<%NUMBERING1%>.<%NUMBERING2%>.<%NUMBERING3%> PRTG Manual: NetFlow V9 Sensor

The NetFlow V9 sensor receives traffic data from a NetFlow V9 compatible device and shows the traffic by type. Please make sure the sensor matches the NetFlow version your device is exporting! There are several filter options available to divide traffic into different channels.

This sensor can show the following traffic types in kbit per second:

  • Chat (IRC, AIM)
  • Citrix
  • FTP/P2P (file transfer)
  • Infrastructure (network services: DHCP, DNS, Ident, ICMP, SNMP)
  • Mail (mail traffic: IMAP, POP3, SMTP)
  • NetBIOS
  • Remote control (RDP, SSH, Telnet, VNC)
  • WWW (web traffic: HTTP, HTTPS)
  • Total traffic
  • Other protocols (other UDP and TCP traffic)
     

Which channels the sensor actually shows might depend on the monitored device and the sensor setup.
 

NetFlow V9 Sensor

NetFlow V9 Sensor

Click here to enlarge: http://media.paessler.com/prtg-screenshots/netflow_v9.png

Remarks

  • Note: You must enable NetFlow export of the respective version on the monitored device for this sensor to work. The device must send the flow data stream to the IP address of the PRTG probe system on which the sensor is set up (either a local or remote probe).
  • This sensor type cannot be used in cluster mode. You can set it up on a local probe or remote probe only, not on a cluster probe.
  • Knowledge Base: How can I change the default groups and channels for xFlow and Packet Sniffer sensors?
  • For a general introduction to the technology behind flow monitoring, please see manual section Monitoring Bandwidth via Flows.

Add Sensor

The Add Sensor dialog appears when adding a new sensor on a device manually. It only shows the setting fields that are imperative for creating the sensor. Therefore, you will not see all setting fields in this dialog. You can change all settings in the sensor's Settings tab later.

Sensor Settings

On the details page of a sensor, click on the Settings tab to change its settings.

Note: Usually, a sensor connects to the IP Address or DNS Name of the parent device on which you created this sensor. See section Device Settings for details. For some sensor types, you can define the monitoring target explicitly in the sensor settings. Please see below for details about available settings.

Basic Sensor Settings

Sensor Name

Enter a meaningful name to identify the sensor. By default, PRTG shows this name in the device tree, and in alarms, logs, notifications, reports, maps, libraries, and tickets.

Parent Tags

Shows Tags that this sensor inherits from its parent device, group, and probe. This setting is shown for your information only and cannot be changed here.

Tags

Enter one or more Tags, separated by space or comma. You can use tags to group sensors and use tag–filtered views later on. Tags are not case sensitive. We recommend using the default value.

You can add additional tags to it, if you like. Other tags are automatically inherited from objects further up in the device tree. These are visible in above as Parent Tags.

Priority

Select a priority for the sensor. This setting determines where the sensor is placed in sensor lists. Top priority is at the top of a list. You can choose from one star (low priority) to five stars (top priority).

NetFlow Specific Settings

Receive NetFlow Packets on UDP Port

Enter the UDP port number on which the flow packets are received. It must match the one you have configured in the NetFlow export options of your hardware router device. Please enter an integer value.

Note: When configuring export, make sure you select the appropriate NetFlow version for this sensor.

Sender IP

Enter the IP address of the sending device you want to receive the NetFlow from. Enter an IP address to receive data from a specific device only, or leave the field empty to receive data from any device on the specified port.

Receive NetFlow Packets on IP

Select the IP address(es) on which PRTG listens to NetFlow packets. The list of IP addresses you see here is specific to your setup. To select an IP address, add a check mark in front of the respective line. You can also select and deselect all items by using the check box in the table head. The IP address selected here must match the one you have configured in the NetFlow export options of your hardware router device.

Note: When configuring export, make sure you select the appropriate NetFlow version for this sensor.

Active Flow Timeout (Minutes)

Enter a time span in minutes after which new flow data must be received. If the timeout is reached and no new data was received during this time, the sensor switches to an Unknown status. Please enter an integer value. We recommend setting the timeout one minute longer than the respective timeout configured in your hardware router device.

Note: If you set this value too low, flow information might get lost!

Sampling Mode

Define if you want to use the sampling mode. This setting must accord to the setting in the flow exporter. Choose between:

  • Off: The standard flow will be used.
  • On: Switch into sampling mode and specify the sampling rate below.

Sampling Rate

This field is only visible when sampling mode is enabled above. Enter a number that matches the sampling rate in your exporter device. If the number is different, monitoring results will be incorrect. Please enter an integer value.

Log Stream Data to Disk (for Debugging)

Define if the probe will write a log file of the stream and packet data to the data folder (see Data Storage). Choose between:

  • None (recommended): Do not write additional log files. Recommended for normal use cases.
  • Only for the 'Other' channel: Only write log files of data that is not filtered otherwise and therefore accounted to the default Other channel.
  • All stream data: Write log files for all data received.

