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Updated:May 29, 2007
Q. What is Cisco
® NetFlow Collector (NFC) 6.0?
A. Cisco NFC 6.0 is a NetFlow data collection and aggregation tool that provides a centralized view for data analysis and reporting. Cisco NFC empowers enterprises and service providers with actionable intelligence to optimize their network infrastructure for application delivery and network capacity planning. In addition, Cisco NFC is a critical enabler for business support applications such as usage-based billing and service-level objective (SLO) monitoring. Cisco NFC delivers industry-leading performance in helping enable network engineers to cope with the high-volume flow data typical in large networks.
Q. What are the differences between Cisco CNS NetFlow Collection Engine 5.0.3 and Cisco NetFlow Collector 6.0?
A. In addition to the change in name from Cisco CNS NetFlow Collection Engine (NFC 5.0.3) to Cisco NetFlow Collector (NFC 6.0), the version 6 implements a scalable multitier architecture for collecting, normalizing, correlating, and aggregating data from NetFlow-enabled devices dispersed across geographically distributed networks. The architecture comprises two layers: Cisco NFC as the first tier and Cisco Multi-NFC (MNFC) as the new tier-two component. Cisco MNFC adds network-level correlation and time-based summarization providing a central view for all distributed Cisco NFC implementations in the network. It provides end-to-end visibility across different parts of the network. In other words, while Cisco NFC provides a close-up view of the part of the network it monitors, Cisco MNFC provides a high-level, networkwide view by collecting data from across many such NetFlow collectors. All traffic summarization and configuration information is delivered through an advanced user-friendly Web interface. Typically, Cisco MNFC is deployed at the administrative control point of the network as illustrated in Figure 1.
Cisco NFC 6.0 is the replacement for Cisco NFC 5.0. Cisco NFC 6.0 is unmatched in handling a large number of unique flows (unique flows per second), while simultaneously aggregating granular data (1 minute aggregation period) from multiple aggregation schemes (key/value combinations). In addition to supporting a large selection of predefined aggregation schemes, Cisco NFC offers the flexibility for users to define their own aggregation schemes.
Figure 1. Customer Deployment Scenarios
Q. The customer has Cisco NFC 5.0.3 or an older version of Cisco NFC. How does the customer upgrade to Cisco NFC 6.0? Does the customer need to buy Cisco MNFC 6.0?
A. Cisco NFC 6.0 can be installed on a fresh server or on a server that is running Cisco NFC 5.0.x. In the latter case, the installation process detects the older version of software and upgrades the necessary components. Cisco NFC 6.0 includes all features in Cisco NFC 5.0.x and adds new features and functionality.
Cisco NFC and Cisco MNFC are companion products. Cisco NFC 6.0 runs as a standalone product and does not require Cisco MNFC. However, if you wish to enjoy the benefits of the tiered architecture, you can purchase Cisco MNFC and easily configure your Cisco NFC servers to send traffic to Cisco MNFC for end-to-end network visibility.
A. Cisco NFC 6.0 is a major release and it replaces Cisco NFC 5.x. Furthermore, it provides enhanced value-added features, high performance, and scalability. Cisco MNFC 6.0 is a tier-two module. In other words, in the tiered hierarchy presented in Figure 1, Cisco MNFC resides at tier 2. It collects and summarizes traffic from tier 1 NetFlow collectors to provide an end-to-end network-level traffic analysis and a centralized view of all Cisco NFC 6.0 implementations.
Q. What features do Cisco NFC 6.0 and Cisco MNFC 6.0 provide?
Q. Do Cisco NFC 6.0 and Cisco MNFC 6.0 require licenses?
A. Yes. Cisco NFC 6.0 and Cisco MNFC 6.0 support the FlexLM license. The customer pays a license fee per copy of Cisco NFC 6.0 per server. The license is node-locked to a server using the IP address of the server. Therefore, the server's IP addresses must be provided to obtain a license.