We see and hear a lot about traffic analysis and traffic monitoring but have you ever wondered what exactly is the very purpose of carrying out such an exercise?
Why is traffic monitoring important? Is there any practical benefit that they get out of it?
Well, there are so many benefits that traffic analysis could get you. The general perception about traffic analysis in today’s scenario is about knowing the who-what-when information in the network. But, to not know what benefits these reports could give you is like simply having a fully stocked kitchen without having a recipe.
This post will give some insights into how this information could help you benefit as an organization. Here are 5 things that you can do with those reports:
1. Nailing the gluttons
When there is a resource, there are different classes of users. When it comes to using the network, the applications using maximum bandwidth could be termed ‘heavy hitters’. This would help you decide if you should allow use of a particular application during working hours if it is going to consume so much bandwidth. By observing the IP destination address of the HTTP requests, you could find out the most popular websites visited by your employees. You would know your biggest bandwidth eaters and you could choose to act on them depending on the situation.
2. Network Security
If you observe an unusual amount of usage of a port, it could indicate a possible network attack. The traffic reports give you this vital information that helps you detect anomalies in the network behavior. This saves a lot of time and cost involved in recovering from an attack which is about to occur. There are a lot of options to minimize false positives as too much reading between the lines could also lead to cumbersome situations.
3. Billing – Verification
Service providers charge their customers based on their IP addresses and the amount of usage. The traffic reports act as a proof to validate your usage and to question your Service provider on the volume based on which you have been billed, if there are any discrepancies. In short, these reports could act as a means to verify if you are getting worth for your money for, from your Service Provider.
4. Engineering the network
By knowing the usage levels of the links, you could actually plan for extra links that you may need in order to avoid congestion of links. The traffic reports help a great deal in shaping the way your network would be in the future which is why it is often called a ‘tool for engineering tomorrow’s network’
Not many organizations chargeback for network usage but here are 3 reasons for doing it:
- Improved budgeting and forecasting
- Makes your departments aware of their usage and expenses they incur to the organization
- In some cases, it could help in detecting fraud
- The traffic metrics are an easy way for you to chargeback departments within the organization by means of assigning the IP groups associated with each department.
ManageEngine NetFlow Analyzer offers you all of these benefits at a very reasonable cost. You could try it for 30 days with all the features included. Now that you know it is really important to monitor the traffic in your network considering the benefits it offers you, start enjoying all these benefits with just one product that gives you more than what you pay for. Download here.
Sai Sundhar Padmanabhan
NetFlow Analyzer Team