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INFORMATIONAL
Errata Exist
Network Working Group                                          E. Boschi
Request for Comments: 5153                                Hitachi Europe
Category: Informational                                          L. Mark
                                                        Fraunhofer FOKUS
                                                              J. Quittek
                                                          M. Stiemerling
                                                                     NEC
                                                               P. Aitken
                                                     Cisco Systems, Inc.
                                                              April 2008


      IP Flow Information Export (IPFIX) Implementation Guidelines

Status of This Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
   memo is unlimited.

Abstract

   The IP Flow Information Export (IPFIX) protocol defines how IP Flow
   information can be exported from routers, measurement probes, or
   other devices.  This document provides guidelines for the
   implementation and use of the IPFIX protocol.  Several sets of
   guidelines address Template management, transport-specific issues,
   implementation of Exporting and Collecting Processes, and IPFIX
   implementation on middleboxes (such as firewalls, network address
   translators, tunnel endpoints, packet classifiers, etc.).

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
     1.1.  IPFIX Documents Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
     1.2.  Overview of the IPFIX Protocol . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   2.  Terminology  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
   3.  Template Management Guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
     3.1.  Template Management  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
     3.2.  Template Records versus Options Template Records . . . . .  5
     3.3.  Using Scopes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
     3.4.  Multiple Information Elements of the Same Type . . . . . .  6
     3.5.  Selecting Message Size . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
   4.  Exporting Process Guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
     4.1.  Sets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
     4.2.  Information Element Coding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
     4.3.  Using Counters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
     4.4.  Padding  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8



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       4.4.1.  Alignment of Information Elements within a Data
               Record . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
       4.4.2.  Alignment of Information Element Specifiers within
               a Template Record  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
       4.4.3.  Alignment of Records within a Set  . . . . . . . . . .  9
       4.4.4.  Alignment of Sets within an IPFIX Message  . . . . . .  9
     4.5.  Time Issues  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
     4.6.  IPFIX Message Header Export Time and Data Record Time  . . 10
     4.7.  Devices without an Absolute Clock  . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
   5.  Collecting Process Guidelines  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
     5.1.  Information Element (De)Coding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
     5.2.  Reduced-Size Encoding of Information Elements  . . . . . . 12
     5.3.  Template Management  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
   6.  Transport-Specific Guidelines  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
     6.1.  SCTP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
     6.2.  UDP  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
     6.3.  TCP  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
   7.  Guidelines for Implementation on Middleboxes . . . . . . . . . 18
     7.1.  Traffic Flow Scenarios at Middleboxes  . . . . . . . . . . 20
     7.2.  Location of the Observation Point  . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
     7.3.  Reporting Flow-Related Middlebox Internals . . . . . . . . 22
       7.3.1.  Packet Dropping Middleboxes  . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
       7.3.2.  Middleboxes Changing the DSCP  . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
       7.3.3.  Middleboxes Changing IP Addresses and Port Numbers . . 24
   8.  Security Guidelines  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
     8.1.  Introduction to TLS and DTLS for IPFIX Implementers  . . . 25
     8.2.  X.509-Based Identity Verification for IPFIX over TLS
           or DTLS  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
     8.3.  Implementing IPFIX over TLS over TCP . . . . . . . . . . . 26
     8.4.  Implementing IPFIX over DTLS over UDP  . . . . . . . . . . 26
     8.5.  Implementing IPFIX over DTLS over SCTP . . . . . . . . . . 27
   9.  Extending the Information Model  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
     9.1.  Adding New IETF-Specified Information Elements . . . . . . 27
     9.2.  Adding Enterprise-Specific Information Elements  . . . . . 28
   10. Common Implementation Mistakes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
     10.1. IPFIX and NetFlow Version 9  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
     10.2. Padding of the Data Set  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
     10.3. Field ID Numbers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
     10.4. Template ID Numbers  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
   11. Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
   12. Acknowledgments  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
   13. References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
     13.1. Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
     13.2. Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31







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1.  Introduction

   The IPFIX protocol [RFC5101] defines how IP Flow information can be
   exported from routers, measurement probes, or other devices.  In this
   document, we provide guidelines for its implementation.

   The guidelines are split into seven main sets.  These sets address
   implementation aspects for Template management, Exporting Process,
   Collecting Process, transport, implementation on middleboxes,
   security, and extending the information model.

   Finally, this document contains a list of common mistakes related to
   issues that had been misinterpreted in the first IPFIX
   implementations and that created (and still might create)
   interoperability problems.

