5 Reasons Why You Need a Netflow Analyzer

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5 Reasons Why You Need a Netflow Analyzer

Netflow is a data collection feature first implemented on Cisco devices. The feature has become very widely used and is a primary tool in the collection and analysis of data-rich packets.

Due to detailed information contained within Netflow packets, admins and engineers can successfully utilise a Netflow analyzer to identify bandwidth usage issues, network bottlenecks and application utilisation of network resources. If you’re tasked with managing a large enterprise or ISP, Netflow analyzers are key to providing you with the information you need to keep your environment stable, and your SLAs met.

Why You Should Utilise a Netflow Analyzer on Your Network:

  1. Rich Data: Netflow acquires a great deal of information that translate into detailed reporting. Network Managers are able to acquire this information with a Netflow analyzer and compile ExCo reports, detailing returns on investments and project future growth and expenditure accurately.
  2. Cost-Effective: Software vendors are able to capture Netflow packets with proprietary systems and use it to present network information with the means of their software suite’s reporting and analysis tools. A Netflow analyzer extends the ability of third party vendors to acquire and analyze network data efficiently.
  3. Lightweight: The data collection process, however detailed has very little overhead on routers and other network components. Overhead on networks can have a potential negative domino effect on your overall environment, causing multiple bottlenecks and degraded application performance.
  4. Network Visibility: Netflow analyzers provide comprehensive visibility into networks, giving engineers the ability to account for bandwidth usage down to the user and or IP level. Application monitoring is enhanced with Netflow’s rich data.
  5. Customization: Network Managers and engineers can customize the output giving them the exact information they need, be it for reporting, analysis or accurate planning.

Keep Your Eye on the Flow

Detailed accounting of network traffic is essential for ISPs to keep track of bandwidth usage, IP addresses, Type of Service etc.

Netflow analyzers’ ability to acquire information on a comprehensive level enables ISPs to accurately adjust their billing mechanisms to customers. Enterprise administrators are able to analyze data flow issues down to the application and port level.

This granular visibility of data is enormously useful in reducing the fault- finding process. The version 9 implementation of Netflow brings new features along with it, making the export of flow data much less memory intensive on routers and switches.

Flow Tools for Capturing and Monitoring

With Netflow analyzers like the IRIS Flow Collector, IT staff can capture and analyze the data contained within Netflow packets. A Netflow analyzer captures and periodically sends data to a central storage device where it is translated into reports and graphs that provide thorough information on network activity. IRIS employs a Data Collection Engine for this task that is able to store information for up to five years.

The information provided by a Netflow analyzer, coupled with a solid, robust flow collector is gold to network managers that need up-to-date information on events, trends and warnings occurring in their environments.

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Image credit: Pixabay

By |August 7th, 2014|Categories: Iris Netflow|Comments Off on 5 Reasons Why You Need a Netflow Analyzer

About the Author:

Over the +15 years in the network engineering and design field, I have gained key insights into what it takes to make large-scale enterprise networks tick. Having spent years with top players in the Internet Service Provider (ISP) industry, has exposed me to the myriad of technologies and intricacies involved in large scale network administration. Maximising Enterprise and ISP efficiency, and designing software that facilitates this goal presents great challenges in the context of ever-expanding global networks. At IRIS Network Solutions we are a team of ISP and Enterprise monitoring and management specialists who identified a need for a more comprehensive, proactive and low touch NMS. We developed IRIS with the key concerns of IT Executives concerned with large enterprises and ISPs in mind.