Observer Reporting Server

Observer Reporting Server (ORS)

The Big Picture

End network and application team finger-pointing.

High-Level, Enterprise-Wide Reporting with End-to-End Insights

Get 360 degrees of visibility into network health in a heartbeat.

Observer Reporting Server (ORS) DashboardObserver Reporting Server (ORS) acts as the command center of the Network Instruments' performance management platform. It combines flow technologies, captured packets, system health, and expert analysis to provide an overall view of service health. ORS obtains integrated views of application, network, and infrastructure performance to ensure critical business processes function smoothly and IT organizational goals are supported.

ORS has macro and micro reporting with deep drilldown power and provides baselines with real-time and historical views into future network trends for proactive intervention.

Ideal for IT directors, operation managers, engineers, and network managers, explore these ORS Executive Reports samples to learn more. Check out the VoIP Statistics Report, Web Users Report, and more.

What Benefits Does ORS Offer?

  • Aggregated views of network, application, and device health
  • Navigation from high-level monitoring to root-cause analysis
  • Optimization of performance metrics through baselining
  • Drilldown from performance dashboards into link, user, and connection details
  • Detailed metrics on important applications such as Citrix®, Oracle®, WebSphere® MQ, email, and Web
  • Real-time application health on a global scale with NetFlow
  • Monitoring of end-user experience agnostic to access method
Gen2 Capture Card


Rugged aluminum chassis designed exclusively by Network Instruments.
No off-the-shelf components.


Delivers high-level monitoring across an enterprise while providing drilldown ability to identify issue root-cause.



Provides superior end-user experience insights. Monitors for page response time, transactions processed, traffic
flow data, application errors,
latency, and more.


Understand User Experience

For optimal delivery, ORS provides superior monitoring of the end-user experience. From smart phones to laptops, it offers real-time and historical user metrics neatly packaged in an aggregated display of essential communication data. Color indicators instantly communicate performance status for proactive solution and prompt resolution.

End-user experience metrics include:

  • End-user page response time
  • Transactions processed
  • Traffic flow data
  • Application errors
  • Network errors, latency, and utilization

Observer Reporting Server (ORS) provides organizations with valuable insight into IT operations and business service performance. Solutions like ORS validate large IT initiatives, while network and application groups can leverage its real-time dashboards, workflows, and long-term reporting to resolve problems and fine-tune service delivery.

- Bojan Simic, Principal Analyst for TRAC Research

Key Features

Performance ReportingPerformance Reporting

Observer Reporting Server (ORS) offers a top-down approach that combines enterprise-wide views, macro and micro-level reporting, and deep drilldown for problem resolution. It serves as a performance management hub, combining packet-based analytics and metrics like flow-based data and status – giving you an overall view of network, system, application, and infrastructure health.

ORS also offers application dependency mapping (ADM), which automates discovery of app interdependencies, building maps that visualize these complex relationships with simplified clarity. It provides critical information for locating issues and migrating applications to new environments.

Global DashboardsGlobal Dashboards

Don't settle for simple static reports. ORS provides high-level visibility of your critical application services. Use performance dashboards to quickly assess the health of systems, applications, and servers. Expanded global search capabilities provide fast, easy access to information of interest – regardless of data type.

Real-Time VisibilityReal-Time Visibility

With ORS NetLive, receive real-time application health on a global scale. NetLive provides 20-second resolution on top applications, response times, and other critical network and application metrics. Organize reports by business group and allow anyone in your company to access via secure login.

Couple the high-level dashboard view with NetLive for greater performance details. Because NetLive views are customizable, you’re seeing the most critical and relevant live data feeds. Gain a bird’s eye view of your network to see which issues need attention and what area of business they’re affecting.

Behavioral Analysis & BaseliningBehavioral Analysis & Baselining

Use ORS advanced behavioral analysis and baselining to establish benchmarks for any performance or time-based metric. This includes application response time, VoIP, MOS values, or network utilization. ORS leverages advanced heuristics to quantify the unique behavioral characteristics of your environment, enabling you to quickly determine if application delivery and performance is acceptable based on your network’s distinct traffic patterns or compare performance from different periods of time.

For example, compare application performance for every Wednesday for the last six weeks, or the 15th of every month for the last three months. Set alarms to be immediately alerted when performance metrics have reached marginal or critical thresholds so network teams can tackle issues before they impact the user. Once optimal baselines are established, lock baselines to eliminate issues of drift.

Organize Reports by Business GroupsOrganize Reports by Business Groups

Shape reports around your business. Does the call center have enough bandwidth to run VoIP? How does the current WAN configuration affect your Just-In-Time inventory system? What business processes have the greatest impact on systems? ORS allows you to accurately assess the impact of mission-critical applications on your business through extensive reports.

Solution Center WorkflowsSolution Center Workflows

The strength of ORS is the speed and accuracy with which it helps resolve problems. Its unique solution-centered, user-defined workflows offer an intuitive approach to investigate and resolve performance problems.

The platform has over 700 experts that reduce troubleshooting time by automating the process and quickly pinpointing problems and causes. The integration with GigaStor, a long-term packet-capture solution, provides the ability to reconstruct and review events.

