Cisco's Network-Based Application Recognition (NBAR) is a powerful tool that allows network administrators to gain granular insights into the types of applications traversing their networks. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the ins and outs of Cisco NBAR, its benefits, implementation, and best practices for efficient traffic analysis. Visit CCNA Course in Pune

Understanding Cisco NBAR

Cisco NBAR is an advanced network analysis feature embedded within Cisco IOS routers and switches. It goes beyond traditional packet inspection by identifying and categorizing traffic based on the applications and protocols being used. NBAR classifies traffic at Layer 4 and above, enabling administrators to gain visibility into the applications driving network usage.

Benefits of Cisco NBAR

  1. Granular Visibility: NBAR provides detailed visibility into the applications and services consuming network resources, allowing administrators to identify bandwidth hogs and potential performance bottlenecks.

  2. Quality of Service (QoS) Optimization: By identifying and prioritizing critical applications, NBAR enables more effective QoS policies, ensuring that important traffic receives the appropriate level of service.

  3. Security Enhancement: NBAR helps detect and mitigate unauthorized or malicious applications, allowing administrators to take proactive security measures.

  4. Capacity Planning: Accurate application-level traffic analysis supports better capacity planning and resource allocation, leading to optimized network performance. Join 

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Implementing Cisco NBAR

  1. Enable NBAR: To begin using NBAR, enable it on your Cisco device using the appropriate command, such as ip nbar protocol-discovery.

  2. Class Maps and Policy Maps: Create class maps that define the traffic you want to monitor and analyze. Then, create policy maps to apply specific actions to the identified traffic, such as QoS policies.

  3. Matching Criteria: Define matching criteria within class maps, such as port numbers, protocol names, or even custom-defined applications.

  4. Monitoring and Reporting: Use commands like show ip nbar protocol-discovery and show policy-map interface to monitor NBAR-enabled interfaces and analyze traffic statistics.

Best Practices for NBAR Usage

  1. Selective Monitoring: Focus on monitoring critical interfaces or segments of your network to avoid overwhelming the device with excessive NBAR analysis.

  2. Regular Updates: Keep NBAR's protocol and application recognition database up to date by updating your device's software or signature files.

  3. Integration with Other Tools: Combine NBAR with other monitoring tools and solutions for a comprehensive view of your network's performance and security.

  4. Fine-Tuning Class Maps: Refine your class maps to accurately capture the traffic you want to analyze while minimizing false positives.


Cisco NBAR offers network administrators a powerful tool for understanding and optimizing network traffic. By providing detailed insights into application-level usage and enabling targeted QoS policies, NBAR enhances network performance, security, and overall efficiency. As networks continue to evolve and handle increasingly complex and diverse traffic, NBAR remains a valuable asset in the network administrator's toolbox. Embrace the capabilities of Cisco NBAR to take proactive control of your network's traffic, ensuring that it operates smoothly and efficiently in the face of ever-changing demands. 

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