Network administrators around the globe are very concerned about the types of traffic in their networks. They want their critical business applications over the WAN to perform at their best. Non-critical apps, like social media apps, downgrade the performance of WAN links. Therefore, administrators should have the necessary controls to prioritize business applications on WAN links.

Over the last two decades, administrators have used traditional NetFlow and other similar flow technologies to identify the types of traffic in their networks. Traditional flow-based traffic analysis is used to identify Layer 3 application traffic based on the port and protocol, with respect to the standards of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority.

But today, a lot of applications and services are cloud-based, and cloud adoption is growing rapidly. These cloud applications are represented as Layer 7 applications or services.

What do network administrators think?

Network administrators always think about 100% uptime and having a high-performance network. Non-business apps, like social media and video streaming apps, intermittently utilize much of the available bandwidth in the corporate network, which negatively impacts the performance of business-critical apps and the network.

Dropping traffic from non-business Layer 7 applications, random ports, and social media by identifying all the IP addresses and placing access control lists on the firewall would be tedious and wouldn’t scale for enterprise networks. Furthermore, the IP addresses and port numbers used by cloud-based applications and storage solutions are dynamic. The rules placed on the firewall would become outdated within a short span of time.

How do you identify the Layer 7 application traffic utilization?

To monitor the traffic utilization of Layer 7 applications, we need to enable Network Based Application Recognition (NBAR) on the WAN interfaces of the edge devices. To view NBAR stats, we need a NetFlow analysis tool that can parse the Flexible NetFlow and IPFIX flow records.

ManageEngine NetFlow Analyzer is a traffic analyzer that provides app-centric traffic usage statistics discovered from your organization’s flow-exporting and non-flow-exporting devices. With insights powered by NBAR technology, you can view the Layer 7 applications with up to one-minute granularity and decide to limit or allocate more bandwidth for productivity purposes.

Identifying Layer 7 application traffic to optimize WAN links - ManageEngine NetFlow Analyzer

NetFlow Analyzer’s Layer 7 app traffic monitoring and cloud service monitoring help you identify dynamic apps and make informed decisions on prioritizing bandwidth for certain apps and departments based on usage instead of purchasing more bandwidth.

Get your bandwidth management issues sorted by scheduling a personalized demo with our product experts today!