Optimize high-traffic networks
with PRTG sFlow monitoring
PRTG works with all sFlow-supported devices
PRTG captures sFlow packets and displays the data on a dashboard
PRTG sounds the alarm in the event of errors and malfunctions
PRTG monitors sFlows – one tool for everything
PRTG lets you use 100 free sensors for as long as you like
sFlow monitoring with PRTG Network Monitor
Effective traffic analysis of the industry standard sFlow
Productivity is the Alpha and the Omega
When heavily-utilized computer networks become slower or crash, corporate productivity is impaired, often resulting in financial losses.
Networks which quickly and accurately process and exchange data are an absolute must, and can guarantee trouble-free workflows and the proper “time to market” of your product. For high-traffic networks, it is therefore a good idea to monitor data traffic and available bandwidth. To do so, you can use the industry standard sFlow, and monitor professionally with PRTG.
sFlow (short for "sampled flow") is a sampling technology for network monitoring invented by InMon. It works similarly to Cisco’s NetFlow, and was first introduced by HP. It stands for “sampled flow,” and uses statistical samples of data traffic to ensure scalability for interfaces with large amounts of data.
sFlow technology puts little strain on the CPU load and data line, and allows for the collection of detailed data. Because PRTG fully supports sFlow Version 5 (the most common version), switches and routers supplying data via sFlow can be monitored with a great deal of ease. PRTG offers several possibilities for individually processing the bandwidth consumption data that is gained as a result of its monitoring, as well as for the data’s subsequent presentation. PRTG lets you configure your dashboard so you can keep a constant eye on your data consumption!
Detect causes of traffic
With 24/7 network monitoring, you can identify the major sources of traffic and eliminate bottlenecks. The PRTG data analysis even allows for suspicious traffic to be detected. The combination of sFlow and PRTG effectively prevents downtime and provides valuable indicators which will enable you to optimize the overall performance of your network.
With PRTG, everyone will work with peace of mind.
3 statistics collected by PRTG for your sFlow monitoring
Bandwidth consumption for individual connections
and the entire network
Network activities and causes of traffic according
to IP addresses, applications, and protocols
Toplists for a quick overview of the evolution of traffic over various periods of time
How sFlow monitoring works
The sFlow protocol is an industry standard for monitoring data packets in computer networks. Bandwidth utilization data is recorded and summarized inside the router or switch of the device (these processes are referred to as “flows”), while relevant information is sent as UDP packets to PRTG for statistical processing and presentation. With sFlow, you won’t analyze all your data traffic, but only every nth data packet. This method is called “sampling,” and is obligatory for sFlow. With NetFlow, sampling can be configured as required.
When it comes to monitoring bandwidth in high-traffic networks, flow monitoring is recommended the most, for in general it uses very little CPU (in contrast to protocols like packet sniffing) can provide in-depth data analysis while consuming minimal amounts of bandwidth.
To use sFlow monitoring, your network device must support sFlow version 5 and be configured to allow flow data to be sent to PRTG.
Your network traffic at a glance
– even on the go
PRTG can be started within minutes and it's compatible with many mobile devices.
6 Advantages of PRTG
Mit PRTG automatisch über Netzwerkprobleme und Protokollfehler informiert werden, per E-Mail, Push-Nachricht, SMS und weitere Methoden – oft schon, bevor kostenintensive Ausfälle auftreten.
Speed up troubleshooting
Durch detaillierte Datenanzeige potenzielle Fehler frühzeitig korrigieren und Netzwerkausfällen vorbeugen.
Stabilize your network
Bandbreitenfresser erkennen, unnötigen Traffic reduzieren und die verfügbare Bandbreite rechtzeitig skalieren.
Unternehmensprozesse durch Bandbreitenoptimierung beschleunigen. Serviceverfügbarkeit maximieren.
Durch übersichtliche Traffic-Visualisierungen Zusammenhänge in Netzwerkverbindungen besser erfassen.
Verdächtigen Traffic aufspüren und Malware entdecken.
How to choose the right sFlow collector tool
Flows are push protocols that can be sent by target devices such as routers or switches. The same goes for sFlows: A monitoring tool is used to capture sFlow packets and process them at set intervals. These intervals can be adjusted in accordance with the amount of load you wish to generate.
sFlow collector tools
There are many different sFlow collectors on the market, including open-source tools like Nagios and proprietary software such as SolarWinds and PRTG. Each has its pros and cons. Open-source tools are considerably harder to configure. The advantage of PRTG: the collection and processing of sFlows is included. There are no additional fees. See our comparison of network monitoring tools here.