Platform Integration

ORS is a stand-alone appliance which simultaneously collects and aggregates data from Observer Probes, NetFlow devices, and other collection agents.

Only ORS fully integrates high-level monitoring with detailed problem-solving capabilities on a single platform. Combine ORS with GigaStor and OI to gain long-term views of network activities and to correlate network and infrastructure performance.

ORS connects to multiple Observer Suite analyzers and aggregates critical network performance metrics into an overall view of network health. Beyond providing an easy-to-access view of network performance, reports can be segmented by individual business units, user groups, or infrastructure types. This means you can quickly view bandwidth utilization or application use by department.

Product Integration Graph

How is ORS Deployed?

ORS works seamlessly with Observer consoles, Observer Infrastructure software, and the GigaStor appliance. It can be quickly deployed – either as a stand-alone or with Observer Suite.

In general, high-traffic installations should have a dedicated ORS system, resulting in a three-tier distribution of ORS functionality: Observer Reporting Server, Observer Suite analyzer(s), and probe instances that actually collect the data.

Best Practices:

  • Install all probes or Observer Suites on systems with a static IP address.
  • Create a unique probe instance on every probe to be used for the sole purpose of collecting network trending data for ORS.
  • Where you install ORS, Observer Suite, and probes will depend on the size and traffic levels of your network.
  • Redundant ORS capabilities provide two duplicate ORS; a primary and secondary for automated replication, facilitating redundancy.

Server configuration is fast and easy because ORS has its own web server, one that's shared with Observer. The web server starts automatically when the system starts, no matter how you have ORS configured.

What's New?

Application Dependency Mapping (ADM)

Application Dependency Mapping (ADM)Observer now automates discovery of application interdependencies. It generates maps that visualize app relationships, pinpointing tiers where degradation is impacting performance. The simplified clarity of this complex information provides intelligence when migrating apps to new environments like cloud, virtualization, and DCs. ADM also offers new levels of component interaction understanding – elevating network teams to new levels of efficiency.

Global Search

Global SearchWhat's the best way to search for something? Start with an idea. Independent of report elements and data type, you can query for specific search criteria across application performance, transactions, or infrastructure health elements. This enhanced feature functions like an online search engine that delivers prompt results without any pre-defined workflow requirements. Just go in with an idea in mind – like a server with reports of poor performance. By entering the server IP you can review response time, protocol usage, top connections, and resource metrics like CPU and memory utilization. This instant visibility into relevant metrics provides clear paths to root-cause and user-impact identification, creating well-defined routes to resolution.

The various types of data you can seamlessly access in ORS include application details from packet-based sources; conversation information from flow-based devices; and resource metrics from within infrastructure, computing, and storage resources. Our platform offers highly intuitive dashboards that present only directly relevant data you can quickly translate into action.

Performance Correlations

Performance CorrelationsEasily display multiple, seemingly disparate service variables on a single graph to capture operational correlations that impact end-user experience. This provides IT teams with the insight to see relationships between volumes of data and performance indicators like response and connection times. The correlation engine takes raw data and transforms it into useable information so you can immediately take action to resolve issues and optimize performance.

Performance Matrix

Performance MatrixUse our new Performance Matrix to quickly triage application or network issues and determine breadth of impact – whether problems are widespread or in specific locations. Baseline anything so when problems like performance degradation occur, you can validate which sites or user-groups are affected and quickly move to resolution. Just choose the apps you want to investigate, add an application or service of concern in the row header, and then plot sites of interest in the column. Where the row and column intersect shows you how users at the given site are experiencing the application's performance.

Native IPv6 Communications

Get advanced support for IPv6 environments. As you shift to IPv6-based networks, our solutions provide native IPv6 communications options within pure IPv6 and mixed IPv6/IPv4 environments.

ORS Open Access

Leverage the powerful trending and reporting within ORS to strengthen complementary IT initiatives. ORS offers two ways to integrate with third-party tools. First, in a processed format; any ORS report object can be shared and dynamically linked via a URL. This makes it simple to build compelling views into disparate solutions for visual correlation of critical business metrics.

ORS data can also be transmitted in a raw XML format. This method enables ORS data to be presented flexibly in whatever manner desired with the added benefit of applying new analytics to the data. For example, ORS content as it relates to network bandwidth usage at a departmental level can be input into an accounting bill back system, ensuring more accurate alignment of resource consumption. 


Technical Specifications

Observer Reporting Server can either be deployed as a stand-alone hardware unit or combination appliance with Observer Suite.

ORS 2UORS Hardware Appliance:

  • Compact, fault tolerant 2U form-factor


19 in (W) x 3.48 in (H) x 26.01 in
(mounting depth)
(Full depth with handles: 28 in)

48.3 cm (W) x 8.8 cm (H) x 66.1 cm
(mounting depth)
(Full depth with handles: 71.1 cm)


68 lbs (30.9 kg) / mounting rails: 9 lbs (4.1 kg) (eight drives)

Power Consumption (Full load):

Input Voltage: 100V-240V auto select
Input Frequency: 50/60Hz
230W (785 Btu/h)

Lights Out Capability

Manage, monitor and control the GigaStor remotely using an intuitive web-based interface via the IPMI (Intelligent Platform Management Interface) v1.5 / 2.0 with KVM support.