NetFlow is a network analysis tool that you can use to monitor network monitoring and virtual machine traffic.

NetFlow is available on a vSphere Distributed Switch version 5.0.0 and later. Version 5.1 and later of the switch supports IPFIX (NetFlow version 10).


Log in to the vSphere Client and select the Networking inventory view.


Right-click the vSphere distributed switch in the inventory pane, and select Edit Settings.


Navigate to the NetFlow tab.


Type the IP address and Port of the NetFlow collector.


Type the VDS IP address.

With an IP address to the vSphere distributed switch, the NetFlow collector can interact with the vSphere distributed switch as a single switch, rather than interacting with a separate, unrelated switch for each associated host.


(Optional) Use the up and down menu arrows to set the Active flow export timeout and Idle flow export timeout.


(Optional) Use the up and down menu arrows to set the Sampling rate.

The sampling rate represents the number of packets that NetFlow drops after every collected packet. A sampling rate of x instructs NetFlow to drop packets in a collected packets:dropped packets ratio 1:x. If the rate is 0, NetFlow samples every packet, that is, collect one packet and drop none. If the rate is 1, NetFlow samples a packet and drops the next one, and so on.


(Optional) Select Process internal flows only to collect data only on network activity between virtual machines on the same host.


Click OK.