Getting complete network visibility as a network grows has always been a challenge for network administrators. Brocade switches help network administrators achieve this using sFlow technology. However, having sFlow alone in a switch is not enough; you need a monitoring tool that can represent the data available in these sFlow packets in a graphical way. That’s where NetFlow Analyzer comes in. NetFlow Analyzer helps in monitoring sFlow data from Brocade switches. sFlow monitoring does random sampling and sends the sampled packets to NetFlow Analyzer.

Enabling sFlow in Brocade switches

The commands below enable sFlow monitoring on all the interfaces of the Brocade switch. The sampling rate is set to one out of 512 and the polling counters are set to every 30 seconds. The packets are sent to the NetFlow Analyzer server (server IP on the default UDP port 9996.

    Brocade (config)# int e 0/1/1 to 0/1/24

    Brocade (config-mif-0/1/1-0/1/24)# sflow forwarding

    Brocade (config-mif-0/1/1-0/1/24)# exit

    Brocade (config)# sflow destination 9996

    Brocade (config)# sflow sample 512

    Brocade (config)# sflow polling-interval 30

    Brocade (config)# sflow enable

Once we have enabled sFlow in the Brocade switches, flows are sent to NetFlow Analyzer, which will automatically detect the switch and display the data for you.

To view the configuration, you can make use of the command below:

    Brocade # show sflow

Selecting a sampling rate

Selecting the appropriate sampling rate is important for accuracy in Brocade switches.

Link speed
Sampling rate
1 out of 200
100MB/s 1 out of 500
1GB/s 1 out of 1,000
10GB/s 1 out of 2,000

The sampling rates above have worked well in our customers’ networks. If you feel the bandwidth used by these sFlow packets is high, you can always decrease the sampling rate. For example, use 1 out of 5,000 instead of 1 out of 2,000 in a 10GB/s interface.

This way, you can use sFlow technology for networks that use Brocade switches  to gain complete visibility.

Download the free, 30-day trial of NetFlow Analyzer here.

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