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

NetFlow is available on vSphere distributed switch version 5.0.0 and later.


Launch the vSphere Client and log in to a vCenter Server system.


  1. Log in to the vSphere Client and select the Networking inventory view.
  2. Right-click the vSphere distributed switch in the inventory pane, and select Edit Settings.
  3. Navigate to the NetFlow tab.
  4. Type the IP address and Port of the NetFlow collector.
  5. 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.
  6. (Optional) Use the up and down menu arrows to set the Active flow export timeout and Idle flow export timeout.
  7. (Optional) Use the up and down menu arrows to set the Sampling rate.

    The sampling rate determines what portion of data NetFlow collects, with the sampling rate number determining how often NetFlow collects the packets. A collector with a sampling rate of 2 collects data from every other packet. A collector with a sampling rate of 5 collects data from every fifth packet.

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