About Cisco NetFlow

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. Cisco NetFlow is one of the flows, among other flows, that is used to monitor bandwidth in the network. These Cisco 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. Various screen shots of the network traffic report that can be generated using NetFlow Analyzer have been given here.

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.

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.

Cisco NetFlow combined with 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.

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.