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Network Flow Analysis by Michael W. Lucas

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The History of Network Flow

High-speed router and switch hardware directs traffic without going to the operating system, in other words, without making each forwarding decision in software. Decisions on packet routing are made at the lowest level possible, generally within the hardware itself. Circa 1996, Cisco invented a method by which routing decisions were guided by flows. Subsequently, the value of flow information was realized, and it was made accessible to network administrators as a feature called NetFlow.

NetFlow Versions

NetFlow has undergone several revisions through its history.

NetFlow Version 1

NetFlow version 1 was the earliest Cisco release. Other vendors reverse-engineered the NetFlow reporting protocol and released their own NetFlow-compatible ...

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