics feature is designed to give Meraki customers an easy way to monitor the performance of Web Applications on their networks and easily identify if any issues are likely being caused by the Network or the Application. This information is presented in a series of easy to understand graphs and charts that can clearly show if performance issues are being introduced within the local network or if performance issues are the result of something at the Application or WAN level.  

Application Analytics requires the MX to be running a minimum firmware build of MX 14.20 or greater (14.21 or higher is recommended). Please refer to our Managing Firmware Upgrades article for more information about upgrading firmware.

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Web Application Performance Overview 

Tracked Web Applications

Utilizing Application Analytics, an MX can be configured to monitor and track all traffic associated with specific Web Applications. This data is tracked on a per-flow basis at the MX, then the relevant flows are aggregated into categorical groups based on their associated application and sent over an encrypted connection back to the Meraki Cloud Controller for further analysis before populating that flow data into the Application Analytics feature on Dashboard. The data gathering process utilizes Deep Packet Inspection, similar to our Advanced Malware Protection and Intrusion Protection systems, to allow Meraki to gather information at both the Network layer and the Application layer so we can help to identify if performance issues are based around local Network performance or Application layer issues. 

Performance Score 

The Performance Score is a score that is assigned to each application that is intended to provide a quick reference to the quality of the user experience relative to a specific Web Application, based on the thresholds defined by a Meraki Administrator. A Performance Score of 100% means that both the Application level and Network level are performing within the defined thresholds and user experience should be optimal. A Performance Score of 80% or lower indicates that there may be some noticeable issues with the performance of a specific application for some users. A Performance Score close to 0% means that the application is essentially non-functional, or is functioning extremely far outside of the defined acceptable thresholds for performance.

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Affected Networks

If an Application has a Performance Score of <80% any Networks that are reporting a score below 80% will be listed under the Affected Networks list. Clicking on the link for each respective Affected Network will bring you to an Overview of all tracked Web Applications on that Network and their respective Performance Score for the selected Network. For more information about the per-Network view of Tracked Web Applications please reference the 'Tracked Web Applications - Per Network View' section of this article. 

Configure Web Applications 

To begin tracking the performance of Web Applications there first has to be at least one category/application selected to monitor. To begin configuring Web Applications to monitor, select Configure Web Applications from the Insight > Monitor > Web application performance page. From the popup window you can browse through several categories of applications to monitor, then once a category has been selected browse until the desired application is listed. Mark the checkbox for that application and select Save.

Alternatively, Web Applications can be searched for directly by typing the application name into the Search bar ar the top of the popup window. Once the selected applications have been saved any MX that are configured to have Application Analytics enabled will begin monitoring and reporting information on traffic that matches the applications selected. 

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Thresholds

The Application Performance Score is calculated based on several defined Thresholds, primarily Per-flow Goodput and Application Response Time. The Per-flow Goodput is defined as the "predicted maximum amount of data that could be transmitted per flow, based on network latency and loss,"  while Application Response Time is based on the HTTP response time for requests initiated by the application, excluding any Network Latency. Both the desired Per-flow Goodput  and the desired Application Response Time can be configured and customized on a per-Application basis by an Organization Administrator. 

The defined minimum acceptable Per-flow Goodput can be set as low as 10Kbps or up to 10Mbps, with the default value being 160Kbps. Similarly, the maximum tolerable Application Response Time can be configured as low as 100ms and up to 100s with a default value of 3s. Application Response Times can also be configured to be ignored when calculating statistics for a specific application if the application is known to use long-polling or WebSockets, as these are expected to have long application response times that do not indicate an issue. This is done by selecting 'Ignore' instead of 'Choose' on the dropdown when configuring the Application Response Time.  

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Analytics Limitations

Application Analytics is currently only supported on MX series devices. This does NOT include the Z1/Z3, MS, or MR series of devices. Additionally, MXen that are acting as AutoVPN Hubs will not be able to analyze traffic arriving over the VPN from Spoke sites. To gather data about traffic from AutoVPN Spoke sites Application Analytics must be enabled on the Spoke MX.

