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For the first time ever, a Cisco product supports sFlow technology!

Cisco heats up the network performance and security monitoring debate.

Hershey, PA: Tue, 9/4/12 - 11:59pm    View comments

sFlowCiscoCisco's high frequency trading (HFT) and big data center switch, the Nexus 3000 Series, now supports the network performance and security monitoring technology, sFlow.

This is the first time any Cisco product has supported sFlow technology!

Cisco's NX-OS 5.0(3)U4(1) release supports the sFlow standard. View Cisco's configuring sFlow guide as well as sFlow's configuring Cisco switches for sFlow.

Adam PowersLast week Plixer's network security guru, Adam Powers, created a firestorm with his controversial blog story:

NetFlow vs. sFlow for network monitoring and security: The final say

"The only people that ever say 'sFlow is better than NetFlow' are those that haven't used both and seen the difference for themselves.

"Most customers that I've talked to, and there have been hundreds over the years, want sFlow to 'just behave like NetFlow'. In fact many customers, when faced with the prospect of sampled data, will deploy NetFlow generators (sometimes called 'flow probes') such as nBox or Cisco's NGA to create NetFlow based on SPAN ports rather than deal with the difficulties sFlow presents.

"The NetFlow vs. sFlow war is over. Someone should let them know. Perhaps this will help."

Read more of Adam Power's blog story...

Then later that week, sFlow shot back at Powers with its own bombshell of a blog story:

Cisco adds sFlow support

"The Nexus 3000 series are the first Cisco switches based on merchant silicon, which includes hardware support for sFlow, offering scalable, wire-speed, monitoring of all traffic flowing throughout entire networks of Nexus 3000 series switches.

"Since the Nexus 3000 series switches are the first Cisco products with sFlow... Cisco network administrators who are likely to be unfamiliar with sFlow technology. As a Cisco network administrator, you are likely to have experience with using Cisco's Switched Port Analyzer (SPAN) technology to selectively monitor traffic in Cisco edge switches and with Cisco's Netflow technology for monitoring TCP/IP traffic in Cisco routers.

"sFlow differs significantly from NetFlow and understanding these differences is important if you want to get the most out of sFlow:

  1. sFlow is highly scalable.
  2. sFlow is not just for switches.
  3. sFlow exports interface counters.
  4. sFlow is easy to configure and manage.
  5. sFlow exports packet headers not flow records.
  6. sFlow functionality is determined by the choice of sFlow analyzer.
  7. sFlow is a multi-vendor standard supported by almost every network equipment vendor."
Read more of sFlow's blog story...

Related documents:

IPFIX configurations by vendor (scroll down)

NetFlow bandwidth calculator

NetFlow commercial software packages

NetFlow configurations by vendor

NetStream configurations by vendor (scroll down)

sFlow application notes

sFlow commercial software packages

sFlow configurations by vendor (scroll down)

sFlow exporting devices by vendor

View more Cisco tools...

Related blog story:

Cisco's NetFlow vs. Inmon's sFlow: Which will prevail?

What's your take?

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