How to Monitor Network Traffic

What is Network Traffic?

Network devices, applications, infrastructure, and other resources are constantly monitored for performance and diagnostics. These often form the basis of network-performance related triage operations. While network infrastructure can be the cause of network slowdowns, most network clogs can be diagnosed by monitoring network traffic.

IP flow management and monitoring can offer detailed insight into the movement of network traffic. Tools like WhatsUp Gold gather IP flow information in a variety of flow management formats, including NetFlow, J-Flow and sFlow. By sampling IP flows (an IP flow is a series of IP packets transmitted from a particular source to destination across a port), and analyzing them, flow management tools can isolate inbound and outbound network traffic based on application, users and hosts.

Capabilities of Traffic Monitoring Tools

Traffic monitoring software can classify network traffic by type and protocol, which can aid in identifying applications/protocols causing network congestion problems. Many security attacks like DoS/DDoS and viruses often cause traffic anomalies including unusual spikes in network traffic and high number of failed connections. Historically analyzing and trending traffic patterns can be useful in proactively identifying and repelling these attacks. By leveraging real-time alerts and thresholds (based on volume of traffic, failed connections per host, top senders/receivers), the administrator can ensure rapid response to security issues.

Tools should not only monitor the traffic coming in and out of your network, but also be a key gauge of bandwidth utilization to identify key bottlenecks in the network, and see which users, applications or systems are hogging bandwidth. Are your network users engaging in bandwidth-intensive activities or spending hours on end watching YouTube?

The traffic monitoring software you choose will also be a key element in resolving network performance problems and ensuring quality of service (QoS), by analyzing, understanding and managing IP traffic over the network.

How to Choose the Right Tool

Read this eBook to learn what to look for in a traffic monitoring tool so you can stop manually monitoring your networks; avoid DDoS attacks; and ensure adequate bandwidth for business-critical applications now and in the future.

Monitor Network Traffic with WhatsUp Gold

WhatsUp Gold gives you detailed visibility into exactly how your network bandwidth and capacity are utilized. It gives you the granular visibility into exactly which users, applications and protocols are consuming costly business-critical bandwidth, in concert with highlighting overall utilization of LAN, WAN, specific device or interface. Also, for business-critical applications, WhatsUp Gold allows for traffic identification and analysis, and verification of quality of service, through ToS, Top NBAR reports and more.

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