Netflow-AnalyzerUnless you’ve spent the last few months avoiding contact with all forms of sentient life, you probably know that the hype for the new installment in the Star Wars saga has reached fever pitch. It’s amazing, looking back, that a cult science-fiction film of the late 1970s has become one of the most universally loved stories of our time. But Star Wars isn’t just an excellent piece of fiction; in many ways, it’s the closest we have to a modern-day myth. The constituent parts are all there, albeit with a futuristic twist uncommon to the myths we’re familiar with: the call to adventure, the hero’s journey, the battle between good and evil – every theme present in classical myth can be found somewhere.

In this blog, we’ll take a trip to a galaxy far, far away and look at whether your Netflow Analyzer is more Jedi or Sith.

The force can be used for good or for evil – make sure you’re on the right side.

In the Star Wars saga, the Force is the ‘power of the universe’ that the Jedi use for good and the Sith use for evil. While the two factions couldn’t be more of a polar opposite to one another, they’re using the same resource to different ends. There’s a definite parallel to network management here: ‘good’ Netflow analyzers and ‘bad’ ones have access to the same data, but depending on how this data is used, it can be purposed for good just as easily as evil. Part of this comes down to the actual hard- and software that you use – not all networking equipment is created equal – but a significant part is also your responsibility. Make sure that you’re managing your Netflow analyzer properly so that your business’ network isn’t tempted to join the dark side.

Knowing which metrics to monitor most closely is key to a Jedi’s training.

Downtime, packet loss, latency: The dark side of the force are they. To manage your network properly, you need to make sure you’re keeping track of the most valuable metrics for your business. Broadly speaking, there are a few that each company will have in common – link speed, packet loss, traffic volume and total bandwidth utilization are valuable metrics for ensuring good service on any network environment, but the closer you’re willing to work with the results of your Netflow analyzer, the easier it will be to define the metrics that mean the most to your business in particular. The best Netflow analyzers offer granular data on users, applications and conversations that happen on your network, and the level of insight you get into your environment is only limited by how dirty you’re willing to get your hands in the process.

The force is all around us – but only a Jedi knows how to tap into it

When Luke destroys the Death Star in A New Hope, he gives himself over to the force and fully trusts his instincts, which prove more reliable than his flight computer, and ultimately help him succeed in his mission. The lesson we can learn from this with respect to Netflow Analyzers is that you can’t only rely on the data presented to you through your Netflow collectors. To get real insight from your Netflow data, you need to engage with the data and turn it into actionable information. Even the best Netflow analyzers can’t buy more bandwidth, take action on users who routinely abuse the company network, or come up with a solution to a capacity problem. All Jedi Knights rely on the subtle energies of the force to guide them away from evil, and Netflow is no different. For your Netflow Analyzer to be a true Jedi, it needs the support that only the force – or, in this case, a good network manager – can provide.

Just like Darth Vader redeems himself in the closing moments of Return of the Jedi, no Netflow Analyzer is too far down the dark path for redemption. With the right combination of high-performance network systems and dedicated, responsive support staff, even the most evil of Netflow analyzers can be brought around to the Light Side with enough effort. To find out more about how to ensure your network systems are on the right side in the fight between good and evil, download a copy of our free guide WAN optimization.


Image Credit :