Note: Use with caution! When enabled, huge data files can be created. Please use for a short time and for debugging purposes only.

Channel Configuration

Channel Selection

Define the categories the sensor accounts the traffic to. There are different groups of traffic available. Choose between:

  • Web: Internet web traffic.
  • File Transfer: Traffic caused by FTP.
  • Mail: Internet mail traffic.
  • Chat: Traffic caused by chat and instant messaging.
  • Remote Control: Traffic caused by remote control applications, such as RDP, SSH, Telnet, VNC.
  • Infrastructure: Traffic caused by network services, such as DHCP, DNS, Ident, ICMP, SNMP.
  • NetBIOS: Traffic caused by NetBIOS communication.
  • Citrix: Traffic caused by Citrix applications.
  • Other Protocols: Traffic caused by various other protocols via UDP and TCP.

For each traffic group, you can select how many channels will be used for each group, i.e., how detailed the sensor divides the traffic. For each group, choose between:

  • No: Do not account traffic of this group in an own channel. All traffic of this group is accounted to the default channel named Other.
  • Yes: Count all traffic of this group and summarize it into one channel.
  • Detail: Count all traffic of this group and further divide it into different channels. The traffic appears in several channels as shown in the Content column. Note: Extensive use of this option can cause load problems on your probe system. We recommend setting specific, well-chosen filters for the data you really want to analyze.

Note: You can change the default configuration for groups and channels. For details, please see section More.  

Filtering

Include Filter

Define if you want to filter any traffic. If you leave this field empty, all traffic will be included. To include specific traffic only, define filters using a special syntax. For detailed information, please see Filter Rules for xFlow, IPFIX, and Packet Sniffer Sensors section.

Exclude Filter

First, the filters defined in the Include Filter field are considered. From this subset, you can explicitly exclude traffic, using the same syntax. For detailed information, please see Filter Rules for xFlow, IPFIX, and Packet Sniffer Sensors section.

Sensor Display

Primary Channel

Select a channel from the list to define it as the primary channel. In the device tree, the last value of the primary channel will always be displayed below the sensor's name. The available options depend on what channels are available for this sensor. Note: You can set another primary channel later by clicking on the pin symbol of a channel in the sensor's Overview tab.

Chart Type

Define how different channels will be shown for this sensor.

  • Show channels independently (default): Show an own graph for each channel.
  • Stack channels on top of each other: Stack channels on top of each other to create a multi-channel graph. This will generate an easy-to-read graph which visualizes the different components of your total traffic. Note: This option cannot be used in combination with manual Vertical Axis Scaling (available in the Sensor Channels Settings settings).

Stack Unit

This setting is only available if stacked graphs are selected above. Choose a unit from the list. All channels with this unit will be stacked on top of each other. By default, you cannot exclude single channels from stacking, if they use the selected unit. However, there is an advanced procedure to do so.

Primary Toplist

Primary Toplist

Define which will be your primary toplist. It will be shown in maps when adding a toplist object. Choose from:

  • Top Talkers
  • Top Connections
  • Top Protocols
  • [Any custom toplists you have added]

Inherited Settings

By default, all following settings are inherited from objects higher in the hierarchy and should be changed there, if necessary. Often, best practice is to change them centrally in the Root group's settings. To change a setting for this object, disable inheritance by clicking on the check mark before the corresponding setting name. You will then see the options described below.

Scanning Interval

Scanning Interval

Select a scanning interval (seconds, minutes, or hours) from the list. The scanning interval determines the time the sensor waits between two scans. You can change the available intervals in the system administration.

When a Sensor Reports an Error

Define the number of scanning intervals a sensor has to report an error until the sensor will be set to a Down status. The sensor can try reaching a device several times, depending on your setup you can specify here, to help avoid false alarms if the monitored device has only temporary issues. For previous scanning intervals with failed requests, the sensor will show a Warning status. Choose between:

  • Set sensor to "down" immediately: The sensor will show an error after the first failed request.
  • Set sensor to "warning" for 1 interval, then set to "down" (recommended): After the first failed request, the sensor will show a yellow warning status. If the following request also fails, the sensor will show an error.
  • Set sensor to "warning" for 2 intervals, then set to "down": Show an error status only after three failed requests in a row.
  • Set sensor to "warning" for 3 intervals, then set to "down": Show an error status only after four failed requests in a row.
  • Set sensor to "warning" for 4 intervals, then set to "down": Show an error status only after five failed requests in a row.
  • Set sensor to "warning" for 5 intervals, then set to "down": Show an error status only after six failed requests in a row.

Note: Sensors that monitor via Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) always wait at least one scanning interval until they show an error. It is not possible to set a WMI sensor "down" immediately, so the first option will not apply to these sensor types (all other options can apply).

Note: If a sensor has defined error limits for channels, this sensor will always be set to a Down status immediately, so no "wait" option will apply.

Note: If a channel uses lookup values, the sensor will always be set to a Down status immediately, so no "wait" options will apply.

