Gartner Research

Network Tapping and Flow Tracing Tools

Published: 14 April 2010

ID: G00203952

Analyst(s): Eric Siegel


Network security and system diagnostic tools require access to traffic on the enterprise network, usually from multiple locations, along with accurate timestamping, reliable transport of collected data, and advanced analysis capabilities. Unfortunately, the rudimentary monitoring ports provided on most network equipment can fall short of what is needed. This assessment by Senior Analyst Eric Siegel, an update of "Network Tracing Tools," investigates the tools for gathering, filtering, transporting, storing, and distributing network flow tracing data. It includes discussions of how to select probe locations, an overview of some network diagnostic analysis tools, and an overview of vendor products.

Table Of Contents

Summary of Findings


  • Security and Privacy
  • Coverage of Key Probe Points
  • Tapping, Filtering, and Distribution
    • Monitor Ports
    • External Probe Taps
    • Matrix Switches
  • Time Synchronization
  • Data Transport
  • Data Storage and Access
  • Network Trace Analysis
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Selection of Probe Points and Data Access Methods
  • Data Storage and Transport
  • Security
  • Usability and Training

The Details

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