Usage monitoring provides a view into the traffic that is passing through your network. It provides traffic volume information on the applications and application categories being used (determined through Deep Packet Inspection (DPI)), and on the hosts that are using those applications. In addition to traffic monitoring, it also includes the ability to capture packets in order to provide even greater traffic detail.

All traffic seen on a Usage monitoring interface is grouped into distinct traffic flows. All packets with the same 6-tuple of: source IP address, destination IP address, source port, destination port, ToS (Type of Service), and protocol are considered part of the same flow. Each TCP conversation, for example, consists of two flows: one from source to target and one from target to source.

When you start Usage monitoring, the Monitoring Point generates traffic flow records in real time and passes them to AppNeta Performance Manager (APM). These records are then collated into groups and classes so that you can easily understand how your network resources are being consumed. You can see how bandwidth at a given location is being devoted to particular applications, hosts, and users. So, for example, if performance at a given location is poor due to high network utilization, Usage monitoring helps identify which applications, hosts, or users are consuming the bandwidth so that you can take steps necessary to resolve the issue.

One of the key differences between Usage monitoring and Delivery and Experience monitoring is that Usage monitoring is passive - it does not generate any test traffic. Because of this, Monitoring Points have separate ports dedicated to Usage monitoring. Either one port or a pair of bridged ports are required to monitor a link. The cabling method used depends on the capabilities of your switch.

Note that each Monitoring Point model (and legacy Monitoring Point model) has a limit to the number of simultaneous flows it can monitor.