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Reporting on Microsoft Exchange with Cisco NetFlow technology

Thu, 10/14/10 - 2:02pm    View how to tips comments

Microsoft ExchangeCiscoLast year MCSE and a Microsoft Exchange MVP - William Lefkovics, authored the excellent:

Exchange Management Tools Compared

Lefkovics compared the following third-party applications designed to report on Microsoft Exchange:

Michael PattersonPlixer InternationalThis week network performance vendor - Plixer International released Mailinizer, a Microsoft Exchange reporting solution based on exporting data in IP Flow Information Export (IPFIX) datagrams, Cisco Netflow Version 9 is the basis for IPFIX.

So what's Cisco's NetFlow technology doing in the email traffic reporting business?

Plixer president Michael Patterson explains:

"We had an internal need, started looking at products and felt that the exchange log reporting abilities in most products on the market were poor. We wanted to view volumes of email traffic like we do in our NetFlow reports. When we dug into the Microsoft Exchange logs, we realized that they look similar to NetFlow exports. That is when one of our developers suggested that we export the data in IPFIX datagrams.

"IPFIX is the proposed standard for Cisco's NetFlow technology. NetFlow is primarily used for network traffic monitoring. After looking at the Exchange log and seeing source and destination email address, subject, bytes, etc., it sort of smelled like NetFlow.

"Trends and filtering are our specialty, so in our opinion being able to view data over time in a trend with the ability to click and zoom in on time frames is a more fluid mechanism to narrow-in on email issues."

Also interestingly, Patterson blogged this week about the email security benefits of Mailinizer.

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Don't be shy, what tips can you provide about using Cisco's NetFlow technology as a Microsoft Exchange reporting solution?

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