Today we’re going to explore the Best sFlow Collectors and Analyzers on the market for gathering flow data to analyze and dissect for traffic and bandwidth analysis.
Network monitoring tools are a critical aspect of today’s network-driven world. There are different industry standards to monitor the traffic that passes through networks, and sFlow is one such standard. sFlow is used for monitoring high speed switched networks and gives complete visibility into the use of networks.
Users can glean rich information using this standard, that in turn, can eventually lead to performance optimization, protection against security threats, understanding bandwidth usage and more.
Since sFlow is an important industry standard, many companies have come up with tools that collect and analyze this network information.
Here’s a look into the top sFlow collectors & analyzers for traffic and bandwidth analysis.
Here’s the Best sFlow Collectors & Analyzers of 2021:
- SolarWinds sFlow Collector Tool
- PRTG sFlow Sensor
- ManageEngine NetFlow Analyzer
Methodology for selecting the Best sFlow Collectors & Analyzers
Choosing the right sFlow collectors and analyzers is a key factor in getting the most out of your network data. Here, we will discuss the methodology for selecting the best sFlow collectors and analyzers to ensure that you get maximum performance from your network.
- Make sure to look at factors such as scalability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness.
- Check if the selected tool captures, analyzes, and shows all detailed information about the packet data.
- Does it support filters that help in categorizing data into different groups?
- Is the selected sFlow collectors and analyzer tool compatible with different operating systems?
- Does it offer graphical or text-based UI?
- Does the reporting feature allow exporting data in different file formats?
1. SolarWinds sFlow Collector Tool – FREE TRIAL
SolarWinds sFlow Collector Tool is one of the most popular tools used for gathering and analyzing information using the sFlow standard. It’s a part of the larger network traffic analyzer suite, so users can get a truly comprehensive software that analyzes every aspect of the network, not just the sFlow standard.
Here are some of the other reasons that add to its popularity.
- Monitors bandwidth by application, protocol or IP address group.
- Drills down into any network element to provide a detailed report on it. Such detailing makes it easy to identify the root cause of a problem and to fix it quickly.
- Analyzes network traffic for any number of minutes, days, or even months.
- Comes with PerfStack cross-stack network data correlation
- Has a well-designed dashboard to monitor network traffic in real-time.
- Helps to identify the IP addresses and applications that consume a lot of network bandwidth.
- Comes with an installation and configuration wizard that makes setup a breeze.
- Makes it easy to identify bandwidth spikes
- Provides assistance in discovering the IP addresses and apps that use a lot of network bandwidth.
- Helps analyze every aspect of the network rather than just the sFlow standard
- Comes with an easy-to-use installation and configuration wizard.
- Quick to discover bandwidth spikes
- Generates detailed reports and discovers the root cause of every problem.
- Some users find difficulty in backup installation and running operations.
SolarWinds sFlow Collector Tool is a powerful and comprehensive network monitoring solution that enables organizations to collect, analyze, and visualize critical data related to their IT infrastructure. This tool helps organizations identify potential issues quickly, allowing them to take proactive steps to prevent downtime or other problems.
Additionally, SolarWinds sFlow Collector Tool provides real-time visibility into network performance and usage, enabling organizations to make informed decisions about their IT investments. With its easy-to-use interface and comprehensive reporting capabilities, SolarWinds sFlow Collector Tool is an invaluable asset for any organization looking to maximize the efficiency of their IT operations.
Download: Start 30-day FREE trial
Official Site: https://www.solarwinds.com/netflow-traffic-analyzer
OS: Windows Server
Price: 30 day Free Trial!
Official Download: https://www.solarwinds.com/netflow-traffic-analyzer/registration
2. PRTG sFlow Sensor
PRTG Network Monitor’s sFlow Sensor captures traffic data from any sFlow V5 compatible device, analyzes it and displays the traffic under pre-defined categories. There are many filter option available in this tool to divide the traffic under different categories. This sensor is a part of PRTG’s Network Monitor tool.
Besides categorization, here are other features that make the Network Monitor tool a comprehensive one for sFlow monitoring.
- No forms of registration required at the time of download.
- Installs in about three minutes and doesn’t require any additional downloads
- Browser-based interface to access data from anywhere
- Comes with an enterprise console and an interface for all mobile devices.
- 200 sensor types that cover every possible aspect of network monitoring
- Uptime/downtime monitoring and bandwidth monitoring using sFlow, SNMP, NetFlow and WMI
- 10 different notification technologies such as push message, email, SMS, Syslog trap, HTTP request, alarm sound files, event log entry and more.
- Monitors all subsidiaries and separated networks within the organization
- Dashboard displays performance and status information in real-time
- Reports generated in HTML or PDF format as well
- Reporting tasks can be scheduled
- Stores the data of thousands of sensors for many years
- Multi-language interface
- Ability to collect traffic information from any sFlow V5 compliant device, analyze it, and organize the data into pre-defined categories.
- Filters help categorize traffic into distinct groups.
- For download, no registration is necessary.
- Supports 200 different types of sensors that can be used for network monitoring
- Generates reports in different file formats, including HTML or PDF format
- Only the IPv4 protocol is supported by this sensor.
