So many network performance tools tell you that you have too much traffic here or there but then don’t go the next step and tell you what that traffic is and where its coming from. In the past to find out the answer to this, you would have to take a protocol analyzer, put it on your network, configure port mirroring on a switch, and then try to analyze what that traffic was. It doesn’t have to be so complex or expensive. Solarwinds Free Real-Time NetFlow Analyzer can help (click here to download it now).
What is NetFlow and how can it help you?
NetFlow is a patented Cisco router feature that provides detailed information about what types of traffic is going through an IOS router, where that traffic is coming from, and where it is going to. This could be as simple as seeing that "57% of your traffic on this router’s Serial interface is HTTP". Or, it could be more complex and you might find that PC with IP address 220.127.116.11 is sending 1500kb of Skype traffic on port 5678, to the Internet, and that is what is maxing out your Internet T1. In fact, NetFlow can even get more complex than that.
The Cisco Router itself doesn’t tell you any of this with NetFlow. What the Cisco router does is to forward that NetFlow data to a NetFlow Analysis computer. Thus, you need a NetFlow application.
What is the Solarwinds Free Real-Time NetFlow Analyzer?
Traditionally, applications that supported NetFlow were tens of thousands of dollars. Today, Solarwinds is offering their free real-time tool for free. I downloaded the tool myself and will soon be writing a full review of the product. In the meantime, I want you to know what it can do and where you can download it. Here is what Solarwinds Real-Time NetFlow Analyzer can do:
- Identify which users, devices and applications are consuming your bandwidth
- Investigate network traffic during times of suspicious behavior such as unusual slowness
- Troubleshoot network congestion issues
- Personalize your NetFlow data display to show custom applications, display periods and data units
- Easily configure NetFlow on your Cisco routers
If you want to know what is really going on in your network, I recommend that you Download the Solarwinds Free Real-Time Netflow Analyzer.
Stay tuned for my upcoming review of this tool where I show you, step by step, how I used it on my network.
Got a question? Post it on our Cisco Forum!