Hidden deep inside your routers and layer 3 switches are flow technologies, in essence these collect bandwidth usage stats that will make your job easier by identifying what the bandwidth is being used for and by whom. There are lots of reasons why we should be tapping into this resource, but firstly to explain, you are going to need what’s called a flow collector. This will allow you to report on historical data to help you analyse and compare results based upon different time periods. Plixer Scrutinizer is the most granular feature rich standalone Flow Collector out there at this time and currently supports Netflow V 1, 5, 6,7 and 9, sFlow v2, 4 and 5, IPFIX, Juniper's j-Flow and Netstream.
No longer do we have to rely on expensive probes at each location, flow technology has been around a while now, so if it's news to you then welcome back from your extended holiday!
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