Wireless Network Visibility using NetFlow

1 Giugno 2016 SnetAdmin Comments Off

Wireless Network Visibility using NetFlow

These days wireless network visibility using NetFlow is helping network administrators manage network application performance by giving them insight into wireless policies that prioritize and control the BYOD applications traversing their wireless networks.

There are many challenges IT managers face on a daily basis. As the proliferation of user devices and the growth in business, personal and collaborative applications continue to grow, almost exponentially, these challenges only make the job of an IT manager harder.

Today’s networks support a mixed use of guests, employees and vendors. Without classifying and prioritizing applications on the network, employees risk losing productivity and response time to critical applications that they use.

Imagine what goes through the mind of an IT administrator who is responsible for getting a handle on device and application growth and usage on their network:

  • Is a guest downloading movies stealing valuable airtime away from my mission-critical applications?
  • What are my top users and applications?
  • Can I prioritize business-class applications and de-prioritize applications such as Netflix?
  • Do I need more Access Points?

As the need for wireless network visibility on both traffic management and security levels increase, we find that more and more vendors like CiscoAvayaHPXirrus, and Aruba Networks support NetFlow.

So let’s take a look at some examples of how Cisco Wireless NetFlow exports can help on your wireless networks.

Client traffic coming up stream or down stream is parsed through the NBAR packet library. This is a deep packet inspection (DPI) library that includes over 1000 application signatures that look deep into layer 7 to understand what the application is, what it is doing, and how much of your airtime wireless bandwidth it is taking up.

Based on the visibility we get for each flow as we understand it from the client or the server, we can remark those different flows into different quality of service queues.

Wireless Network Application Visibility

The ability to identify and remark right down to a sub-category level allows the IT administrator to differentiate between users using Google video vs Google mail, Skype Voice vs Video, and place them in different QoS queues. Even when a guest is using encrypted applications, the IT administrator will still be able to identify it, because NBAR supports heuristics based classification.

Maybe you need to gain insight into how much traffic is moving across both private and guest SSID’s, as well as client volume hitting the access points.

The report below shows each access point, what SSID it connects to, the bandwidth consumed, and the number of clients connected.

Wireless Client counts by Access Point

It’s all about observation points!

You can see how Cisco can provide unprecedented wireless network application visibility and control of the traffic traversing the network. Add this to the visibility you get with NetFlow from your routers, switches, and firewalls, and you definitely have a full picture of who and what moves across the entire network.

What are you doing to control the applications on your wireless network?  Do you even know what applications are on your wireless network?

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