Observer Analyzer : Analyzer : Getting started : How to install or upgrade the software
   
How to install or upgrade the software
 
Page Contents
Minimum and recommended system specifications
How to upgrade to Windows 10
How to install all versions
How to upgrade version 17 and later
How to upgrade version 16 and earlier
FAQ: Licensing and updating
Capture card driver requirements
Installing Windows updates and updating virus protection
Revised: 2017-10-25
This section describes the installation process and minimum requirements if you are installing Observer or probe on your system. This applies to physical and virtualized servers. If you virtualize the server, each server must meet these specifications.
An administrator account is required to install and run any version of Observer or probe software except Observer ECO. Observer ECO requires an administrator account just for installation; a standard user account can be used for running Observer ECO.
Standard network cards do not support “raw” wireless packets, nor do they enable “promiscuous” mode by default. Promiscuous mode captures all packets for the analyzer, not just those addressed to the network card. Both “raw” wireless packets and promiscuous mode are required by Observer. ErrorTrak drivers were needed in earlier versions of Observer. They are no longer necessary.
If you do not meet the minimum requirements, the system may seem to operate in the short term, but be aware that even if a sub-minimum installation works momentarily, a later, heavier load on the system can cause it to fail. VIAVI sells hardware probes that are guaranteed to keep up with heavy loads. See the Observer Platform website for details.
You may install the probe software on a virtual machine so long as it meets the system requirements. The installation process is the same. You may also want to consider using a virtual TAP. See Using the probe as a virtual TAP.
Caution: See the important information in How to upgrade to Windows 10 if you want to upgrade the operating system!
1. Ensure your system meets the minimum requirements.
See Minimum and recommended system specifications.
2. Choose one of the following:
How to install all versions
How to upgrade version 17 and later
How to upgrade version 16 and earlier
 
 
 
After completing this task:
License your software. See FAQ: Licensing and updating.
If you are using a wireless network adapter to capture traffic, see Installing the wireless NIC driver on Windows 7/Vista.
If you are using a USB wireless network adapter to capture traffic, see Installing a third-party USB wireless adapter.
If you use Observer on a virtual machine and network traffic cannot be captured or BSODs (bluescreens) are occurring, see Virtual machine troubleshooting.
 
Minimum and recommended system specifications
Created: 2015-11-06   Revised: 2017-08-07
If you are installing the software on your own hardware or a virtual machine, these are the minimum and recommended specifications for a production environment.
 
Table 2. Observer Expert Console Only (ECO)
Minimum
Recommended
Processor / CPU
Dual core Pentium class processor
Quad core Pentium class processor
RAM1
2 GB RAM
8 GB RAM
Operating system2
64-bit Operating System
Windows 7 or newer
64-bit Operating System
Windows 7 or newer
Network Card
Server-class
Intel server-class

1 If your system has 4 GB of RAM, you cannot reserve any memory for Observer. This is a limitation of Windows known as the BIOS memory hole. Either add more RAM or take some out.

2 See Supported Operating Systems for a full list of supported operating systems.

 
 
Table 3. Observer or GigaStor Software Edition in a virtual server
Minimum
Recommended
Processor / CPU
Four core
Six core Intel
RAM1
Minimum 16 GB (8 GB for Observer and 8 GB for the operating system)
64 GB
Storage
Packet capture - Hardware: Determined by your product
Packet capture - Observer GigaStor Software Edition: Determined by your license.
Same
Operating system2
64-bit Operating System
Windows 7 or newer
64-bit Operating System
Windows 7 or newer
Network Card
Virtualized network adapter
Intel server-class
Capture Card3
Virtualized network adapter
Server-class onboard network adapter

1 If your system has 4 GB of RAM, you cannot reserve any memory for Observer. This is a limitation of Windows known as the BIOS memory hole. Either add more RAM or take some out.

2 See Supported Operating Systems for a full list of supported operating systems.

3 A second network card that acts solely as a capture card is required (and must be in “promiscuous mode”). Alternatively, a dual-port NIC can be used. For further details, see Capture card driver requirements.

 
 
 
 
Current compatibility and incompatibly of virtual machines with the GigaStor Software Edition (GSE) is described in this list:
VMWare ESXi Server
ESXi 5.0 and higher is compatible with GSE.
VMWare Workstation Pro is not supported with GSE
Microsoft Hyper-V may function but is not supported with GSE
 
Supported Operating Systems
Revised: 2018-10-02
Your product must be installed on one of these operating systems to receive assistance from Technical Support.
 
Product name
64-bit Windows1
32-bit Windows
Observer Suite
Observer Expert
Observer Standard
GigaStor Software Edition
 
Windows 7 (SP1 or higher) or newer
Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise, Standard, Web (SP1 or higher) or newer
 
 
Not supported
 
Observer ECO
 
Windows 7 (SP1 or higher) or newer
Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise, Standard, Web (SP1 or higher) or newer
 
 
Windows 7 (SP1 or higher) or newer
Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise, Standard, Web (SP1 or higher) or newer
 

1 If your operating has secure boot, it must be disabled. Most versions of Windows from Windows 10 and later have secure boot.

