graphic of a computer monitoring network metrics

Discover the Basics of NetFlow and How to Monitor Network Traffic like a Pro!

What is Netflow?

NetFlow, a protocol created by Cisco to measure and track the data traffic passing through a network device, is now widely used for monitoring networks. With it, one can quickly assess what types of information are entering or exiting their network and how much bandwidth they consume. This technology allows you to better understand your own infrastructure and gives administrators more significant insight into potential security threats.

The 3 Components of A NetFlow Protocol

NetFlow introduces a smooth yet efficient process to surpass other network monitoring systems, providing a deeper understanding of bandwidth usage. Three components collaborate to build the protocol of NetFlow, forming an all-encompassing portrait of your system’s traffic flow:

Through NetFlow’s exporters, packets are aggregated and their records are delivered to a flow collector. After the collector acquires this exported data, it is stored and pre-processed for further inspection.

Our advanced flow analytics application then evaluates the processed information in order to provide users with detailed insights about network traffic – from scrutinizing specific ports to determining bytes sent between two hosts!

How can NetFlow reveal the unseen to you?

Various types of information can be revealed, including:

  • View your network traffic with flow monitoring across all devices
  • Analyze your data by application, protocol, domain, and IPs for both sources and destinations
  • Top addresses, conversations, and autonomous systems.
  • Geolocation insights of all sources and destinations.

What are the Benefits of using Netflow Protocol?

NetFlow provides network administrators with the tools to identify, analyze and troubleshoot network performance problems. By monitoring traffic in real-time or over a given period of time, they can quickly detect and address any anomalies that could lead to security threats or bottlenecks. Additionally, it allows them to prioritize important applications and optimize their networks for improved performance.

Moreover, NetFlow helps network administrators to know what type of traffic is being used on their networks and its frequency. This insight can be combined with other security monitoring tools to prevent sophisticated attacks from happening in the future. With it, administrators can track user activities and identify any potential malicious or mischievous behavior before they cause significant damage to a system.

NetFlow for Cybersecurity

NetFlow is also useful for cybersecurity purposes. It can help organizations detect and monitor malicious activity on their networks, identify the source of attacks, and take appropriate action to prevent them from occurring in the future. With NetFlow’s data-driven approach, administrators can gain full visibility into who is accessing their network and which ports are being used. This can help them detect any suspicious activity such as:

  • Port scanning
  • Malware infections
  • Attacks based on IP address

How does NetFlow compare to SNMP?

IT professionals used to rely solely on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) for network monitoring and capacity planning. While SNMP is still widely utilized, it is not as effective at real-time management or providing detailed information about bandwidth usage like who’s using what and how much bandwidth they are consuming. Enter NetFlow: a more powerful tool with the capability of collecting data in real-time while giving visibility into which sources/destinations are communicating over the network, IP addresses that consume most traffic, application performance metrics, etc., allowing organizations to make informed decisions regarding their networks quickly.

If you’re dealing with a high volume of network traffic, NetFlow is the way to go. This push technology guarantees that your data will be available right away, so there’s no need for manual checks or waiting for set intervals like in SNMP pull technology. Plus, it offers greater detail on applications and IP sources which makes performance analysis more efficient and effective. With such impressive scalability capabilities, NetFlow is an ideal option when managing complex networks full of IP traffic.


In conclusion, NetFlow is a powerful network monitoring tool that provides administrators with detailed insights into the performance of their networks. It allows them to identify and troubleshoot any issues quickly and efficiently while also providing visibility into malicious activity on their systems. Compared to SNMP, it offers greater scalability capabilities as well as real-time data collection for more accurate analysis. If you’re dealing with high volumes of traffic or complex networks full of IPs, then leveraging the power of NetFlow is highly recommended in order to ensure your system remains secure and functions optimally at all times.


businessman spelling out NetFlow

What Is Netflow Protocol?

A NetFlow protocol is a network monitoring tool that allows businesses to see which applications are using the most bandwidth, where traffic is coming from and going to, and overall network performance. This data can be used to troubleshoot network issues, optimize traffic flow, and more. Keep reading to learn more about NetFlow protocol and how it can benefit your business.

Created By Cisco Systems

Netflow is a protocol that was created by Cisco Systems in the late 1990s and developed as a flow-based one-way technology for monitoring traffic flow. It allows network administrators to monitor both the volume and flow of data packets entering or leaving network devices on their network, providing them with valuable insight into their network infrastructure. Netflow is an invaluable tool for any organization looking to get visibility and understanding into the bandwidth requirements of their systems. With its comprehensive flow collection, it can generate reports on volumes and trends within the entire network, allowing organizations to make informed decisions regarding their infrastructure’s performance and security.

The 3 Components Of A NetFlow Protocol

NetFlow’s process is both uncomplicated and incredibly effective, making it stand head-and-shoulders above other network monitoring systems. It provides you with an extensive understanding of your bandwidth usage through three components that come together in the NetFlow protocol – presenting a comprehensive overview of the traffic flow on your network.

  • NetFlow’s exporters strategically organize and collate packets into data ‘flows,’ then promptly deliver their records to the designated flow collector.
  • Upon receiving the exported flow data, the collector will securely store and pre-process it.
  • Subsequently, our flow analytics software will analyze the data and reveal to you precisely what you need to learn about your web traffic. You can delve further into a certain port or explore the number of bytes transmitted between two particular hosts – it’s all up to you!

Collecting Information About Traffic Flows

NetFlow is a powerful protocol that allows for detailed monitoring of the data traffic flows passing through a network. It efficiently captures, stores, and evaluates data related to communication between devices, allowing companies to monitor their networks and evaluate how information is flowing. This provides an incredibly valuable insight into current and future resource allocation, enabling optimal performance of their networks. Furthermore, it can monitor anomalies that could indicate malicious activity, reinforcing security measures already in place. As such, NetFlow is an invaluable aid for companies to monitor their network performance as well as protect against potential threats.

