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Home > Success Center > Netflow Traffic Analyzer (NTA) > NetFlow Traffic Analyzer Getting Started Guide > How SolarWinds NTA works

How SolarWinds NTA works

NTA Getting Started Home

Updated: March 14, 2017

SolarWinds NTA collects Class Based Quality of Service (CBQoS) and flow data, processes it, and together with performance data collected by SolarWinds NPM, presents the data in graphs and reports to show bandwidth use on your network. These reports help you:

  • Monitor interface-level network bandwidth usage, and identify users, applications, protocols, and IP address groups that consume most bandwidth.
  • Track conversations between internal and external endpoints.
  • Analyze traffic patterns, with up to one-minute granularity, over months, days, or minutes by drilling down into any network element.
  • Enhance bandwidth capacity before outages occur.

Flow monitoring architecture

The Orion Platform is used to power SolarWinds products, including SolarWinds NTA. It provides centralized administration, access control, and alerting and reporting. The Orion Web Console is the web interface used for navigating through the NetFlow Summary page, managing SolarWinds NTA settings, or common Orion features like alerts and reports. The following diagram shows how data travels from flow-enabled network devices to the SolarWinds NTA collector, which collects the data and inserts it into the SolarWinds NTA Flow Storage Database.

CBQoS monitoring architecture

CBQoS implementations work much the same way as flow-enabled implementations, except that the NetFlow collector polls each device and returns data that meets the CBQoS policies you have defined. The system keeps collected data in the SolarWinds Orion Database. The Orion Web Console is then used to navigate through the dashboard, manage the product settings, or the common features of the Orion Platform products, such as alerts and reports. For more information about CBQoS implementations, see View CBQoS data in the NTA Administrator Guide.

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How NTA licensing works

Licensing for SolarWinds NTA follows the license level of your SolarWinds NPM installation. For example, if you have an NPM license for SL250, your SolarWinds NTA license is also SL250.

When upgrading licenses, the license levels must match. For example, when you upgrade an NPM SL250 license to SL500, you must upgrade your SolarWinds NTA license to SL500.

The following SolarWinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer for SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor licenses are available:

  • SL100
  • SL250
  • SL500
  • SL2000
  • SLX

For more information on checking your SolarWinds NTA licenses, see How to check licenses in the Orion Web Console.

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