Ipswitch Blog

Flow Monitor v15: Overview

| January 1, 2011 | Infrastructure Monitoring Products

As a network manager, you spend a good portion of your time discovering and mapping your network, overseeing the performance of your applications and underlying physical or virtualized infrastructure, troubleshooting problems and managing alerts, or simply sharing information and reports with all major stakeholders. But, did you know that the best way to resolve intermittent network performance problems and ensure Quality of Service is to analyze, understand and manage IP traffic over your network?

Analyze and manage network and application traffic and bandwidth use with WhatsUp Gold Flow Monitor

Available as a fully integrated plug-in to WhatsUp Gold, Flow Monitor provides detailed insight into exactly how your network bandwidth and capacity are utilized and by whom. Flow Monitor not only highlights the overall utilization of the LAN, WAN, specific device, or interface, it also indicates which users, applications and protocols are consuming the bandwidth. And for business critical applications, Flow Monitor enables you to easily conduct traffic identification and analysis, as well as verify Quality of Service (QoS) through ToS, DSCP for the LAN/WAN, or new Top NBAR and CBQoS reports.

With WhatsUp Gold Flow Monitor, you can ensure application performance, oversee network traffic prioritization policies, and save money by eliminating costly bandwidth utilization issues.

With WhatsUp Gold Flow Monitor you can:

  • Configure flow enabled devices automatically
  • Determine exactly which users, applications or hosts are consuming network bandwidth
  • Track and resolve network traffic or congestion problems
  • Ensure critical business applications get the bandwidth they need
  • Measure bandwidth usage
    • Verify ISP providers billing
    • Plan for spikes in usage to avoid dropped packages or delays
    • Receive real-time alerts on bandwidth usage violations
  • Secure your network
    • Identify the introduction of viruses and worms
    • Detect DOS attacks and other rogue activity directed at your network
    • Monitor the network for unauthorized application usage; easily detect streaming audio, video, or file sharing applications
  • Do it all with you existing hardware, no upgrade required*

And if you have non-flow enabled devices in your network, you can use WhatsUp Gold Flow Publisher to extend WhatsUp Gold Flow Monitor capabilities, and gain complete visibility into your network traffic across every segment and device – whether they natively support flow monitoring or not. By capturing raw traffic from the network and converting it into standard NetFlow records, Flow Publisher complements Flow Monitor giving you complete control over your network traffic. Learn more about WhatsUp Gold Flow Publisher here.

Key capabilities of the WhatsUp Gold Flow Monitor include:

Mapping Flows to Business Units

Flow data from multiple devices and ports may be grouped together by business function allowing reports to be generated by business use or unit, rather than individual ports.  This functionality can be leveraged by both the reporting and threshold alerting engines giving rapid response capabilities to business impacting traffic bottlenecks.

Automatic flow source discovery and configuration

Using SNMP, the Flow Monitor plug-in can determine what devices on the network are “flow capable” and automatically configure those devices to forward flow records with all appropriate timeouts and flow collector parameters configured.  Effectively eliminating the need for “flow expertise” among staff who can now focus on interpreting the results and not configuring systems.

*Support for Popular Flow Formats

In a single plug-in, Flow Monitor offers support for all the popular flow management formats, including NetFlow, sFlow, J-Flow and IPFIX. WhatsUp Gold Flow Monitor also offers support for Cisco’s newest NetFlow implementation called NSEL (NetFlow Secure Event Logging), which is available on the ASA product line. With such extensive flow format support, you can utilize Flow Monitor using your existing infrastructure – no need to upgrade. Flow Monitor works with an extensive list of switches and routers from vendors such as Cisco, Extreme, Juniper, HP, and many more.

Flow Monitor also collects NetFlow compliant records from WhatsUp Flow Publisher – through which it provides visibility into application, host and user traffic across all non-flow capable devices.

Visibility into Network Bandwidth Utilization

Attempting to diagnose a slow network without visibility into QoS and exactly what traffic is causing the problem, is really only seeing a tiny part of the picture. With WhatsUp Gold’s Flow Monitor, you have the complete real-time visibility you need to manage bandwidth utilization and ensure optimal network performance.

Comprehensive Reporting

Flow Monitor collects NetFlow, sFlow and J-Flow records from routers and switches and converts them into useful reports — Top Protocols, Top Applications, Top Senders, Top Conversations and many more– which track real-time usage as well as historical trends. For example, Top NBAR Applications report offers a complete view of NBAR traffic so you can accurately diagnose application performance issues and bandwidth constraints, without having to dig deeper into the traffic flows. And new Class based QoS report offers a unified view of pre-policy and post-policy traffic side by side, including dropped or deferred packages, so network administrators can easily identify critical issues –like router saturation–that can impact overall network traffic. Additionally, 95th percentile reports provide the capability to verify service providers’ burstable billing records.

Threshold Based Alerting

In conjunction with the new Alert Center, Flow Monitor makes it easy to find out exactly where and when problems may develop in real-time. You can now set up multiple configurable thresholds tracking the volume of traffic between conversation pairs, failed connections per host, top senders and receivers, and specific interfaces over time. Custom configurable thresholds provide even more granular tracking of network traffic. With the combined Flow Monitor and WhatsUp Gold solution, alerts are sent when the configured thresholds are exceeded, enabling network managers to proactively troubleshoot and resolve performance bottlenecks and eliminate malicious network behavior.

Download a FREE trial of WhatsUpGold v15 for your desktop by visiting www.whatsupgold.com

Questions? Please contact us

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Ipswitch helps solve complex IT problems with simple solutions. The company’s software has been installed on more than 150,000 networks spanning 168 countries to monitor networks, applications and servers, and securely transfer files between systems, business partners and customers. Ipswitch was founded in 1991 and is based in Lexington, Massachusetts with offices throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America.