Schedules, Dependencies, and Maintenance Window

Note: Inheritance for schedules, dependencies, and maintenance windows cannot be interrupted. The corresponding settings from the parent objects will always be active. However, you can define additional settings here. They will be active at the same time as the parent objects' settings.

Schedule

Select a schedule from the list. Schedules can be used to monitor for a certain time span (days, hours) throughout the week. With the period list option it is also possible to pause monitoring for a specific time span. You can create new schedules and edit existing ones in the account settings.

Note: Schedules are generally inherited. New schedules will be added to existing ones, so all schedules are active at the same time.

Maintenance Window

Specify if you want to set-up a one-time maintenance window. During a maintenance window this object and all child objects will not be monitored. They will be in a paused state instead. Choose between:

  • Not set (monitor continuously): No maintenance window will be set.
  • Set up a one-time maintenance window: Pause monitoring within a maintenance window. You can define a time span for a monitoring pause below and change it even for a running maintenance window.

Note: To terminate a current maintenance window before the defined end date, you can change the time in Maintenance End At field to a date in the past.

Maintenance Begins At

This field is only visible if you enabled the maintenance window above. Use the date time picker to enter the start date and time of the maintenance window.

Maintenance End At

This field is only visible if you enabled the maintenance window above. Use the date time picker to enter the end date and time of the maintenance window.

Dependency Type

Define a dependency type. Dependencies can be used to pause monitoring for an object depending on the status of another. You can choose between:

  • Use parent: Pause the current sensor if the device, where it is created on, is in a Down status, or if the sensor is paused by another dependency.
  • Select object: Pause the current sensor if the device, where it is created on, is in an Down status, or if the sensor is paused by another dependency. Additionally, pause the current sensor if a specific other object in the device tree is in a Down status, or if it is paused by another dependency. Select below.
  • Master object for parent: Make this sensor the master object for its parent device. The sensor will influence the behavior of the device, where it is created on: If the sensor is in a Down status, the device will be paused. For example, it is a good idea to make a Ping sensor the master object for its parent device to pause monitoring for all other sensors on the device in case the device cannot even be pinged. Additionally, the sensor will be paused if the parent group of its parent device is in a Down status, or if it is paused by another dependency.

Note: Testing your dependencies is easy! Simply choose Simulate Error Status from the context menu of an object that other objects depend on. A few seconds later all dependent objects should be paused. You can check all dependencies in your PRTG installation by selecting Devices | Dependencies from the main menu bar.

Dependency

This field is only visible if the Select object option is enabled above. Click on the reading-glasses and use the object selector to choose an object on which the current sensor will depend.

Delay (Seconds)

Define a time span. After the master object for this dependency comes back to an Up status, the beginning of the monitoring of the depending objects will be additionally delayed by the defined time span. This can help avoid false alarms, for example, after a server restart, by giving systems more time for all services to start up. Please enter an integer value in seconds. Note: This setting is not available if you choose this sensor to be the Master object for parent. In this case, please define delays in the parent Device Settings or in the superior Group Settings.

Access Rights

User Group Access

Define which user group(s) will have access to the object you're editing. A table with user groups and right is shown; it contains all user groups from your setup. For each user group you can choose from the following access rights:

  • Inherited: Use the settings of the parent object.
  • None: Users in this group cannot see or edit the object. The object does not show up in lists and in the device tree. Exception: If a child object is visible to the user, the object is visible in the device tree, though not accessible.
  • Read: Users in this group can see the object and review its monitoring results.
  • Write: Users in this group can see the object, review its monitoring results, and edit the object's settings. They cannot edit access rights settings.
  • Full: Users in this group can see the object, review its monitoring results, edit the object's settings, and edit access rights settings.

You can create new user groups in the System Administration—User Groups settings. To automatically set all objects further down in the hierarchy to inherit this object's access rights, set a check mark for the Revert children's access rights to inherited option.

For more details about access rights, please see section User Access Rights.

Channel Unit Configuration

Channel Unit Types

For each type of sensor channel, define the unit in which data is displayed. If defined on probe, group, or device level, these settings can be inherited to all sensors underneath. You can set units for the following channel types (if available):

  • Bandwidth
  • Memory
  • Disk
  • File
  • Custom

Note: Custom channel types can be set on sensor level only.

Toplists

For all flow and packet sniffer sensors there are Toplists available on the Overview tab of a sensor's detail page. Using toplists, you can review traffic data of small time periods in great detail. For more information, please see Toplists section.

More

Paessler Website: Paessler NetFlow Testers

Knowledge Base: How can I change the default groups and channels for xFlow and Packet Sniffer sensors?

Knowledge Base: Where is the volume line in graphs?

Edit Sensor Channels

To change display settings, spike filter, and limits, switch to the sensor's Overview tab and click the gear icon of a specific channel. For detailed information, please see the Sensor Channels Settings section.

Notifications

Click the Notifications tab to change notification triggers. For detailed information, please see the Sensor Notifications Settings section.

Others

For more general information about settings, please see the Object Settings section.

Sensor Settings Overview

For information about sensor settings, please see the following sections:

Related Topics

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