Can someone tell me if they are using packet level or flow tools for network management/monitoring?
I know that packet level is more expensive given the added hardware, but do the benefits outweigh the additional cost? An friend is looking at a few options for their organization but wanted to see if anyone had recomendations …
If your friend has the ability to control the type of traffic flowing through the network and had the ability to configure network devices, the best choice is a packet level tool. However, if your friend is like most of us – need to exhaust all application problems before the network people listen – then a monitoring (flow tool) is the best option. Monitoring the performance of an application using flow tools works very well, costs a lot less, and looks at the results – the application is slower than normal for a Friday. The key to the flow tool is establishing a baseline. One must know what a good day looks like so it is possible to determine when there is a problem. If the application is already broken (always slow and no one knows why) – go with a packet level tool. Otherwise, save the money you would spend on a packet level solution and implement a good flow control tool and monitor the performance (real-time and historical) of all application components. This way one recognizes performance patterns and problem components.
Mr. Breeland – thanks for the insight! It was Greek to me so I turned to the GovLoopers!