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What is Netflow?

by Mangal Tiwari
What is Netflow

What is Netflow? That’s the 64 dollar question for many electronics experts, but once you can confidently answer that question it will change your professional life around and there will truly be times where you will wonder how you got by at all without the tools of netflow at your disposal. This is because netflow offers you a basis for a new network protocol system where netflow data is introduced that has a collection of active IP network traffic and watches it as it continues to flow in and out of various interfaces. After the data is analyzed, it will be used to depict the particular behavior of the network traffic flow, and frankly, that is where the name Netflow comes from in the first place! Today, many IT experts will use these Netflow protocols everywhere simply to determine the volume, path, and point of origin. In the past, there was a protocol called SNMP, but it didn’t give out much analysis for bandwidth usage. That’s where Netflow came in.

Part of the reason why Netflow is such a tremendous asset is because it will also utilize important industry standards which are useful for engaging in various export activities. This protocol is now widely implemented throughout the system by various network equipment vendors. Of course, this is all well and good, but it still doesn’t discuss the whys and hows of the Netflow system. Just how does Netflow work? Just why is it important? Read on for an answer to these important questions.

The Process of How Netflow Works

Of course, the next step is to understand the process of how Netflow works in the first place. Basically, what you need to know is WHY Netflow works, and you can understand that by the basic components and processes that Netflow follows. First of all, you should pay attention to how Netflow keeps track of an IP Flow, which is a series of packets that will have the same IP characteristics. They are forwarded through a router or a switch. Additionally, there is the Netflow cache, which is the database where the information is condense and then the data is stored after the packets have been appropriately examined.

Finally, you have to keep in mind how to access the Netflow data. You can either use the Command Line Interface, which will give you a full-length view of the network and allows you to take in all of the most important information as well as your traffic, or you could go with the Netflow collector interface, which is a great option for simply exporting your data.

Summing Up

When it comes to working with Netflow, the important thing to realize is that even though it has been around since 1995 it is still a skill that takes practice to learn. Simply put, it’s just like learning how to ride a bike. However, the more you study it, the more you will realize just how useful of a tool that it can be for you and your business endeavors!

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