A Survey of Network Traffic Monitoring and Analysis Tools

Chakchai So-In, so-in@ieee.org


From hundreds to thousands of computers, hubs to switched networks, and Ethernet to either ATM or 10Gbps Ethernet, administrators need more sophisticated network traffic monitoring and analysis tools in order to deal with the increase. These tools are needed, not only to fix network problems on time, but also to prevent network failure, to detect inside and outside threats, and make good decisions for network planning. This paper surveys all possible network traffic monitoring and analysis tools in non-profit and commercial areas. The tools are categorized in three categories based on data acquisition methods: network traffic flow from NetFlow-like network devices and SNMP, and local traffic flow by packet sniffer. The popular tools for each category and their main features and operating system compatibilities are discussed. The feature comparisons on each category are also made.

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