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How to Monitor Network Traffic Using NetFlow on a Server Stadium Dedicated Server or VM


Monitoring network traffic is essential for managing network performance, security, and compliance. NetFlow is a network protocol developed by Cisco for collecting IP traffic information and monitoring network traffic. Using NetFlow on a Server Stadium dedicated server or VM can help administrators gain insights into traffic patterns and bandwidth usage. This guide will show you how to set up NetFlow to monitor network traffic effectively.


  • A Server Stadium VM or dedicated server running Ubuntu 20.04 LTS or 22.04 LTS. If you do not have one, sign up here.
  • Administrative or sudo privileges on your server.
  • A basic understanding of network protocols and Linux command line.

Step 1: Install and Configure Flow Tools

  1. Update Your Server’s Package Index
    Begin by updating your server’s packages:

    sudo apt update
    sudo apt upgrade

  2. Install Flow Tools
    Flow Tools is a software package for collecting and analyzing flow data, including NetFlow from routers:

    sudo apt install flow-tools

  3. Configure Flow-Capture
    Set up flow-capture to collect flow data. Edit the flow-capture configuration file to specify the listening interface and directory for storing flow data:

    sudo nano /etc/flow-tools/flow-capture.conf

    Add the following configuration, replacing eth0 with your interface and /data/flows with your data storage directory:

    /data/flows/ 0/0/0/0/0 eth0

Step 2: Configure Your Router to Export NetFlow Data

  1. Access Your Router Configuration
    Log into your router’s admin panel. This process varies depending on the router model and manufacturer.
  2. Enable NetFlow Export
    Configure NetFlow to export data to your server’s IP address and the port number configured in flow-capture (default is 6343):

    ip flow-export destination YOUR_SERVER_IP 6343
    ip flow-export version 5
    ip flow-export source INTERFACE

    Replace YOUR_SERVER_IP with your server’s IP address, INTERFACE with the router interface collecting the data.

Step 3: Analyze Flow Data

  1. Use Flow-Tools to Analyze Data
    Analyze the collected flow data with flow-tools utilities:

    flow-cat /data/flows/ | flow-print


Setting up NetFlow on a Server Stadium VM or dedicated server allows administrators to monitor network traffic comprehensively. This setup aids in understanding traffic patterns, identifying bottlenecks, and improving network security and performance.

For more help or to explore more about our network management solutions, visit our knowledge base or the Server Stadium website.

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