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NetFlow is a protocol for collecting, aggregatig and recording traffic flow data in a network. NetFlow data provide a more granular view of how bandwidth and network traffic are being used than other monitoring solutions, such as SNMP. NetFlow was developed by Cisco and is embedded in Cisco’s IOS software on the company’s routers and switches and has been supported on almost all Cisco devices since the 11.1 train of Cisco IOS Software. Many other hardware manufacturers either support NetFlow or use alternative flow technologies, such as jFlow or sFlow.

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Ping is a command-line utility, available on virtually any operating system with network connectivity, that acts as a test to see if a networked device is reachable. The ping command sends a request over the network to a specific device. A successful ping results in a response from the computer that was pinged back to the originating computer.

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Syslog stands for System Logging Protocol and is a standard protocol used to send system log or event messages to a specific server, called a syslog server. It is primarily used to collect various device logs from several different machines in a central location for monitoring and review.

The protocol is enabled on most network equipment such as routers, switches, firewalls, and even some printers and scanners. In addition, syslog is available on Unix and Linux based systems and many web servers including Apache. Syslog is not installed by default on Windows systems, which use their own Windows Event Log. These events can be forwarded via third-party utilities or other configurations using the syslog protocol.

Syslog is defined in RFC 5424, The Syslog Protocol, which obsoleted the previous RFC 3164.

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