NetFlow Generation

NetFlow Generation


Challenges in NetFlow Generation

NetFlow is a simple, effective way to increase visibility into traffic types and usage patterns across systems. The flow-generated data can be used to build relationships and usage patterns between nodes on the network. Routers and switches that support NetFlow generation can create Net Flow records. However the processor and memory requirements of enabling NetFlow on networking equipment can cause performance degradation that affect their ability to pass traffic without introducing latency and packet drops. Due to this processing overhead, sampled NetFlow is implemented in most of the high-end routers. Sampling one in every “n” packets for NetFlow processing can severely limit the visibility needed to monitor flows and fail to provide a comprehensive view network trend analysis. This is particularly important for Netflow based security analytics.

NetFlow Generation

The Gigamon Solution

The advanced capabilities of GigaSMART® technology can be leveraged to generate unsampled NetFlow statistics from incoming traffic streams. Offloading NetFlow Generation to an out-of-band solution like the Gigamon Visibility Fabric™ completely eliminates the risk of degrading the performance of production network resources in generating these analytics. Combined with the flexibility offered by Gigamon’s patented Flow Mapping® technology, operators can pick and choose from the incoming flows to generate NetFlow statistics, without losing critical information. Support for NetFlow versions 5 and 9 and IP information export (IPFIX), enables seamless integration with standards-based collectors. NetFlow records can also be exported to multiple collectors concurrently, providing a single flow source for business-critical management applications such as security, billing, capacity planning, and more. Pervasive flow-level visibility across remote locations and Big Data environments can be used to derive accurate statistics such as usage patterns, top talkers, and top applications for effective capacity planning and enforcing security policies.

NetFlow-based data is summarized information and does not provide access to specific set of packets or packet payloads. Not having this information can also impede analysis around latency and jitter, application usage patterns, etc. Gigamon’s Visibility Fabric architecture is the first in the industry to summarize flow statistics as well as to provide the flexibility of aggregating, replicating, filtering, and forwarding raw traffic streams to monitoring tools for detailed troubleshooting and analytics.

The Gigamon Visibility Fabric thus establishes a scalable framework to deliver pervasive flow-level visibility across enterprises, data centers, and service provider environments to accurately secure, optimize, and manage their network infrastructure.

Feature Description

  • Combine End-to-End Traffic and Flow Visibility in a Single Solution
    • High-throughput solution with support for unsampled 1:1 NetFlow record generation
    • Integrated traffic visibility solution with NetFlow Generation
  • Out-of-Band NetFlow Generation
    • Transforms packet data across multiple devices into summarized NetFlow records
  • Supported NetFlow Export Formats
    • NetFlow v5 and v9
    • IP Information Export (IPFIX)
  • Ingress Filtering
    • Patented Flow Mapping technology enables granular control over incoming flows for generating NetFlow records
  • Multiple NetFlow Exports
    • Supports NetFlow exports for up to six NetFlow collectors; most switches and routers support limited numbers of collectors
    • Filter output for specific collectors or replicate output across multiple collectors
  • High-fidelity Solution
    • Unsampled 1:1 flow generation, providing highest clarity into network usage and security threats
  • End-to-End Visibility
    • Integrated traffic visibility solution combines patented Flow Mapping with GigaSMART capabilities and NetFlow Generation

Key Benefits

  • Optimize Production Network
    • Offload NetFlow Generation to Visibility Fabric to avoid expending expensive production network resources
    • Out-of-Band solution completely eliminates the risk of losing production traffic as a result of generating NetFlow
  • An Industry first—Combining End-to-End Traffic and Flow Visibility
    • High throughput solution with support for unsampled 1:1 NetFlow record generation
    • Integrated traffic visibility solution combines GigaSMART capabilities with NetFlow Generation
  • Facilitate Big Data Analytics
    • Increased visibility into traffic types and usage patterns across Big Data environments
  • Improved Monitoring and Security
    • Unsampled flow data provides complete and precise picture of network activity
  • Optimize Remote Monitoring
    • Summarized NetFlow statistics across remote sites
    • Optional drill downs into raw packet analytics for detailed troubleshooting and root cause analysis
  • Enhanced Operational Efficiency
    • Gain comprehensive network visibility from multiple network observation points
    • Enable end-to-end security enforcement with visibility into every flow