Network Traffic Analysis Software collects, monitors, and analyzes the data flowing over the network and provides real-time actionable data on network traffic, applications, and bandwidth consumption. Network Traffic Analysis Software helps a network administrator to examine and optimize network infrastructure, network capacity planning, and identify and detect network security threats. The tool is available in both standalone and bundled form, which is being majorly used by enterprises and service providers.
Based on the vendors’ performance in each criterion, they are placed in 4 categories: visionary leaders, innovators, emerging companies, and dynamic differentiators. The top 25 vendors have been evaluated: Andrisoft, CA Technologies, Cisco Systems, Colasoft, Flowmon Networks, Genie Networks, HelpSystems, HPE, InMon Corp., Ipswitch, Kentik, LogicMonitor, ManageEngine, Nagios, NEC Corporation, NetFlow Auditor, NETSCOUT SYSTEMS, NetVizura (Soneco), Nokia, ntop, Opmantek, Opsview, Paessler, Plixer, and SolarWinds.
Vendors in Network Traffic Analysis Software who fall in this category receive high scores for most of the evaluation criteria and are known as visionary leaders. They have an established product portfolio and a very strong market presence. They also have strong business strategies. Visionary leaders of the Network Traffic Analysis Software market are Cisco Systems, Paessler, SolarWinds, ManageEngine, HelpSystems, Flowmon Networks, and NETSCOUT SYSTEMS.
Dynamic differentiators are established vendors with very strong business strategies. However, they have scored low in product portfolio. They focus on a specific type of technology related to the product. CA Technologies, HPE, NEC Corporation, Nokia, and Opmantek are dynamic differentiators of the Network Traffic Analysis Software market.
Innovators demonstrate substantial product innovations as compared with their competitors. They have a strong focused product portfolio. However, they do not have very strong growth strategies. Plixer, NetFlow Auditor, Colasoft, Genie Networks, Nagios, and Ipswitch fall into this category.
Emerging companies have niche product offerings and are starting to gain their positions in the market. They do not have very strong business strategies as compared with other established vendors. They might be new entrants in the market and require some more time before gaining significant traction. Emerging companies of the Network Traffic Analysis Software market are LogicMonitor, Kentik, Opsview, InMon Corp., Andrisoft, ntop, and NetVizura (Soneco)
The enterprise network involves hundreds of network devices that include workstations, switches, routers, hubs, servers, virtual machines, firewalls, and various other network-related appliances. To manage and maintain these devices, the network admin needs customized network traffic analysis and monitoring tools. These tools deliver insights into network traffic, bandwidth consumption, business applications, and protocol analysis. In addition to this, the tools help detects the problems related to security in the networks, which in turn helps the network admins prevent the network infrastructure from a network failure and outage. Consequently, the network traffic analyzer tools help organizations in monitoring the network traffic, bandwidth consumption, and congestion in the network. The tools also identify breaches, detect and mitigate security attacks, and make a network planning for the future.
Different methods are used to monitor and analyze the network traffic, namely, SNMP, Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), flow technologies, and packet capture or packet sniffing. The common network flow protocol includes NetFlow, Juniper Flow (J-Flow), Sampled Flow (sFlow) and Internet Protocol Flow Information Export (IPFIX), which are mostly used for analyzing the network traffic over the network infrastructure.
Network traffic refers to monitoring the network traffic passing over the network. The network traffic module uses NetFlow, sFlow, J-Flow, and IPFIX flow-based technologies to collect the network data flow over the network. Network admins can view the network statistics in the form of a graph over the web browser. Furthermore, they can monitor and device the traffic, the end-user traffic, and custom traffic using the NetFlow analyzer or any other flow-based method. Traffic information is available per subnets, hosts, end-to-end conversations, and ports. In addition to that, the tool can monitor the north-south and east-west traffic flowing over the network.
In networking, bandwidth refers to the rate of information flow per second over the network. Bandwidth monitoring is a process of computing the bandwidth available on the network systems. It gives statistics about the consumption of the bandwidth over the network. Bandwidth monitoring also helps the network admin in identifying the bandwidth consumption of applications, devices, and protocols, so that they can manage the network bandwidth accordingly. NetFlow, sFlow, J-Flow, WMI, and SNMP methods have been used since the last few decades to measure the bandwidth usage over the network.
Several business applications or software are run on network devices to perform business functions. Enterprises are keen to monitor these applications to gain the context of information flow around the network. The network traffic analyzer tool can monitor the standard software and web applications that include databases, mail servers, firewalls, virtual applications, and other cloud-based applications. Application monitoring helps the network admin in smoothly running the business applications, managing the usage of the applications, and reducing the downtime of the network by examining suspicious activities on the network.
NETWORK CAPACITY PLANNING
Network capacity planning helps businesses in evaluating future network requirements, based on the current, historical, and estimated network usage. Based on the available current and historical data, it gives a clear picture of the network infrastructure about its evolution in the future. Using the network traffic analyzer tool, the network capacity planning solution helps businesses in preparing for the future demands of the network. Network capacity planning benefits businesses by reducing the network downtime, upgrading the infrastructure, identifying bottlenecks, and lowering the operational costs.
Enterprise network is majorly infected by malware, DDoS, threats, worms, botnet, and viruses across the globe. Businesses are witnessing these attacks on a daily basis. The network traffic analyzer tool is the best solution for enterprises to combat their network security. The tool works on flow-based technology to detect and mitigate the DoS attacks. In addition, it also provides in-depth visibility into the network by offering anomaly detection, advanced forensics, and the security analytics module. Enterprises, data centers, MSPs, ISPs, and cloud service providers have witnessed the improvement in their network security by deploying the network traffic analyzer tool.
Best Network Traffic Analysis Software
There is an auto-discovery feature that scans predefined areas in the network. The software creates a list of devices from the collected data detailed information for which can be obtained by using several communication protocols.
It is based on pcapture and is written in a portable way which makes it possible to run on every Unix platform. The software is available for both Win32 and Unix platforms. It uses a system-independent interface, libpcap, for packet capture.
Newer versions of software have also been released like ntopng that are high-speed, web-based, and efficient.