PRTG sFlow collecting software
PRTG comes with two sensors for sFlows: the sFlow Sensor and thesFlow (Custom) Sensor. Among other things, the preconfigured sFlow Sensor monitors traffic then sorts it into various channels according to standard categories and protocols. The sFlow Custom Sensor can be customized to monitor or analyze something specific, such as the traffic of a certain source or target.
“The great advantage of PRTG is that it comes with an incredibly intuitive user interface and a practical, automated scan function for adding sensors. Its alarm system is also super slick and can be customized for each individual sensor.”
Thomas Clauw, IT Manager at RougeGorge, which monitors more than 240 of its stores worldwide with PRTG.To the case study
FAQ: sFlow and sFlow tools
What is sFlow?
sFlow is a standard used to monitor large computer networks. It monitors random samples of the traffic that runs through routers and switches. The standard was first introduced in 2001 in RFC 2176.
What is the recommended sFlow sampling rate?
The default sFlow sampling rate is 8192. We do not however recommend a fixed sampling rate. The rate should be set in accordance with the amount of load you can (or wish) to generate and the extent to which you wish to monitor your network traffic. The less frequent the random sample, the lighter the load.
Which manufacturers use sFlow?
Many manufacturers use sFlow as a standard in their devices. Among others, these include Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, Arista Networks, Cisco, Dell, Extreme Networks, Fortinet/Fortigate, Huawei, Hitachi, Juniper Networks, NEC, and Netgear. However, these manufacturers do not use the standard for all their devices.
What is the difference between a sFlow collector, viewer, and analyzer?
These terms often refer to the same thing. A collector collects (captures) the sFlows, a viewer displays them, and an analyzer prepares the data as a report or a graph. PRTG does all three.
Why do I need an sFlow tool?
sFlow tools are useful for analyzing traffic. Our sFlow sensors provide you with an overview of (among other things) the various types of traffic as well as the connections, sources, and protocols in your network. PRTG monitors continuously, allowing you to track the evolution of your traffic. In the event of downtime or malfunctions, you’ll be notified at once.
sFlow vs. NetFlow – Protocols and packet data at a glance
sFlow vs. NetFlow
NetFlow is a standard that was developed by Cisco. sFlow is based on this standard, but with two major differences: sFlow is an open standard, and only sends every nth packet, or a random sample. There is however no difference in the data of the packets, which means you can perform the same packet analysis. More on NetFlow monitoring.
sFlow vs. IPFIX
IPFIX (IP Flow Information Export) is an advanced form of NetFlow. The IPFIX standard was developed by the IETF and is manufacturer-independent. IPFIX is a push protocol that sends data such as mail traffic, file transfer traffic, and web traffic. Because it is relatively new, the IPFIX protocol is often found in the newer devices of manufacturers such as Dell, Juniper Networks, and HP. IPFIX can also be configured to work with random samples. More on IPFIX monitoring
PRTG simplifies your day
Our monitoring software works for you and promptly notifies you of potential issues.
It frees you to concentrate on your day-to-day tasks with peace of mind.
PRTG saves time
With PRTG, you get one central monitoring tool for your servers and entire network. Enjoy a quick overview of your whole infrastructure via our dashboard and app.
PRTG saves worry
Customizing PRTG is a breeze. Getting started or switching from another network monitoring tool is easy thanks to the PRTG auto-discovery and pre-configured device templates.
PAESSLER AG –
- Unlimited version of PRTG for 30 days
- After 30 days, PRTG reverts to a free version
- Or, you can upgrade to a paid license anytime
Made in Germany: The PRTG Network Monitoring Tool is the fruit of a dedicated, international team. The company was founded by Dirk Paessler. The Paessler AG headquarters are located in the city of Nuremberg, in the heart of Germany.
A quick overview: PRTG provides a quick overview, whether on your desktop or as an app on your smartphone. An individually configurable dashboard features every key stat in the form of an easy-to-understand graph, so you can always make sure your network is running smoothly.
Easy configuration: Our Smart Setup guarantees a quick and easy setup. During configuration, PRTG will ping your network and create appropriate sensors, saving you a great deal of time. Furthermore, switching from other software such as Nagios is relatively quick and easy.
Outstanding support: Our support team strives to resolve inquiries within 24 hours (on business days). Discover a wide selection of videos, webinars, and instructions in our knowledge base. Our manual is also an excellent resource.
Getting started is easy: The trial version is for free, allowing you to evaluate our monitoring tool with no strings attached. To upgrade, simply search for a suitable license. You can modify your license any time you like.
|Network Monitoring Software - Version 126.96.36.1992 (October 20th, 2020)|
|Download for Windows and hosted version available|
|English, German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Dutch, Russian, Japanese, and Simplified Chinese|
|Up to 100 sensors for free (Price List)|
|Network devices, bandwidth, servers, applications, virtual environments, remote systems, IoT, and more|
Supported Vendors & Applications