Tracked Web Applications - Per Network View

Selecting an Affected Network from the Tracked Web Applications page will bring up all Tracked Web Application statistics for just the selected network. This page displays the Performance Score of each application for clients in the selected network for both the Network-Layer and the Application-Layer individually. Both the Network-Layer and Application-Layer scores are shown in a way that clearly shows how many clients are in the acceptable performance range and how many clients are having experiences that fall outside the configured acceptable range of performance, in addition to how far out of range the experience is.

For example, the image below shows the Performance Scores for Office 365 and Outlook web mail for the last week, which is currently 41% and 55% respectively. Looking at both the Network-Layer score chart and the Application-Layer score chart we can see that while some clients might be experiencing noticeable issues with the applications, not all clients are experiencing issues and those that are experiencing issues are experiencing application layer issues, not network layer issues.

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To view more detailed information about a specific Web Application click on the View Trends link for that Application. 

Tracked Web Applications - Client Details View 

Selecting a client from the Network-wide > Monitor > Clients page will open the Client Details page for that specific client. If the network has Application Analytics enabled then this page will also list any Tracked Web Applications and the respective Performance Score for this client for each application. Clicking on the application name from this view will bring up the Application Trends page for the chosen application in the current network. For more information about Application Trends, please refer to the Viewing Application Trends section of this article.

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Viewing Application Trends

Overview

To get a better idea of how exactly a specific Web Application is performing we can view the trends for that specific application. The View Trends page is broken down into several different sub-pages, Network, Application, WAN, LAN, Clients, Servers, and Domains, with each one explained in detail below. 

Network

The Network tab displays information related to the Network-Layer performance of data flows that match the definition of the selected Web Application

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Events 

The Events Timeline displays a marker for each Network related event that is logged to the Event Log. Events such as VPN route changes and WAN failovers will be displayed here. To view the details of an event simply click on the marker and then select 'Details' from the right panel under where the number of events is displayed. 

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Performance Score 

The Performance Score chart displays a historical timeline of the Network Performance Score for the selected application. The Network Performance Score is calculated by comparing the configured Threshold values for Network Latency and the actual recorded latency of the application. 

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Total Network Usage

The Total Network Usage graph displays a historical view of the total bandwidth usage on the WAN of the MX for all traffic types.  

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Latency

The Latency graph displays a historical view of the recorded TCP round trip time of connections made by the selected application. The network latency for an application is calculated based on the TCP SYN, SYN/ACK response time for connections from that specific Web Application

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Application

The Application tab displays information about the Application-Layer performance that has been gathered from traffic flows matching the selected Web Application.  

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HTTP Response Time

The HTTP Response Time graph displays the historical average time between the last HTTP Request packet and the first HTTP Response packet for an application flow. 

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App Usage 

The App Usage graph displays the total network usage of the selected application as recorded on the WAN of the MX, including the Sent and Received data. 

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HTTP Request Rate

The HTTP Request Rate graph displays the historical average of HTTP Requests per-minute generated by the selected application.  

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WAN

The WAN tab displays information about application performance specific to the WAN side of the MX. 

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Events

Exactly like the Events Timeline on the Network tab, the Events Timeline on the WAN tab displays a marker for each network related event that is logged to the Event Log. Events such as VPN route changes and WAN failovers will be displayed here. To view the details of an event simply click on the marker and then select 'Details' from the panel on the right.

Available Goodput (WAN Limited)

The Available Goodput graph displays historical information about the recorded potential goodput on the WAN side of the MX. The Available Goodput is defined as the predicted maximum amount of data that could be transmitted per flow, based on network latency and loss on the WAN. The predicted Available Goodput is limited to 100Mbps, if the predicted goodput is higher than 100Mbps then the graph will still only display a maximum of 100Mbps. 

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HTTP Response Time 

The HTTP Response Time graph displays the historical average time between the last HTTP Request packet and the first HTTP Response packet as seen on the WAN. 