1.1.  IPFIX Documents Overview

   The IPFIX protocol [RFC5101] provides network administrators with
   access to IP Flow information.  The architecture for the export of
   measured IP Flow information out of an IPFIX Exporting Process to a
   Collecting Process is defined in the IPFIX architecture [IPFIX-ARCH],
   per the requirements defined in [RFC3917].

   The IPFIX architecture [IPFIX-ARCH] specifies how IPFIX Data Records
   and Templates are carried via a congestion-aware transport protocol
   from IPFIX Exporting Processes to IPFIX Collecting Processes.

   IPFIX has a formal description of IPFIX Information Elements, their
   name, type, and additional semantic information, as specified in the
   IPFIX information model [RFC5102].

   Finally, the IPFIX applicability statement [IPFIX-AS] describes what
   type of applications can use the IPFIX protocol and how they can use
   the information provided.  It furthermore shows how the IPFIX
   framework relates to other architectures and frameworks.

1.2.  Overview of the IPFIX Protocol

   In the IPFIX protocol, { type, length, value } tuples are expressed
   in Templates containing { type, length } pairs, specifying which
   { value } fields are present in Data Records conforming to the
   Template, giving great flexibility as to what data is transmitted.

   Since Templates are sent very infrequently compared with Data
   Records, this results in significant bandwidth savings.





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   Different Data Records may be transmitted simply by sending new
   Templates specifying the { type, length } pairs for the new data
   format.  See [RFC5101] for more information.

   The IPFIX information model [RFC5102] defines a large number of
   standard Information Elements that provide the necessary
   { type } information for Templates.

   The use of standard elements enables interoperability among different
   vendors' implementations.  The list of standard elements may be
   extended in the future through the process defined in Section 9,
   below.  Additionally, non-standard enterprise-specific elements may
   be defined for private use.

2.  Terminology

   The terminology used in this document is fully aligned with the
   terminology defined in [RFC5101].  Therefore, the terms defined in
   the IPFIX terminology are capitalized in this document, as in other
   IPFIX documents ([RFC5101], [RFC5102], [IPFIX-ARCH]).

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this
   document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

   This document is Informational.  It does not specify a protocol and
   does not use RFC 2119 key words [RFC2119] such as "MUST" and
   "SHOULD", except in quotations and restatements from the IPFIX
   standards documents.  The normative specification of the protocol is
   given in the IPFIX protocol [RFC5101] and information model [RFC5102]
   documents.

3.  Template Management Guidelines

3.1.  Template Management

   The Exporting Process should always endeavor to send Template Records
   before the related Data Records.  However, since the Template Record
   may not arrive before the corresponding Data Records, the Collecting
   Process MAY store Data Records with an unknown Template ID pending
   the arrival of the corresponding Template (see Section 9 of
   [RFC5101]).  If no Template becomes available, we recommend logging
   the event and discarding the corresponding Data Records, and for SCTP
   and TCP we recommend resetting the Transport Session.  The amount of
   time the Collecting Process waits for a Template before resetting
   should be configurable.  We recommend a default of 30 minutes.  Note





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   that when using UDP as the transport protocol, this delay should be
   bound, when possible, by the Template Retransmit and the Template
   Expiry times (see Section 6.2).

   The Exporting Process must be able to resend active Templates.
   Templates must be resent in the case of a Stream Control Transport
   Protocol (SCTP) association restart, a User Datagram Protocol (UDP)
   template refresh, or a Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) connection
   restart.

   The Exporting Process is responsible for the management of Template
   IDs.  Should an insufficient number of Template IDs be available, the
   Exporting Process must send a Template Withdrawal Message in order to
   free up the allocation of unused Template IDs.  Note that UDP doesn't
   use the Template Withdrawal Message, and the Template lifetime on the
   Collecting Process relies on timeout.

3.2.  Template Records versus Options Template Records

   The IPFIX protocol [RFC5101] defines and specifies the use of
   Templates and Options Templates.  Templates define the layout of Data
   Records, which represent Flow data.  Options Templates additionally
   specify scope Information Elements, which can be used to define
   scoped Data Records.  Scoped Data Records generally export control
   plane data (such as metadata about processes in the IPFIX collection
   architecture) or data otherwise applicable to multiple Flow Data
   Records (such as common properties as in [IPFIX-REDUCING]).

