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Meraki Insight

Table of contents
  1. Meraki Insight Overview
  2. Web Application Performance Overview 
    1. Tracked Web Applications
      1. Performance Indicator 
      2. Affected Networks
      3. Configure Web Applications 
        1. Thresholds
        2. Adding Custom Applications
        3. Adding Applications by IP Address
    2. Insight Limitations
    3. Tracked Web Applications - Per Network View
    4. Tracked Web Applications - Client Details View 
  3. Viewing Application Trends
    1. Overview
      1. Network
        1. Events 
        2. Performance Score 
        3. Total Network Usage
        4. Latency
      2. Application
        1. HTTP Response Time
        2. App Usage 
        3. HTTP Request Rate
      3. WAN
        1. Events
        2. Available Goodput (WAN Limited)
        3. HTTP Response Time 
        4. WAN Loss
        5. Latency 
        6. Total Network Usage 
      4. LAN
        1. Events 
        2. Available Goodput (LAN Limited)
        3. LAN Loss 
        4. Total Network Usage 
      5. Clients 
        1. Clients 
        2. Score 
        3. Requests 
        4. Available Goodput 
        5. Response Time 
      6. Servers 
        1. Servers 
        2. Score 
        3. Requests 
        4. Available Goodput 
        5. Response Time 
      7. Domains 
        1. Domains 
        2. Score 
        3. Requests 
        4. Available Goodput 
        5. Response Time 
  4. Licensing 
    1. Managing Licensing
    2. Enabling and Disabling Meraki Insight 
  5. FAQ
    1. Is Meraki Insight supported on all Meraki products?
    2. What is the firmware version required on MX series devices to add support for Insight?
    3. What are the protocols and types of applications that this product can track performance for?
    4. Does Insight send my network traffic to Meraki?
    5. Can Insight track performance for VoIP traffic?
    6. Can Insight track performance for custom applications?
    7. What happens if I remove Insight licensing from a Network?
    8. Is Insight included with Advanced Security Edition licensing?
    9. Why is my application not being tracked?
    10. What back-end technology is MI built on?
    11. How does MI impact the performance of the MX it is running on?

Meraki Insight Overview

The Meraki Insight product 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.  

Meraki Insight 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 Meraki Insight, 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 Insight 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 Indicator 

The Performance Indicator is a symbol that is displayed for each application, and 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 green performance indicator symbol means that both the Application level and Network level are performing within the defined thresholds and user experience should be optimal. A red performance indicator symbol indicates that there may be some noticeable issues with the performance of a specific application for some users.

Tracked_web_applications.png

Affected Networks

If an Application has a Performance Score of <80% any Networks that are reporting a score below 80% will have a red performance indicator symbol and will be listed under the Affected Networks list. Clicking on the red performance indicator symbol for each respective application source (LAN, WAN, Server) will display a list of Affected Networks.
Clicking one of these Affected Networks bring you to an overview of all tracked Web Applications on that Network and their respective Performance Indicators 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, near the bottom of the applications list. 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.

MI is intended to track your most critical apps. As best practice, we recommend tracking around 10 applications. Although you can track up to 50 apps, high numbers of tracked apps can lead to degraded dashboard performance.

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 Insight enabled will begin monitoring and reporting information on traffic that matches the applications selected. 

AppSelect.png

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.  

Thresholds3.png

Adding Custom Applications

In addition to being able to add traffic from pre-defined categories, custom applications can be defined, based on hostname. To add or edit custom categories, select Configure web applications, and then select Custom from the categories.

custom_add.png

In the Define a custom application window, you will be able to fill out the Application name and hostname for the application you wish you track. For example, if you wanted to track traffic to/from google.com, you could enter "Google" as an application name, and "google.com" as the expression.

custom_define.png

Note that MI will only monitor top level domain names, and will ignore subdomains. So if you add mail.google.com, only google.com will be tracked.

Adding Applications by IP Address

Traffic can also be tracked based on IP address. This can be helpful for tracking traffic to/from a local server or application, or a web application that does not have a hostname. To add an application based on IP address, the definition must first be added to Organization Traffic analysis. To do this, navigate to Organization > Settings, and then to the Traffic analysis section.

org_traffic_analysis.png

On this page, you can enter a name for the application/traffic you will be tracking, and the IP address for the application. Be sure to select Save to commit your changes.

