In my previous blog, User Bandwidth Monitor, I described how to create and save customized reports that can then be added to a Dashboard for quick access. We can also use NetFlow and IPFIX data to create reports that are delivered by email on a regular schedule.
NetFlow IPFIX Reporting
Our NetFlow analyzer has the ability to generate detailed, colorful reports that organize NetFlow and IPFIX data to effectively highlight legitimate usage trends, identify spikes in activity that might trigger a cyber attack incident response, or simply to provide a visual monitor of bandwidth usage. With the Advanced Reporting Module, customers gain the ability and flexibility to generate CSV files, then email them to a user or group of users, on the fly, or on a custom, regularly scheduled basis.
Customers aren’t always at a location with access to the server where the reports are generated. Reporting needs vary as well; compliance requirements may dictate a need for reports saved at certain intervals, managements analysis needs may differ from that schedule. The reports need to be generated and delivered, on a set schedule, come what may.
Scheduled NetFlow Reports
A common scenario for the generation of scheduled reports is bandwidth usage reports. Many of our customers have saved NetFlow reports detailing bandwidth usage for the previous week. Below I’ve created such a report, for the LAN facing interface of our SonicWall firewall for the last Seven Days. I can click the clock icon on the left side of the screen and schedule the report to be emailed to me every Sunday morning shortly after midnight. When I get to work Monday, I’ll have a PDF of the previous weeks bandwidth report. I can give that PDF a quick visual inspection to see if there are spikes or other anomalies that warrant further investigation.
I can include members of my team in the list of recipients, so if the reports I’m sending are of the type that may need an immediate response, any one of them has the information available for analysis and can be assigned to follow up.
Some readers may be dreading the prospect of a mailbox suddenly filling up with emailed reports generated by a well meaning but annoying IT department. Never fear, it’s easy to configure the scheduler to send any or all saved reports in a single email.
CSV Reports For Import
The scheduling popup also has an option to send a copy of the report in CSV format. I can add members of management or the accounting department to the list of recipients, and they’ll have both the graphically informative PDF and the raw data ready to import into a spreadsheet or Netflow usage based billing software, that can handle CSV format.
If you need to generate NetFlow/IPFIX reports that not only provide easy to comprehend visual representations of NetFlow/IPFIX data, but are that available for import into your accounting package for detailed analysis and financial reporting, we have the solution for you.