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Configuring Network Traffic Analysis

Network Traffic Analysis (NTA) is a monitoring technology for high-speed switched or routed networks. Once enabled, Network Director randomly samples network packets and sends the samples to a data learning engine (DLE) for analysis. Network traffic analysis uses packet-based sampling. Network Director samples one packet out of a specified number of packets from an interface enabled for network traffic analysis and sends the packet to the DLE. DLE uses this sampling information to create a picture of the network traffic, which includes the applications that contribute to the traffic, traffic statistics, and the top applications.

You can enable network traffic analysis on all devices, except the wireless devices, that are managed by Network Director.

Before You Begin

Before you configure network traffic analysis, ensure that:

  • You have configured one or more data learning engines to analyze the network traffic.
  • You have specified the IP address and port number of these DLEs in the System Preferences window. For detailed steps, see the Specifying the Data Learning Engine (DLE) Settings in the Setting Up User and System Preferences topic.

Note: On devices for which you want to enable NTA, sFlow must not be configured. Before you enable NTA, make sure that sFlow is not enabled on the devices to be monitored. To verify that the sFlow is not enabled, log in to the device CLI and execute the following command and verify the output:

[root@user ~]# show protocols sflow | display set

No output is displayed when sFlow is not configured on the device.


To configure network traffic analysis:

  1. Log in to Network Director.
  2. Under Views, select Logical View, Location View, Device View, or Custom Group View.
  3. Click Deploy in the Network Director banner.
  4. In the Tasks pane, select Configuration Deployment > Enable Network Traffic Analysis.

    The Enable Network Traffic Analysis page opens.

  5. Select the check box adjacent to Enable Traffic Analysis on Devices when Port Utilization exceeds certain percentage to enable network traffic analysis. The default port utilization percentage value is 90%. You can change the default value to a value that is appropriate for your network.
  6. Specify the number of packets from which a packet must be sampled in the Sample rate field.

    Network Director samples one packet out of a specified number of packets from an interface enabled for network traffic analysis and sends the packet to DLE.

    For example, if you configure a sampling rate of 10, one packet is sampled from every 10 packets.

  7. Click Add Devices to add new devices for network traffic analysis.

    The Add Devices window opens.

  8. In the Add Devices window, select the devices for which you want to enable network traffic analysis.
  9. Click Add.

    Network Director adds the selected devices to the list in the Enable Network Traffic Analysis page.

    To remove a device, select a device from the list and click Remove.

  10. Click Save to save the network traffic analysis configuration details.

    Network Director initiates traffic analysis when traffic utilization on any interface of the devices added to the Enable Network Traffic Analysis page exceeds the port utilization that you specified. You can view the traffic analysis details from the Monitor mode > Traffic Analysis or the Device & Port Utilization dashboard widget.

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