 
How to upgrade to Windows 10
Created: 2017-10-25   Revised: 2017-10-25
Due to the way Microsoft has designed its Windows® 10 operating system upgrade feature, Observer will not function if you upgrade your operating system from Windows 7, Vista or Windows 8 to Windows 10 without first uninstalling Observer.
This information does not apply if you:
Already uninstalled Observer.
Are installing Windows 10 rather than upgrading to it.
Are already using Windows 10.
Are upgrading using the Observer Platform OS Upgrade product because it replaces the operating system rather than upgrading it. Additionally, it uses Windows Server 2012 R2.
Note: Unfortunately, if you have already upgraded the operating system and Observer was not uninstalled prior to upgrading to Windows 10, the only path to recovery is to reinstall the operating system. Back up any Observer files on the operating system, reinstall the operating system, then install Observer and restore its files.
To upgrade a system with Observer to Windows 10:
1. Back up your settings.
2. Uninstall Observer using Control Panel > Program and Features.
3. Upgrade your operating system.
4. Install the Observer software.
5. Restore your settings from step 1 using whatever method is best for you.
 
Observer is now available to use on Windows 10.
 
How to install all versions
Created: 2015-11-06   Revised: 2016-03-22
Use this procedure to install all versions of the software.
An administrator account is required to install and run any version of Observer or probe software except Observer ECO. Observer ECO requires an administrator account just for installation; a standard user account can be used for running Observer ECO.
1. Insert the installation CD in your CD drive or use the latest installation image from our update site. If you copied the installation files from our web site, start the installation program.
http://update.viavisolutions.com/latest/ObserverSetupx64.exe
2. When the setup program runs, follow the onscreen instructions.
3. Choose to install:
Observer.
Advanced Probe. Choose this for Single Probe or Multi Probe. Your license determines whether it is a Single Probe or Multi Probe.
Expert Probe
4. After the files have been installed on your system you must restart Windows. You will not be able to run the software until you restart your computer.
 
 
How to upgrade version 17 and later
Created: 2015-11-06
Version 17 allows you to upgrade directly from within Observer or from OMS (if used).
If OMS is not controlling Observer, then do the following in Observer:
Click the File tab, and click Info > Update Observer.
If OMS is controlling Observer:
See How to manage software versions using OMS.
 
The software is updated to the latest version.
 
How to upgrade version 16 and earlier
Created: 2015-11-06
Upgrading version 16 uses the same procedure as installing the software. The process is different for version 17 and later.
1. Insert the installation CD in your CD drive or use the latest installation image from our update site. If you copied the installation files from our web site, start the installation program.
http://update.viavisolutions.com/latest/ObserverSetupx64.exe
2. When the setup program runs, follow the onscreen instructions.
3. Choose to install:
Observer.
Advanced Probe. Choose this for Single Probe or Multi Probe. Your license determines whether it is a Single Probe or Multi Probe.
Expert Probe
4. After the files have been installed on your system you must restart Windows. You will not be able to run the software until you restart your computer.
 
 
FAQ: Licensing and updating
Some customer concerns deal with licensing and updating issues. Explore this good resource for licensing and updating help, or call the Technical Support department for further assistance.
How to license Observer and GigaStor
Created: 2014-10-08   Revised: 2015-12-03
To license and activate a compatible GigaStor, Observer, or Probe:
1. Install and launch the application.
2. After launching the application in DEMO mode, click the Help menu and select License Observer.
3. Click the Enter Name button in the lower left corner.
4. Type into the Contact/Department and Company boxes exactly what is listed in your license document.
5. Click OK, and then click Accept on the confirmation dialog.
6. Ensure the Identification Number matches the number on your license document. If they do not match, click Re-Type Name? to correct any mistakes.
7. Type the license number, from your license document, into the License Number box.
8. Click OK.
 
You successfully licensed and activated your product.
 
 
If licensing and activating your product remains unsuccessful, please contact Technical Support.
 
How to update your license
Created: 2015-12-07
If Observer or GigaStor is already licensed and you need to modify, update, or change that license, you can do so.
This task requires you have already licensed your Observer or GigaStor.
This task cannot be completed if the license to your Observer or GigaStor is managed by OMS. Instead, refer to How to edit an asset license.
Updating your license refers to changing, editing, or updating the license that is already applied to your product. Some reasons for needing to do this can include:
Activating a new license. The new license might provide different or increased functionality over your existing license, like increased data storage for a GigaStor Software Edition (GSE).
Changing a license. Perhaps you accidentally applied the wrong license to your product and need to change it.
To update a license:
1. Click the File tab, and click Info > License Observer.
2. Click OK to confirm you want to re-license.
3. Type the license number, from your license document, into the License Number box.
4. Click the Re-Type Name? button in the lower left corner.
5. Type into the Contact/Department and Company boxes exactly what is listed in your license document.
6. Click OK, and then click OK on the confirmation dialog.
 