   Aside from Section 4 of [RFC5101], which defines specific Options
   Templates to use for reporting Metering Process and Exporting Process
   statistics and configuration information, the choice to use Options
   Templates is left up to the implementer.  Indeed, there is a trade-
   off between bandwidth efficiency and complexity in the use of Options
   Templates and scoped Data Records.

   For example, control plane information about an Observation Point
   could be exported with every Flow Record measured at that Observation
   Point, or in a single Data Record described by an Options Template,
   scoped to the Observation Point identifier.  In the former case,
   simplicity of decoding the data is gained in exchange for redundant
   export of the same data with every applicable Flow Record.  The
   latter case is more bandwidth-efficient, but at the expense of
   requiring the Collecting Process to maintain the relationship between
   each applicable Flow Record and the Observation Point.

   A generalized method of using Options Templates to increase bandwidth
   efficiency is fully described in [IPFIX-REDUCING].




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3.3.  Using Scopes

   The root scope for all IPFIX Messages is the Observation Domain,
   which appears in the Message Header.  In other words, all Data
   Records within a message implicitly belong to the Observation Domain.
   All Data Records described by Options Templates (and only those) must
   be restricted to an additional scope within the Observation Domain,
   as defined by the scope Information Elements in the Options Template
   Record.

   In IPFIX, any Information Element can be used for scope.  However,
   Information Elements such as counters, timestamps, padding elements,
   Flow properties like timeout, Flow end reason, duration, or Min/Max
   Flow properties [RFC5102] may not be appropriate.

   Note that it is sometimes necessary to export information about
   entities that exist outside any Observation Domain, or within
   multiple Observation Domains (e.g., information about Metering
   Processes scoped to meteringProcessID).  Such information SHOULD be
   exported in an IPFIX Message with Observation Domain ID 0 (see
   [RFC5101], Section 3.1).

3.4.  Multiple Information Elements of the Same Type

   The Exporting Process and Collecting Process MUST support the use of
   multiple Information Elements of the same type in a single Template
   [RFC5101].  This was first required by Packet Sampling (PSAMP)
   [PSAMP-PROTO] for the export of multiple Selector IDs.  Note that the
   IPFIX protocol recommends that Metering Processes SHOULD use packet
   treatment order when exporting multiple Information Elements of the
   same type in the same record ([RFC5101] Section 8).  This implies
   that ordering is important, and changes to the order of multiple
   identical Information Elements could cause information loss.
   Therefore, we strongly recommend preservation of the order of
   multiple Information Elements of the same type by Exporting and
   Collecting Processes for correct processing and storage.

3.5.  Selecting Message Size

   Section 10.3.3 of the IPFIX protocol defines the maximum message size
   for IPFIX Messages transported over UDP to be constrained by the path
   MTU, or if the path MTU is not available, 512 bytes, which is the
   minimum datagram size all IP implementations must support (see also
   Section 8.4).  However, no maximum message size is imposed on other
   transport protocols, beyond the 65535-byte limit imposed by the 16-
   bit Message Length field in the IPFIX Message Header specified in
   Section 3.1 of [RFC5101].




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   An IPFIX Exporting Process operating over SCTP or TCP may export
   IPFIX Messages up to this 64-kB limit, and an IPFIX Collecting
   Process must accept any IPFIX Message up to that size.

4.  Exporting Process Guidelines

4.1.  Sets

   A Set is identified by a Set ID [RFC5101].  A Set ID has an integral
   data type and its value is in the range of 0-65535.  The Set ID
   values of 0 and 1 are not used for historical reasons [RFC3954].  A
   value of 2 identifies a Template Set.  A value of 3 identifies an
   Options Template Set.  Values from 4 to 255 are reserved for future
   use.  Values above 255 are used for Data Sets.  In this case, the Set
   ID corresponds to the Template ID of the used Template.

   A Data Set received with an unknown Set ID may be stored pending the
   arrival of the corresponding Template (see Section 9 of [RFC5101]).
   If no Template becomes available, we recommend logging the event and
   discarding the corresponding Data Records, and for SCTP and TCP we
   recommend resetting the Transport Session.  The amount of time the
   Collecting Process waits for a Template before resetting should be
   configurable.  We recommend a default of 30 minutes.  Note that when
   using UDP as the transport protocol, this delay should be bound, when
   possible, by the Template Retransmit and the Template Expiry times
   (see Section 6.2).

   The arrival of a Set with a reserved Set ID should be logged, and the
   Collector must ignore the Set.