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WAN Loss

The WAN Loss graph displays the amount of packet loss that has been detected on the WAN side for flows matching this application. 

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Latency 

Exactly like the Latency graph on the Network tab, the Latency graph on the WAN tab displays a historical view of the TCP round trip time of connections made by the selected application as seen on the WAN interface. The reported latency is calculated based on the TCP SYN, SYN/ACK response time for the initial connections made by the specified Web Application

Total Network Usage 

Exactly like the Total Network Usage graph on the Network tab, the Total Network Usage displays a historical view of the total bandwidth usage on the WAN of the MX for all traffic types.  

LAN

The LAN tab displays information about the network performance on the LAN side of the MX. 

LAN Tab.png

Events 

Exactly like the Network and WAN tabs, the Events timeline on the LAN tab displays a marker for each network related event that is logged to the Event Log. Events such as Active Directory communication failures will be displayed here. To view the details of an event simply click on the marker and then select 'Details' from the panel on the right. 

Available Goodput (LAN Limited)

The Available Goodput (LAN Limited) graph displays historical information about the recorded potential goodput on the LAN side of the MX. The Available Goodput (LAN Limited) is defined as the predicted maximum amount of data that could be transmitted per flow, based on network latency and loss on the LAN. Like the Available Goodput graph on the WAN tab, the predicted Available Goodput is limited to 100Mbps. If the predicted goodput is higher than 100Mbps then the graph will still only display a maximum of 100Mbps. 

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LAN Loss 

The LAN Loss graph displays the measured packet loss on the LAN for flows matching the specified application. 

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Total Network Usage 

Exactly like the Total Network Usage graph on the Network and LAN tabs, the Total Network Usage displays a historical view of the total bandwidth usage on the WAN of the MX for all traffic types.  

Clients 

The Clients tab displays information about each client that has used the specified Web Application during the selected time period. The information includes the average Performance Score for a given client and the current application, the number of requests the client has made, and the average HTTP Response Time

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Clients 

The Clients column lists the Description and detected Operating System of clients who have generated traffic flows that match the definition of the specified Web Application. Clicking on the client Description will open the Client Details page for that client.

Score 

The Score column displays the calculated Performance Score of a given client for the specified Web Application over the selected time period.

Requests 

The Requests column displays the number of HTTP Requests that were made by the Web Application from a given client for the specified time frame.

Available Goodput 

The Available Goodput column displays the average predicted Available Goodput to the Web Application for a given client for the specified time frame. The Available Goodput is defined as the predicted maximum amount of data that could be transmitted per flow, based on network latency and loss.

Response Time 

The Response Time column displays the average HTTP Response Time for the application for a given client for the specified time frame. HTTP Response Time is calculated as the time differential between last HTTP Request packet and the first HTTP Response packet of a flow.

Servers 

The Servers tab displays information about the remote Web Servers that have been utilized by the Tracked Web Application during the chosen time period. This can be useful to help identify if there is a specific Web Server that could be contributing to application issues. 

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Servers 

The Servers column lists identifying information about the remote server that have been contacted. This could include just the servers IP address or the full address of the server.

Score 

The Score column displays the average calculated Performance Score for flows that are communicating to each specific server over the specified time frame.

Requests 

The Requests column displays the number of HTTP Requests that have been sent to a given server over the chosen time period.

Available Goodput 

The Available Goodput column displays the predicted maximum amount of data that could be transmitted per flow, based on network latency and loss to a specified server over the chosen time period.

Response Time 

The Response Time column displays the average HTTP Response Time, minus Network Latency, for flows destined for a given server over the chosen time period.

Domains 

The Domains tab displays information about different Web Domains that have been contacted by the selected Web Application. Similar to the Servers tab, this can be useful to determine if there is a specific domain that could be contributing to application performance issues.

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Domains 

The Domains column lists domains that have been contacted by the selected Web Application.

Score 

The Score column shows the average calculated Performance Score for flows that are communicating to each specific domain over the specified time frame.