You successfully updated your license. Observer begins using the license the next time Observer is launched.
 
 
Close and restart Observer for the new license to take effect. You may need to coordinate a suitable time to do so if restarting would affect many users or significantly interrupt your data collection.
 
Why is my license number not working?
Created: 2014-04-17   Revised: 2017-05-01
Each license number is case-sensitive, so be sure to type it in exactly the way it was given to you. Also, if you copy-pasted the license number into the activation prompt, be sure you did not introduce a leading or trailing space character—those are not part of your license number.
Ensure you are licensing the correct version of Observer. License numbers are version-specific. License numbers work within equal major version numbers of the product only. For example, an 17.0 license can be used to activate 17.x versions but not 16.1, 16.0, 15.1, 15.0, etc.
Could I have my license re-sent to me?
Created: 2014-04-17   Revised: 2017-08-31
Yes. If you lost the original information containing your license number, please contact us so we can resend your license document(s).
What type of license do I have?
Created: 2014-04-17   Revised: 2017-05-01
The type of license you have is described in your license document. Each license document contains a license number, and the document describes which software version the license number applies to. If it does not, or you notice any other error, please call our support team for assistance.
Should I uninstall Observer before updating it?
Created: 2014-04-17   Revised: 2017-05-01
If you wish to update your existing Observer software to a newly released version within the same major release number, you do not need to uninstall your existing version for the update process to succeed. Simply install the new version over the old.
Capture card driver requirements
If you are going to use a third-party capture card in your probe, the capture card must meet certain requirements so that Observer can report statistics and errors. The network card used to monitor or capture network traffic must have all of the mandatory and optional NDIS functions. The VIAVI capture card has all of the necessary features.
Most NIC vendors provide solid, functional NDIS drivers for all cards available within the Ethernet, Token Ring, and FDDI marketplace.
Accessing a standard network with a “normal” network device is somewhat different from what a protocol analyzer requires. While both share a number of driver functions, a protocol analyzer requires a set of features and functions that the average network device will never need. Examples of these optional functions are promiscuous mode, error tracking, and network speed reporting. (Examples of mandatory functions would include functions to determine the maximum packet size, functions to verify the number of sent packets, and functions to specify or determine a packets’ protocol.)
Microsoft made a number of the less used (by “normal” network users) functions “optional”, as opposed to “mandatory” regarding driver requirements. The result has been that most vendors support all (or most) mandatory functions with the first release of the driver. As time passes, and the initial chaos of the first release of the card and driver passes, most manufacturers add some or all of the optional functions, as well as fix or complete all of the mandatory functions.
As part of the optional section of defined NDIS functions, Microsoft specified a number of counters that can be kept for Ethernet frame errors. These counters include CRC errors, Alignment errors, Packets Too Big (Jabbers), and Packets Too Small (Runts). Collisions are counted, but there are limitations of NDIS collision statistics. Four important points should be considered:
These optional counts only provide a numerical value to the total number of errors on the segment (i.e. the number of CRC errors found), they do not specify where (which station) the error originated from.
After the error packet is identified and the proper error counter is incremented, the packet is discarded, and not sent to Windows (this is the reason it is impossible to determine the source of an Ethernet error packet with standard NDIS drivers).
A number of vendor’s NDIS drivers return a positive acknowledgment when the NDIS error function is queried for existence, but the error statistic is not actually kept.
A few vendors (3COM, for example) do not keep any error statistics whatsoever.
If a NIC driver both reports that the optional Ethernet error statistics are being kept, and actually keeps data on these errors, Observer reports these statistics in the Network Vital Sign Display.
Installing Windows updates and updating virus protection
Revised: 2016-03-04
From time to time Microsoft releases updates for the operating system used for your probe or your virus protection software vendor updates their virus definitions. You should apply those updates as soon as feasible, however, you should always apply the updates manually.
We do not recommend that you allow Windows to automatically install the updates and restart the system. By manually applying the updates you ensure that the system restarts properly and that the probe starts correctly whether running as a Windows service or as an application.
For your anti-virus software, follow these guidelines:
Ensure TCP ports 25901 and 25903 are open. All Observer Platform products communicate on these ports.
Ensure UDP ports 25901 and 25903 are open if you use OMS.
For all probes, disable any scanning of the Observer installation directory (typically C:\Program Files\Observer) and of D: (RAID) drive as scanning greatly diminishes the performance of writing data to disk.
The performance of the operating system may be greatly diminished when using anti-virus software.