Many Network Engineers can very well relate to the fact that there are issues which erupt out of a system that may not always be apparent and this is the point where analysis of the network traffic becomes imperative. However users need to understand as to what NetFlow is and what do the NetFlow Analyzers actually do?
NetFlow Analyzers and Collectors are tools that can come in very hand when one plans to monitor and analyze the traffic in the network in order to assist in catering to issues or even forbidding them from progressing further before they actually become a hassle. NetFlow Analyzers let you identify the devices that are choking bandwidth, help you locate the bottleneck areas of your system and provides you with a blueprint of the overall efficiency of your network.
The word “NetFlow” basically is a Cisco proprietary protocol that collects data regarding the IP traffic of a network and there are multiple NetFlow Analyzers out there that can be used to keep an eye on the network and we will be discussing a few of them which top the list.
SolarWinds Real-Time NetFlow Traffic Analyzer
The NetFlow Analyzer for web traffic by SolarWinds comes for free and is one of the most renowned analyzing tools out there waiting to be used. This is the tool that lets you arrange, map out and present data in multiple ways so that you can better understand the route of your network’s traffic. It can be a great help when it comes to viewing type of traffic in specific spans of time or for analyzing the bandwidth that different applications use. However this tool restricts you to a single NetFlow interface records only 60 minutes worth of data. Hence this NetFlow Analyzer from SolarWinds is a superb tool that is worth being given a shot.
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2. Colasoft Capsa Free
Colasoft Capsa Free is another NetFlow Analyzer manufactured by the Colasoft which lets you recognize and keep an eye on particular protocols and is compatible with more than 300 of these protocols. It also you to generate customized data reports and comprises of monitoring emails and gives you a graph of the TCP timing sequence, all organized into a single customized dashboard. Other tools that this NetFlow Analyzer comprises of are the in detail analysis of network security, any malware activity or recognition of an attack, data display and decoding of the packets with stats on every network and even monitors conversations. Access this web link to get started http://www.colasoft.com/
3. Angry IP Scanner
Angry IP Scanner is basically a small, NetFlow Analyzer that is open source and is extremely easy to get acquainted with. It doesn’t need any installation and is compatible with Linux, Windows, and Mac OSX. It works by IP address pinging and is able to figure out the names of host, access MAC address, can detect ports, give you data on NetBIOS information, see the signed in users on Windows systems, detect web servers and a lot more. It is very beneficial software that is portable and easy to use.
4. ManageEngine NetFlow Analyzer Professional
The complete features ManageEngines’s version for the NetFlow Software is an extremely powerful tool that has a wide ranged system analysis and data collection features. They comprises of real time monitoring of the network bandwidth, it lets you set notification alarms for a particular level of bandwidth usage, gives you summary of network usage, lets you see all protocols and a lot more. They give you a free version to use for 30 days with unlimited monitoring and after the trail period you only get to monitor two interfaces.
5. The Dude
The Dude may create an image of a cool guy enjoying a nice sunny day at the beach who is oblivious of the world but this is an application that is basically a famous NetFlow Analyzer and is the production of the MikroTik. Once installed, it begins the scanning of all devices on its own and maps out the data of all networks. It keeps a check on all servers that are operating various devices and alarms you if an issue arises. Furthermore it comprises of tools such as the auto-discovery and generating maps on new devices, it gives you the platform to create your own maps. You can even remotely keep an eye on all devices using The Dude NetFlow Analyzer.
6. JDSU Network Analyzer Fast Ethernet
A JDSU Network Analyzer Fast Ethernet is a powerful but extreme user friendly NetFlow Analyzer that lets even a layman gather network data and access it from any network. It further allows you to see the signed in users, recognize the bandwidth usage for every machine and usage by each user, it also helps you find and fix errors before they present a big issue and also lets you capture network data for a detailed analysis. The application can also generate well created drafts that allow administrators to see anomalies in the network traffic, helps you put filters to go through enormous data and folks a lot more than just this.
7. Plixer Scrutinizer
This NetFlow Analyzer tool is a complete packaged platform which gives you the platform to collect and analyze the network traffic route and guide you on how to locate and fix errors that can potentially become a huge problem later on. With Plixer Scrutinizer, you can even place filters and manage your network in any way you want to. The free version of this software lets you keep an eye on unlimited data amounts and can keep almost a day’s worth of network data.
Wireshark is also a NetFlow Analyzer that is high powered with multiple features and has given a huge competition to other paid services. It runs on a cross platform and is compatible on Linux, Windows, MacOS X, Solaris, and other systems. Wireshark allows you to see collected network data using GUI, or you can utilize the TTY-mode TShark utility.
It further has the ability to access VoIP traffic, give you a live data review from the Ethernet and uses all other features. The requirements for the system comprise of your device to be at least Windows XP and to any 64/32bit processor modern version, 400MB RAM available and a disk space of at least 300MB. Wireshark NetFlow Analyzer hence is a tool that every administrator should opt for.
9. Paessler PRTG
PRTG by Paessler also has many amazing features to offer and comprises of the ability to monitor LAN, WAN, VPN, also the apps, the virtual servers, QoS, and the overall monitoring of the web environment. This tool can also perform Multiple Site Monitoring.
PRTG further makes use of SNMP, WMI, NetFlow, sFlow, jFlow, and Packet Sniffing to keep an eye Bandwidth, in addition to the downtime monitoring plus it also supports IPv6. The Freeware version provides you with unlimited management for 30 days and then will give you 100 sensors for free.
nProbe manufactured by ntop is another open source NetFlow Analyzer with complete featured package and in details analyses the collected data. It may not consist of advanced visual bells-and-whistles that other tools have but this in no way means that nProbe is any less than the other tools for network analysis.
The binary installation of the tool restricts the capturing of data to only 2000 packets but it is free for access for educational institutions, non-profit organizations and research institutes.