IP Flow Information Export protocol

For BlackDiamond 8900 G96Tc, G48T-xl, G48X-xl, and 10G8X-xl Modules, BlackDiamond X8 100G4X modules, Summit X460, X460-G2 and X480 switches, the IP Flow Information Export (IPFIX) protocol (created by the IETF) is a standard way to capture information about traffic flows passing through network elements in a data network.

The protocol consists of a metering process, an exporting process, and a collecting process. This section discusses the metering and exporting processes; the collecting process is not defined by the standard and therefore is outside the scope of this document. The IPFIX protocol is a rival, but complementary, protocol to sFlow.

The Extreme Networks switch contains various metering processes that gather information about flows through different ports, or observation points, on the switch. This information includes: the ingress and egress interfaces, the link state, IPFIX state, flow count, byte count, packet count, flow record count and premature exports. The metering process then sends the information to the exporting process in the switch which handles communication, using TCP, UDP, or SCTP transport protocols, over the network to a collecting process.

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IPFIX Processes
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Limitations

This feature has the following limitations:
  • The flow key definition is limited to the L2, L3, and L4 header fields the hardware provides.

  • There is a 8K flow limit per port—4K for ingress and 4K for egress for platforms X460-48t/x/p and X480.

  • For other Summit platforms (such as the E4G-400, X460-24t/x/p, and X460-G2), the limit is 4K flows per port—2K for ingress and 2K for egress.

  • For BDX8 100G4X, the limit is 4K flows per port—2K for ingress and 2K for egress.