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Amount of network traffic generated by NetFlow

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Updated August 23, 2016

Overview

This is a brief overview of how much additional network traffic is generated by NetFlow.

Environment

  • All NPM versions
  • All NetFlow versions

Detail

NetFlow can be enabled on one of the routers, view the amount of NetFlow packets exported (flow-export show counters), then extrapolate from there.

The way NetFlow works, all packets with the same source/destination IP address, source/destination ports, protocol interface and class of service are grouped into a flow and then packets and bytes are summed. 

So, the amount of flows generated will depend on the targets of the traffic generated by the clients in each site. If there is a wide range of IPs being contacted by clients in a particular site, you may see more flows being created by that router. NetFlow can also be enabled at remote branch locations with the understanding that the export data will utilize bandwidth. About 1-5% of the switched traffic is used for export to the collection server.

 

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