- Difficult to use in the cluster mode.
Price: License for this product starts at $1,695.
Official Download: A free trial is available at https://www.paessler.com/prtg
sFlowTrend is a free tool from inMon and is used to generate real-time displays of network bandwidth usage based on the sFlow standard.
Below are some of its salient features.
- Identifies bandwidth hogs to improve performance and reduce costs
- Monitors critical host performance parameters such as CPU and memory utilization.
- Generates reports on current and historical performance of the network.
- Quickly identifies the cause of problems and abnormal traffic patterns
- Accepts sFlow data from a maximum of five switches or hosts
- Stores one hour of data in memory
- sFlowTrend Pro has no restriction on the number of hosts or switches that can be monitored. Also, any amount of data can be stored on the disk.
- Monitors both physical and virtual server performances to provide a complete view of the network usage.
- Simple installation and a user-friendly interface makes it ideal for all users
- Supports Windows 32-bit and 64-bit OS, Mac OS X and Linux.
- Requires Java 7 or later versions, as this tool is written in Java.
- Offers a web-based interface to access data from any device and location.
- Depending on the sFlow standard displays real-time representations of network bandwidth usage.
- Creates reports on the network’s performance for both current and historical events.
- Compatible with Mac OS X, Windows 32-bit and 64-bit OS versions, as well as Linux.
- The total number of hosts or switches that can be tracked by sFlowTrend Pro is not limited.
- Provides a web-based interface that enables users to access data from anywhere, regardless of their device type or location.
- Reporting is not very extensive.
- sFlowTrend requires more alert integration options.
Price: sFlowTrend is available for free. sFlowTrend Pro is a fully featured network monitoring tool that comes with advanced features. Contact the support team for its pricing.
Official Download: sFlowTrend can be downloaded at https://inmon.com/products/sFlowTrend.php#download. A free trial for sFlowTrend Pro is available at https://inmon.com/products/sFlowTrend-Pro.php#evaluate.
4. ManageEngine NetFlow Analyzer
ManageEngine’s NetFlow Analyzer is a network bandwidth monitoring tool that offers real-time visibility into the network performance.
It comes with the following features.
- Monitors network bandwidth usage in real-time.
- Offers the option to create customized reports with specific details such as IP address, host name, protocol and more.
- Enables users to limit the use of bandwidth-intensive applications.
- Helps to identify the problems in network bandwidth
- Detects any internal or external security threats by constantly looking for abnormal patterns in network usage.
- Comes with a rich set of bandwidth analysis reports to get an insight into the usage pattern of applications and users within the network.
- Monitors traffic between two specific sites that were created based on an IP address or IP network.
- Provides capacity planning reports to help organizations assess the future IT requirements.
- Generates alerts and notifications based on pre-defined threshold settings
- Tracks network bandwidth usage and offer visibility into the network performance in real time.
- Constantly run scans to discover unusual patterns in network usage and detects internal or external security threats
- Reports on capacity planning are made available to enterprises to aid in determining their future IT needs.
- Generates bandwidth analysis data to help users understand how users and apps use the network.
- Allows creating specialized reports with details like IP address, host name, protocol, etc. for better analysis.
- Not a great solution for small home networks
- The user interface might require some improvement in how it flows.
Price: Contact the sales team to get a quote
Official Download: A free trial is available at https://www.manageengine.com/products/netflow/download.html
Wireshark is a free and popular network analyzer that helps users to get a microscopic view of the network. It’s many handy features make it the de-facto tool in many commercial and non-commercial applications world over.
Here’s a look at some of its features.
- Captures, analyzes and displays detailed information for packet data
- Comes with filters to categorize data into different groups for easy analysis
- Captures data from any number of wired, wireless and virtual devices
- Comes with a graphical as well as a text-based UI for easy understanding of network issues
- Supports Windows XP and higher versions, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, NetBSD and Linux
- Provides real-time analysis of data
- Allows users to apply coloring rules for different categories
- Gives the option to export the output to a CSV, XML or plain script file.
- Reads live data from the Ethernet, IEEE 802.11, Bluetooth, USB, FDDI and more.
- Offers VoIP analysis
- Provides decryption support for many protocols.
- Uses filters to group data into various groups for simple analysis
- Supports VoIP analysis and decryption for most protocols.
- Both text-based and graphical user interface is available for a simple understanding of network issues
- Compatible with Linux, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, NetBSD, and higher versions of Windows XP
- Allows exporting output in different file formats, including CSV, XML, or plain script files.
- Since humans only view things at microscopic levels, it can be a little difficult for new users to understand.
- The User Interface requires attention and must be made more attractive.
Official Download: https://www.wireshark.org/#download
Overall, sFlow Collector & Analyzer tool is essential to analyze packet data using sFlow standards. It’s almost impossible to manually collect and analyze packets, considering that the network size is growing every second. This makes sFlow collectors & analyzers a handy tool for managing today’s complex networks.
The above list gives a glimpse into the top sFlow collectors & analyzers available today and what they can do for any business. Let us know your favorite.