Cisco NetFlow Collector

Cisco NetFlow - An Introduction

Cisco NetFlow is a Cisco developed flow technology that allows bandwidth monitoring of a network. NetFlow Analyzer is a software that uses Cisco NetFlow to monitor bandwidth and runs in Windows and Linux. Cisco routers/switching devices export NetFlow as UDP packets. NetFlow is one of the flows, among other flows, that is used to monitor bandwidth in the network. These NetFlow packets can be analyzed using NetFlow Analyzer, to monitor bandwidth, to gather information on the top talkers, applications and many other features. Network traffic analysis is one of the uses of NetFlow Analyzer. NetFlow Analyzer delivers easy-to-understand reports on in-depth traffic analysis and network bandwidth monitoring.

Cisco NetFlow allows for extremely granular and accurate bandwidth monitoring by recording network traffic into the device cache. Since network traffic has a flow nature to it, the NetFlow accounting data that is built in the cache, characterizes the IP traffic being forwarded.

Cisco NetFlow data records exported by routers and switches consist of expired traffic flows with detailed traffic statistics useful to monitor bandwidth and network traffic analysis. These flows contain information about source and destination IP addresses along with the protocols and ports used in the end-to-end conversation.

Once you configure Cisco NetFlow devices, you can start exporting flows from you network devices. This exported NetFlow data is collected and analyzed by NetFlow Analyzer to generate reports on top hosts, top applications, top conversations and top talkers using the bandwidth in your network.

NetFlow combined with ManageEngine's NetFlow Analyzer yields valuable information about the behavior of traffic and bandwidth monitoring on your network. Armed with this information, it is easier to make critical decisions on bandwidth capacity, security, and optimal usage of network infrastructure.

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Cisco NetFlow traffic statistics

The latest version of NetFlow Analyzer supports Cisco NetFlow version 5, version 7 & version 9 exports.

While NetFlow version 5 is the most used version supported on routers, NetFlow version 7 is an enhancement that exclusively supports NetFlow with Cisco Catalyst 5000 series switches equipped with a NetFlow feature card (NFFC). NetFlow version 7 is not compatible with Cisco routers. NetFlow version 9 is the recent addition to the series.

NetFlow packet details

NetFlow Analyzer accounts for the following details from the NetFlow Packets :

  1. Source and destination IP address
  2. Input and output interface number
  3. Source and destination port number
  4. Layer 4 Protocol
  5. Number of packets in the flow
  6. Total Bytes in the flow
  7. Time stamp in the flow
  8. Source and destination AS
  9. TCP_Flag & TOS

For more information on Cisco NetFlow visit Cisco's page on NetFlow

NetFlow Analyzer is a web-based NetFlow analysis tool and NetFlow collector that generates reports based on exported Cisco NetFlow data.

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Learn how to configure Cisco devices and configure Cisco NetFlow here.

NetFlow Analyzer is a Cisco NetFlow, sFlow, JFLow (and more) collector and analyzing engine integrated together. NetFlow analyzer is a software (for windows and linux), does not require any hardware probes, which can be downloaded, used in your network environment and can be evaluated for 30 days. Go through the following useful links for better understanding of how NetFlow Analyzer can help you in understanding your network traffic and bandwidth utilization. Read more about our free NetFlow Analyzer for Cisco.