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Getting beyond the “Your network’s slow” complaint (part 1)….

Level 12

How many times have you heard this?  How many times does it look like everything is fine to you?  If this is you, then read on. 

You’ve probably heard about NetFlow and you may have even seen it at a tradeshow, but what you may not know is that this core technology is built into your existing infrastructure. So, how can you use NetFlow to understand what’s really going on when you get the ‘it’s slow’ complaint?

Here’s the scenario: You’ve heard complaints from your users that the network is slow but you don’t know why or where.  You suspect it may be your WAN and/or internet links and you don’t want to simply increase bandwidth because that gets expensive quickly.  How do you create alerts so you are the first to know when you approach capacity and can hunt down bandwidth hogging users and applications before your boss hunts you down?


Step 1 - Manage your NetFlow sources and CBQoS Polling

From the NTA Summay tab, you will see your currently managed NetFlow Sources.


Click on Manage Sources and you can add, delete or edit your NetFlow Sources.



Step 2 – Manage Alerts     

Once you have set-up your NetFlow sources, you will use the advanced alerting features of NPM and NTA to create a “Top Talker” interface utilization alert that notifies you when certain thresholds are met, for example, High Transmit Percent Utilization or High Percent Receive Utilization.



Step 3 – Monitor Traffic

Once alerted that you have reached certain critical thresholds, or at any time, you can view “Top Talkers” within the Orion NetFlow console:


You are not limited to Top 10 conversations or applications; however, you can also see countries, endpoints, receivers, transmitters, IP Groups or protocols.

In addition, you can view your NetFlow sources by % utilization:



as well as create custom filtered views



Step 4 – Tell your boss it’s all under control

Now that you know who and what are consuming your network bandwidth, you can use the data to modify your network bandwidth, traffic policies and user behavior to optimize costs.


If you don’t already have Orion NetFlow Traffic Analyzer installed, you can learn more about it and Download a Free 30 Day Trial.


Stay tuned to part 2 where we will demonstrate how to determine the direct impact of network traffic consumption on your business critical applications using the IP SLA technology that is already built-in to your Cisco routers.