Note that MI will only monitor HTTP/HTTPS traffic (TCP ports 80/443), and that ports cannot be specified.

 

After the definition has been added, you must set the application to be tracked in MI. To do this, navigate to Insight > Web application performance, select Configure web applications, and then select Custom. The definition you added in Traffic analysis should be listed in your custom applications.

custom_application0.png

Check the box next to the application you added, then select Save, and you'll find the application in your Tracked web applications list. Note that it may take some before this new application generates some traffic.

Tracked_web_applications_custom_added.png

Insight Limitations

Meraki Insight is currently only supported on MX series devices as well as the Z3/C Teleworker Gateway. This does NOT include the Z1 Teleworker Gateway, MS, or MR series of devices. Additionally, MXs that are acting as Auto VPN Hubs will not be able to analyze traffic arriving over the VPN from Spoke sites. To gather data about traffic from Auto VPN Spoke sites, Insight must be enabled on the spoke MX. Finally, traffic originating from the WAN, such as that destined for an onsite web server will not be tracked.

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. By clicking on the respective application indicator symbols, this page displays the Performance Score for 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 Score for Meraki HTTPS traffic for the last week, which is currently below the respective threshold for two clients. If we click View Trends, we can check on the individual clients by clicking on the Clients tab. Looking at both 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.

Tracked_web_applications_per_network.png

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 Insight 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.

Client Data.png

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

Tabs2.png

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. 

2017-12-13 16_11_07-Application analytics - Meraki Dashboard.png

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. 

Perf Score.png

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.  

Total Network Usage 2.png

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

Latency.png

Application

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

Tabs3.png

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. 

HTTP Response Time.png

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. 

App Usage 2.png

HTTP Request Rate

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

HTTP Request Rate.png

WAN

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

WAN Tab.png

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. 

WAN-Goodput 2.png

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. 

HTTP Response.png

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. 

WAN Loss.png

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. 

Goodput-LAN 2.png

LAN Loss 

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

Loss-LAN.png

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

Clients.png

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. 

Servers3.png

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.

Domains 3.png

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 requires 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 MX6x, Z3, Z3C
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.

NOTE: Networks bound to a configuration template in Dashboard will still require individual licensing for MI features.

Managing Licensing

Meraki Insight licensing is applied on a per-Network basis, so each network that is implementing Meraki Insight 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) from Insight'

FAQ

Is Meraki Insight 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 Insight?

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

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

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

Does Insight send my network traffic to Meraki?

Meraki Insight aggregates network statistics on the MX and only sends those aggregates back to the Meraki Cloud, so local network traffic is still segregated on your network. These aggregated statistics are sent as TLS-SYSLOG traffic (TCP 6514).

Can Insight track performance for VoIP traffic?

Meraki Insight currently supports tracking of web-based applications only.

Can Insight track performance for custom applications?

Custom Applications can be tracked as long as the application traffic passes through the MX and the application has been defined within MI. 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 Insight included with Advanced Security Edition licensing?

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

Why is my application not being tracked?

Only traffic that passes through an MX can be tracked by Meraki Insight. For example, if the MX is handling all routing for a location then both WAN bound and Inter-VLAN bound application traffic will be tracked. However if Inter-VLAN routing is happening on a downstream device and only WAN bound traffic passes through the MX then only WAN bound application traffic will be tracked.

What back-end technology is MI built on?

MI was built from the ground up by Meraki to fit the Meraki ecosystem. There is nothing to install (even on the back end).

How does MI impact the performance of the MX it is running on?

The MX appliance is used as a 'collector' to gather the data, and the cloud does the heavy lifting from there and provides the analyses of the LAN, WAN, ISP, client/server stats with retrospection. The data is based on end-user HTTP/S data, so there's no need for synthetic probes, and MI leverages the MX’s deep packet inspection that's already happening, so MI has no significant performance impact on the MX itself. 

 

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