How To Leverage That Data? 

With the help of the NetFlow protocol, organizations can gain an in-depth understanding of how their network is being used at any given time. This information can be used for various purposes, such as monitoring traffic patterns or diagnosing network problems. For example, if you notice that traffic is suddenly higher than usual on certain ports, you can use the NetFlow protocol to drill down and find out which particular systems are responsible for this increased activity. As such, NetFlow protocol offers valuable insight that goes beyond basic monitoring and can help organizations accurately diagnose and troubleshoot underlying problems in their networks. By leveraging the data provided by NetFlow, businesses can better understand what they need as a resource in order to ensure that their operations run smoothly. With its multitude of uses, NetFlow is an invaluable tool for increasing efficiency and optimizing your network performance.

Who Can Benefit From Using A NetFlow Traffic Analyzer?

For businesses looking to keep close tabs on their network traffic data, a NetFlow Traffic Analyzer is the perfect tool. It is especially suitable for organizations whose operations rely heavily on robust and uninterrupted digital communications, such as those in the public safety and utilities industries. With NetFlow-based analysis, these companies can identify any malicious or anomalous activity before it has a chance to affect service or cause damage. Plus, with real-time data being available, they are able to detect problems early while also ensuring high levels of performance. From monitoring network performance to tracking suspicious activities, large organizations across many industries can make full use of the advantages that come with implementing a NetFlow Traffic Analyzer.


NetFlow is an incredibly powerful protocol for monitoring network traffic flows and can be a major asset for organizations that need to manage resources and protect against possible threats. With the help of NetFlow, businesses can gain detailed insight into how their networks are being used, allowing them to fine-tune performance or detect any malicious activity before it’s too late. By using a NetFlow Traffic Analyzer, organizations can make the most of their network data to ensure optimal efficiency and security.  In summary, implementing a NetFlow Traffic Analyzer is an excellent way for any business to realize the full potential of its networks.

man points out issue in network monitoring overlay

Reliable Network Monitoring Solutions

Your business consists of numerous moving parts, all of which need to be functioning at their best for you to efficiently get the job done. From event monitoring to Internet speeds and security threats, you need tools to keep everything on track and catch problems before they get out of control.

Why Network Monitoring is Essential

Network monitoring from Lumics is an essential tool for businesses in today’s digitally-connected world. It provides visibility into how a network is performing, with the ability to capture, analyze and monitor data traffic in real-time. By keeping track of all the data flowing through a business’s network, network monitoring helps identify potential problems before they can adversely affect operations, ensuring a consistently high level of performance and reliability. Besides that, it also helps detect any malicious activities within the system, to protect important information from cyberattacks. As more businesses move their operations online and demand ever-increasing speed and scalability from their networks, network monitoring has become even more indispensable for ensuring smooth IT operations regardless of size or complexity.

Elements of Successful Network Monitoring

To avoid wasting time and resources on troubleshooting problems with your digital infrastructure, your network monitoring solutions should include: 


  • Automation
  • Digital Experience Monitoring
  • Event Collection and Processing
  • IP Address Management
  • Network Change and Configuration Management (NCCM)
  • Performance Monitoring
  • Security
  • Topology Mapping


There may be other facets involved in your business not listed here, but the aforementioned are often standard when it comes to running a business and running it well. Lumics offers solutions that show insight and data for reducing noise and increasing efficiency in the following areas. 


Automation is key to increasing efficiency in your network. It ensures consistent implementation of programs, allowing employees and customers to get what they need, every time.

Digital Experience Monitoring

Is your network working as it’s designed? What is keeping you informed regarding app performance? If you’re in the dark, it’s time to upgrade your digital experience monitoring so you can identify whether or not a problem is with the app itself, or your network.

Event Collection and Processing

Network events are collected and processed without presenting an overwhelming amount of alerts. Only get notifications regarding crucial events.

IP Address Management

Know what devices are accessing your network with IP address management. Network security is paramount in our digital world, and you need to be able to streamline planning, tracking, and monitoring the plethora of IP addresses used throughout your business. Domain name systems (DNS) and dynamic host configuration protocols (DHCP) are essential for ensuring all devices are assigned an IP address when they connect to your network.


Automate configuration updates by archiving each one, allowing access to retrieve any information from previous configurations. Daily drifts and audits monitor configurations to ensure they’re following design and function specifications.

Performance Monitoring

Know how every device (CPU, fans, power supply, etc…) is operating with Lumics solutions. You’ll be alerted to any failures or problems in your network before they put a stop business-as-usual.


Network monitoring needs to include intrusion prevention and detection devices. If your software can’t identify security threats and manage them without your hands-on interference, it’s not working hard enough for you.

Topology Mapping

See the landscape of your network by mapping out device connection data. See every node and link with topology mapping solutions. Whether you need 2-layer or 3-layer mapping, it’s important to see how data is flowing through all the relationships in your network.

How to Choose the Right Network Monitoring Solution for Your Business

A network monitoring solution is a powerful tool for any business. It can help you to identify issues proactively, gain visibility into your system performance, and ensure secure data transfers. When selecting the right one, it’s important to consider factors such as scalability, the total cost of ownership, customization options, and technical support. You should also look for solutions that provide real-time insights into the status of your devices so that you can quickly respond to any disruptions or threats in your network environment. With so many available solutions, it’s essential to research all your options and experiment with trial plans where possible before taking the plunge and committing to a long-term commitment.

Intro to Network Monitoring | 5 Things You Need to Know

Intro to Network Monitoring