What is Network Traffic Monitoring?
Network Performance Management helps in Network traffic monitoring, to review, analyze and manage network traffic for any abnormality. Network traffic analyzer is the process that can affect network performance, availability and/or security. Network traffic monitor uses various tools and techniques to study your computer network-based traffic.
When networks get busier it is very common, that the overall speed of these networks slows down. A lot of different trends are getting popular in the IT infrastructure like an increase in the use of cloud servers, video, VOIP etc. All these trends put tremendous pressure on IT infrastructure resources. When the stress on any network increases, it is very common for the companies to monitor network traffic with the help of Network monitoring software.
The process is not only costly but it is also effective for a very short period of time. When you provide more IT infrastructure resources to the network but do not try to lower down the pressure, in end the infrastructure will again face similar issues which it was facing before the upgrade.
The best way to identify the kind of network traffic and its source is the Netflow analyzers. In general terms, Netflow is a feature that was first introduced in Cisco devices. It can collect IP based network traffic by monitoring the inflow and outflow of the data. It helps the administrator to keep a check on the source and destination of the traffic, class of service and reasons of congestion. It makes it easier to understand the network traffic and manage it properly, as the quote from Peter Drucker (Management Guru) goes “What Gets Measured, Gets Managed”.
Why Network Admin Needs Network Traffic Monitoring
There are several justifiable reasons to monitor overall traffic on the network. The information produced by the network traffic monitoring tools could be used in numerous IT operational and security use cases. For example – To find out security vulnerabilities and also troubleshoot network related issues and analyze the impact of new applications on the overall network.
However, an important note in this regard – not all the tools for monitoring network traffic are the same. Usually, they could be divided into two broad types – Deep packet inspection tools and flow-based tools. Within these two types, you have the choice of tools which do not need software agents, tools. Also, they should store historical data, and tools with intrusion detection systems which monitor network traffic within the network as well as along the network edge.
#1. Internal network visibility
Network flow monitoring software which supports protocols such as Netflow, IPFix, JFlow, sFlow etc. can provide complete visibility of internal network traffic. With Motadata, IT department can generate insightful reports about following types and kinds of traffic
Traffic for Top Applications | Traffic for Top Conversations | Traffic Destinations with Host IP | Top Traffic Sources With IP address | Top Traffic Receivers with IP | IP to IP Traffic | Protocol Traffic | Port Traffic | Application Traffic
#2. Identification of slow applications
Speed aka performance plays an important role in user experience. One of the most raised help desk ticket is about application (web application, Go-to-Meeting, Skype etc.) being slow or getting crashed. There can be 100s of reasons out of which only one or two will be relevant at any particular time. Identifying the reason is not only time-consuming but costly as well. The next generation Netflow software can filter and report the accurate cause. By combining the internal data reports with the external resources, the system administrator can learn a lot about the system and the faulty network.
#3. Detection of spyware and other hacks
When these worms attack your network, they form a very unusual data flow in and out. With the help of Netflow, these unusual patterns are easy to detect. In case you are not using some data analyzer, these patterns often go unchecked due to the fact that these are designed to fool the human administrator.
Most of these worms often cause non-financial problems by creating a bad image for the company. However, in some cases, the effect of these worms can include high rates of financial loss as well.
#4. Detection of outflow of personal information of clients
This point is especially applicable to the companies that deal in Payment Gateways or Payment Card Industry. A good payment gateway never lets the personal information of the client to get leaked out from its system. In a particular hack, such information may start flowing out which is instantly reported by the Netflow software.
#5. Departmental bandwidth usage
If you are worried about the overall usage of the network and unable to find out which department is using the data flow in a massive amount, Netflow can come in handy. It can track and point out IPs and devices which are using the network resources. The administration can take proper action to reduce the pressure on the network then.