Requests 

The Requests column displays the total number of HTTP Requests sent to each domain by all clients in the network over the specified time period.

Available Goodput 

The Available Goodput column displays the predicted maximum amount of data that could be transmitted per flow, based on network latency and loss to a specific domain over the chosen time period.

Response Time 

The Response Time column displays the average HTTP Response Time for a given domain over the specified time period. 

Licensing 

Meraki Insight features like Application Analytics require additional licensing that is separate from the standard Dashboard licensing for devices. Like standard licensing, Insight licenses are available in 1yr, 3yr, and 5yr license lengths. Insight licensing is separated by hardware model and expected throughput to be monitored. For example, both the MX84 and MX100 are capable of 250-750Mbps of throughput, so at minimum a 'Medium' Insight license is required to enable Meraki Insight features on a network containing an MX84 or MX100. A network containing an MX84 would not be able to use a 'Small' Insight license since that is capped at a throughput maximum of 250Mbps, making it only applicable to networks containing MX60, MX64, and MX65 devices. The following chart shows the different licensing tiers, throughput ranges for each license type, and their applicable hardware models.

 

License Type Supported Throughput Applicable Hardware
Meraki Insight (Small) Up to 250 Mbps MX60(W), MX64(W), MX65(W)
Meraki Insight (Medium) Up to 750 Mbps MX84, MX100
Meraki Insight (Large) Up to 5 Gbps MX250, MX400, MX600
Meraki Insight (XLarge) Up to 10 Gbps MX450

NOTE: Higher tiered licenses can be applied to lower models of MX but lower tiered licenses cannot be applied to higher models of MX. For example, an MX64 can use a 'Large' Insight license but an MX250 cannot use a 'Small' or 'Medium' Insight license.

NOTE: Like standard Dashboard licensing, networks running an MX pair in an HA configuration will only require a single Insight license.

Managing Licensing

Meraki Insight licensing is applied on a per-Network basis, so each network that is implementing a Meraki Insight feature such as Application Analytics will require the appropriate license to be applied to that Network. After claiming the licenses like normal Dashboard licenses they can be managed by going to Insight > Configure > Licensing. From this page we can see how many of each type of Insight license is available and how many are currently applied to existing Networks. This works similarly to the Device Count and License Limit counts on the regular License Info page.

Enabling and Disabling Meraki Insight 

To Enable Meraki Insight on a network:

  1. Ensure the necessary Licensing is available
  2. Select the checkbox next to the Network where Insight should be enabled
  3. Click 'Add network(s) to Insight' at the top left of the table to Enable Meraki Insight on the selected Network(s)

To Disable Meraki Insight on a network:

  1. Select the checkbox next to the Network with Insight currently enabled
  2. Click 'Remove network(s) form Insight'

FAQ

Is Application Analytics supported on all Meraki products?

Currently it is only supported with MX series devices. End-of-Life MX devices and Z-Series devices are currently not supported

What is the firmware version required on MX series devices to add support for Application Analytics?

MX devices need to be running firmware version MX 14.20 at a minimum in order to support Application Analytics.

What are the protocols and types of applications that this product can track performance for?

Currently web-based applications (HTTP and HTTPS) only.

Can Application Analytics track performance for VoIP traffic?

Application Analytics currently supports tracking of web-based applications only.

Can Application Analytics track performance for custom applications?

Custom applications can be configured from the Traffic analysis section in the Organization > Settings page by using a hostname or IP address. Once configured the custom application will be available from the list of applications. 

What happens if I remove Insight licensing from a Network?

Insight licenses can be moved between networks with just a few clicks, but disabling Insight on a Network will mean any Insight related data for that Network will be lost after several days. If Insight licensing is reapplied prior to the data being lost it will become viewable again, however no data will be gathered and existing data will not be viewable during the time the network is not licensed. 

Is Application Analytics included with Advanced Security Edition licensing?

Application Analytics requires additional licensing as it is a separate product. Please contact your Cisco Meraki Sales representative to inquire.

 

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