Identifying and classifying network applications is the key to effective network bandwidth management. Classifying network traffic allows you to visualize, organize and prioritize network traffic according to Enterprise edition's need. By identifying and classifying network traffic, the network administrator can effectively apply QoS policies and thus achieve optimized network bandwidth performance.
Cisco's Network-Based Application Recognition (NBAR) is a classification engine that provides intelligent network classification for network infrastructure. It can recognize a wide variety of applications including those that use dynamic ports. NBAR is useful in dealing with malicious applications using known ports to fake a "high priority traffic", as well as non-standard applications using non-determinant port.
Applications like ERP, Citrix, VOIP are mission critical that needs to be up and running for smooth operation of day-to-day business. But other low priority applications like p2p, Skype, Kaaza etc., consume high bandwidth and use dynamic ports to communicate. It is difficult to discover these applications without NBAR and due to that restriction by Access Control Lists is close to impossible. These applications might clog the enterprise bandwidth resulting in poor performance of the network. With NBAR monitoring, you can identify them on the application layer itself and define appropriate QoS policies. NBAR performs deep inspection on network packets in order to identify the actual applications hogging the enterprise's bandwidth. Once the applications are recognized, the network administrator can assign specific QoS policy for that particular application.
ManageEngine NetFlow Analyzer retrieves NBAR data and reports on various applications and their traffic and percentage of total traffic. The reports can be obtained from the latest hour to the last quarter. From these reports t is easy to identify applications that uses maximum bandwidth and apply QoS policies for them. These applications if found to be non-critical can be marked and blocked. In case they are critical they can be given highest priority by the network administrator. NBAR helps you ensure performance for mission-critical applications by identifying them and applying QoS policies and thereby improves the overall performance of the enterprise network bandwidth.
NetFlow Analyzer is a NetFlow, sFlow, JFLow (and more) collector and analyzing engine integrated together. NetFlow analyzer does not require any hardware probes and 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.