Vantage Ultimate can be a very effective tool for generating useful management employee internet reports on Internet, email, and network activity in large organizations. Because large organizations generally have a large volume of log data to report on, here are a few guidelines to help make the reporting process as efficient as possible.
Import a small amount of data, such as 1 day, to get used to the Vantage Ultimate user interface, and to define and test the reports you want to generate. Using your small dataset, use the Summaries screen to drilldown into your data to get used to what is contained within your various summaries. This helps you to get a better understanding about what you do and don’t want to report on. For example, you may want to report on the top 50 users, but after looking at the Users summary, you may find IP addresses or computer names that you want excluded from the report. (See Vantage Guidelines For Enterprise – Storages)
Define Efficient Reports
Vantage Ultimate contains three types of reports: Comparison Reports, Analysis Reports, and Trend Reports.
It’s recommended that you do not use Comparison Reports. Instead use Analysis reports using the guidelines below. Comparison reports always create multi-level reports (see below), and it is therefore recommended to create flat analysis reports where possible. You can create an Analysis report to exactly match any comparison report if required. The major difference between Comparison and Analysis reports is simply the user interface to define them (Comparison reports are easier to configure, but less flexible).
Try to define ‘flat’ Analysis Reports i.e. do not add report nodes underneath other report nodes as per the diagram below:
A Flat Report (Recommended)
If you do create a multi-level report, limit the items that can be generated by the parent node using the options on the ‘Having’ page of the report node dialog (see Limit tables using ‘Having’ criteria below).
Multi-leveled reports with no ‘Having’ limits can produce very large reports which take a long time to generate and consume a large amount of system resources.
Choose the largest time unit (x-axis) possible on the ‘Time Axis’ page of each Trend Element. For example, if you are reporting on six months worth of data, a good time unit would be ‘Month’. Choosing ‘Hour’ would produce too many plot points on the trend chart and the report will take longer to generate.
Figure 1: Choose an appropriate time unit
Here are some guidelines that can be used when defining any type of report in Vantage Ultimate.
Limit tables using ‘Having’ criteria
Limit the number of items that can be created on each report template element/node by using the ‘Having’ page of any report node/element dialog. For example, limit sites or users to the top 20.
Figure 2: Limit report tables using ‘Having’ criteria
Define global filters
Do not copy the same filter to every node/element of the report template. Instead, define global filters that apply to the entire report template. To do this:
1. Right-clicking the template name in the left hand side of the Reports screen
2. Select ‘Edit’ from the popup menu.
3. Use the Template Filter section at the bottom of the dialog to define your global filters.
Summaries used in global filters are generally a good choice for Storage partitioning (see Vantage Guidelines For Enterprise – Storages).