The rapid developments in the network world can sometimes seem overwhelming. Plus, along with these new developments comes increased complexity in the challenges a network admin faces every day. In order to keep up, it's important to fully understand how your organization's network is utilized. In this blog, we'll discuss how you can use NetFlow to improve network traffic visibility and get a better grasp on the increasing complexity of your network.

 

Why network traffic visibility is important?

Times have changed. No longer are networks used solely for internal communication. Instead, networks now include business critical applications that are expected to run 24x7. As networks have evolved, so too has the role of the network admin. Network traffic visibility has become increasingly important for effectively managing and troubleshooting issues, optimizing resources, streamline operations, ensuring network security, and capacity planning. Any traffic information that’s hidden from the admins’ view can end up causing serious damage while performing business processes.

 

How can you improve network visibility with NetFlow?

If you’re using NetFlow enabled devices in your network, you can easily analyze network traffic that enters and leaves the routers or switches. Flow technology allows you to extract and analyze detailed traffic packet information passing through your network interfaces. Raw data extracted from network devices can be normalized to help administrators comprehend network traffic. Normalization of raw flow data presents flow data in a readable format and provides a quick understanding of network traffic patterns. This can help when you’re troubleshooting issues by locating the user or application responsible.

You can manually get flow data from network devices or you can use tools to automate the cumbersome processes. The latter approach helps you to ease monitoring and reporting functionality of NetFlow. But ensure you have these three capabilities before you zero in on the tool of your choice.

  • Real-time traffic monitoring of network bandwidth utilization by users, protocols, and applications
  • Network forensics that allow you to analyze historical granular flow data for any time period
  • QoS monitoring for effective management  of all your priority traffic and detailed reporting on flows

 

Here are some of the benefits of using an automated process:

  1. Increased Network Performance – By understanding bandwidth consumption, network admins can plan for future networking needs, i.e. capacity planning. Forecasting removes most performance issue surprises.
  2. Higher Security – Now network admins can easily identify and isolate what creates ‘bad unwanted traffic.’ This gives you the ability to discover where attacks on the network originated.
  3. Ease of Network Monitoring – By closely monitoring traffic, admins can get a better understanding of what’s happening in their network and effectively responding to fluctuating network traffic.
  4. Improved Automation – Deploying tools to monitor NetFlow helps network administrators and staff by automating routine monitoring processes.

 

With NetFlow support, you can quickly troubleshoot application and performance related problems in your network. Thus helping you to manage and control network complexities in your organization.