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Senior Editor

Network Instruments adds NetFlow and sFlow data collection to Observer

Apr 27, 20062 mins
Enterprise Applications

* Observer now integrates NetFlow and sFlow data into its analysis capabilities

Network Instruments this week will make available an updated version of its flagship product, which now incorporates router and traffic analysis data collected by NetFlow and sFlow across enterprise nets.

The Observer platform now integrates NetFlow and sFlow data into its traffic and network performance analysis capabilities. NetFlow, an element of Cisco’s IOS, provides services for IP applications, including network traffic accounting, usage-based network billing, network planning, security and network monitoring, according to Cisco.

As a source for application traffic flow, NetFlow can reveal information about network users and applications, peak usage times, and traffic routing. SFlow also resides in switches and routers, and statistically sample network traffic to get a picture of routing, security and application traffic sources.

By incorporating this data into its Observer platform, Network Instruments says it will help customers – such as CI Travel, Weather Services International, and Select Comfort – get better visibility into which traffic is consuming their networks and more quickly detect problems.

“Getting greater visibility into traffic doesn’t require further investment from customers since NetFlow and sFlow already exist on their networks,” says Douglas Smith, president and co-founder of Network Instruments.

Observer runs on Windows and can be set up to support a distributed software design. For instance, customers can load the software on one machine and distribute probes across various locations. The software helps to gather data remotely without having to send an administrator out to analyze traffic across the network, the company says.

Network Instruments also upgraded Observer with support for Citrix communications as well as support for Avaya and Mitel systems, within its VoIP analysis features.

Pricing for Observer ranges between about $1,000 to $4,000, depending on the configuration and version.