In this blog post we are comparing two network monitoring goliaths - Progress WhatsUp Gold and SolarWinds NPM, which is the Network Performance Monitoring module of the wider SolarWinds solution. For simplicity, we will continue to refer to this simply as SolarWinds and point-out where other plugins are required.
In this blog we take a look at NetFlow and other network packet analytics; what they are; how they work; and most importantly, should you be monitoring it.
One of the most useful things to have in your network monitoring toolkit is Network Traffic Analysis. It collects and processes network flow data, commonly available through features such as Cisco’s NetFlow as well as other network device manufacturers.
Network monitoring solutions and SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) have been around for over twenty years; and has become a staple of many a network. With age comes a scepticism about how innovative such solutions can be; and whether or not they are commoditised, with literally hundreds of vendors offering such tools.
The level or knowledge or even awareness of netflow is a mixed bag, in my experiences speaking with IT managers and network engineers. Those who have attended accredited courses for network equipment or those networking veterans will be very familiar with the technology. For others, it is a new and exciting technology which can reveal a vast wealth of insight into network traffic.