SNMP vs Netflow

SNMP and NetFlow are 2 widely used features in networking world. Some of top industry tools utilizing SNMP are Solarwinds NPM, OpManager by ManageEngine, PRTG and Nagios among others. NetFlow is also not far behind with Solarwinds NTA, PRTG Network Monitor, Scrutinizer and ManageEngine NetFlow Analyzer utilizing NetFlow as the underlying technology.

SNMP has proved to be quite a popular tool especially in network monitoring like alarms and notifications.NetFlow was initially implemented by Cisco and now adopted by many vendors. Further, NetFlow helps in capacity management and planning scalability and future requirements links and circuits.


Many times queries are raised on significance of both SNMP and NetFlow and whether one can perform the functionalities of other. Not quite so, since SNMP primarily focuses on monitoring while NetFlow helps provide detailed view of link level utilization upto application level and good for link bandwidth planning .Moreover NetFlow is quite intensive on resources unlike SNMP.

Below table enumerates the difference between SNMP and NetFlow –

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