Bandwidth management, network traffic issues, and security threats are becoming more complex with the constant transformations in network infrastructures to suit hybrid IT and workforces. Enabling behavioural-based threat detection and monitoring with a network traffic analysis tool is crucial in addition to traditional firewalls and intrusion detection systems in ensuring network bandwidth health and security. Network traffic analysis (NTA) aids network admins by helping them gain broader visibility, isolate top talkers, identifying network traffic patterns and bandwidth usage trends, finding problem users/devices, performing historical data analysis and network forensics, and reducing threat detection and response time.
NetFlow Analyzer, web-based network traffic analysis software, uses flow data such as NetFlow from Cisco devices along with other flow data including sFlow, J-Flow, IP FIX and more, and stores them for analyzing and generating network traffic reports. In simple terms, NetFlow Analyzer is a traffic analysis tool that collects flow information, analyzes and correlates it with network traffic trends, and presents the traffic statistics in an easy-to-understand format. It offers real-time traffic graphs and reports to keep you up to date about your traffic behavior and bandwidth usage by applications, users, and their conversations.
Network traffic analysis provides network admins complete visibility to:
With NetFlow Analyzer you can monitor network traffic at an interface-specific level with one-minute granularity. The selectable graph allows you to zoom in on the spikes. NetFlow Analyzer also shows data points, which give details on the traffic IN and traffic OUT, such as speed, volume, packets, and utilization of the total amount of bandwidth.
Not only can you view reports ranging from the last hour to the last quarter, the network traffic analysis solution also allows you to custom select the time period for which you want to view network traffic reports. The reports can be exported as CSV or PDF as needed. These reports can be quite useful when you're presenting to top management.
NetFlow Analyzer is a simple, unified network analysis tool that is easy to deploy and start working with. You can install NetFlow Analyzer on a Windows or Linux machine and use just a web browser to access the client interface. After installing, export NetFlow data for Cisco routers and switches or any other supported flows to NetFlow Analyzer. Within minutes, detailed network traffic analysis graphs will be plotted based on your organization's specific network traffic, and reports will be automatically generated.
As soon as NetFlow data is received, graphs are generated showing details on incoming and outgoing traffic on the link for the last 10 minutes. From the NetFlow Analyzer Dashboard, you can identify which interface, applications, users, ports and protocols are consuming the most bandwidth. The NetFlow Analyzer Dashboard allows you to add new widgets and customize them to get a glance at the top-priority information that you want to focus on in your network.
With and advanced network traffic analysis tool such as Netflow Analyzer, you can start analyzing your traffic data using intuitive bandwidth reports. Consolidated reports show you overall traffic statistics for each WAN link. Using this traffic analysis software, you can view current traffic patterns along with details on hosts, applications, and conversations generating traffic. You can also analyse network traffic trends to identify peak usage hours, link utilization metrics, and more. NetFlow Analyzer also performs in-depth network packet analysis to give you a holistic view of application usage, protocol usage, and other utilization trends.
Incoming and outgoing network traffic is analyzed to find the top applications generating traffic on the network. From here, you can drill down to see the top hosts and conversations for each application that is listed.
Before categorizing an event or suspicious activity as an attack, there may be some unusual behaviour in your network that can help you determine whether the activity is authentic or malicious. This network traffic analysis tool helps you to analyze your network with security reports to closely follow unusual behavior and categorize it as either malformed TCP packets, invalid TOS flows, invalid Src-Dest flows, or others.
- Tapan D. Bhat
General Manager Head in Wipro Infotech
Network traffic analysis is the process of capturing, storing, and actively and passively analyzing network traffic trends to identify and troubleshoot network issues and security threats.
With ever evolving IT infrastructures, network traffic analysis (NTA) becomes essential for the following reasons:
Network traffic analysis involves monitoring both real-time and historical traffic data. Network traffic can be broadly classified as a sensitive/mission-critical, best-effort (non-critical but essential), and undesired traffic. This can further be classified for network traffic analysis as HTTP, HTTPS, streaming, VoIP, etc.,
Network traffic analysis involves measuring crucial metrics that affect your network traffic. A network traffic analyzer tool monitors metrics such as IN and OUT traffic, bandwidth utilization, packets, jitter, latency, top conversations, source and destination IPs, response time, and more.
Set pre-defined threshold settings based on utilization, duration and frequency to effectively monitor your network.
Ensure fair billing from your ISP. You could also use it for chargeback in your different departments
Assess future network requirements based on capacity planning reports.
Unearth the root cause of your network troubles and troubleshoot issues faster.
Monitor critical factors affecting VoIP, Video performance and ensure best-class service levels. Ensure seamless WAN connectivity through WAN RTT monitoring.
Validate the effectiveness of your QoS policies using CBQoS reports from NetFlow Analyzer. Prioritize your network traffic accordingly.