4.2.  Information Element Coding

   [IPFIX-ARCH] does not specify which entities are responsible for the
   encoding and decoding of Information Elements transferred via IPFIX.
   An IPFIX device can do the encoding either within the Metering
   Process or within the Exporting Process.  The decoding of the
   Information Elements can be done by the Collecting Process or by the
   data processing application.

   If an IPFIX node simply relays IPFIX Records (like a proxy), then no
   decoding or encoding of Information Elements is needed.  In this
   case, the Exporting Process may export unknown Information Elements,
   i.e., Information Elements with an unknown Information Element
   identifier.







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4.3.  Using Counters

   IPFIX offers both Delta and Total counters (e.g., octetDeltaCount,
   octetTotalCount).  If information about a Flow is only ever exported
   once, then it's not important whether Delta or Total counters are
   used.  However, if further information about additional packets in a
   Flow is exported after the first export, then either:

   o  the metering system must reset its counters to zero after the
      first export and report the new counter values using Delta
      counters, or

   o  the metering system must carefully maintain its counters and
      report the running total using Total counters.

   At first, reporting the running total may seem to be the obvious
   choice.  However, this requires that the system accurately maintains
   information about the Flow over a long time without any loss or
   error, because when reported to a Collecting Process, the previous
   total values will be replaced with the new information.

   Delta counters offer some advantages: information about Flows doesn't
   have to be permanently maintained, and any loss of information has
   only a small impact on the total stored at the Collecting Process.
   Finally, Deltas may be exported in fewer bytes than Total counters
   using the IPFIX "Reduced Size Encoding" scheme [RFC5101].

   Note that Delta counters have an origin of zero and that a Collecting
   Process receiving Delta counters for a Flow that is new to the
   Collecting Process must assume the Deltas are from zero.

4.4.  Padding

   The IPFIX information model defines an Information Element for
   padding called paddingOctets [RFC5102].  It is of type octetArray,
   and the IPFIX protocol allows encoding it as a fixed-length array as
   well as a variable-length array.

   The padding Information Element can be used to align Information
   Elements within Data Records, Records within Sets, and Sets within
   IPFIX Messages, as described below.










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4.4.1.  Alignment of Information Elements within a Data Record

   The padding Information Element gives flexible means for aligning
   Information Elements within a Data Record.  Aligning within a Data
   Record can be useful, because internal data structures can be easily
   converted into Flow Records at the Exporter and vice versa at the
   Collecting Process.

   Alignment of Information Elements within a Data Record is achieved by
   inserting an instance of the paddingOctets Information Element with
   appropriate length before each unaligned Information Element.  This
   insertion is explicitly specified within the Template Record or
   Options Template Record, respectively, that corresponds to the Data
   Record.

4.4.2.  Alignment of Information Element Specifiers within a Template
        Record

   There is no means for aligning Information Element specifiers within
   Template Records.  However, there is limited need for such a method,
   as Information Element specifiers are always 32-bit aligned, and 32-
   bit alignment is generally sufficient.

4.4.3.  Alignment of Records within a Set

   There is no means for aligning Template Records within a Set.
   However, there is limited need for such a method, as Information
   Element specifiers are always 32-bit aligned, and 32-bit alignment is
   generally sufficient.

   Data Records can be aligned within a Set by appending instances of
   the paddingOctets Information Element at the end of the Record.
   Since all Data Records within a Set have the same structure and size,
   aligning one Data Record implies aligning all the Data Records within
   a single Set.

4.4.4.  Alignment of Sets within an IPFIX Message

   If Records are already aligned within a Set by using paddingOctets
   Information Elements, then this alignment will already be achieved.
   But for aligning Sets within an IPFIX Message, padding Information
   Elements can be used at the end of the Set so that the subsequent Set
   starts at an aligned boundary.  This padding mechanism is described
   in Section 3.3.1 of [RFC5101] and can be applied even if the Records
   within the Set are not aligned.  However, it should be noted that
   this method is limited by the constraint that "the padding length
   MUST be shorter than any allowable Record in the Set", to prevent the
   padding from being misinterpreted as an additional Data Record.



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4.5.  Time Issues

   IPFIX Messages contain the export time in the Message Header.  In
   addition, there is a series of Information Elements defined to
   transfer time values.  [RFC5102] defines four abstract data types to
   transfer time values in second, millisecond, microsecond, and
   nanosecond resolution.

   The accuracy and precision of these values depend on the accuracy and
   the precision of the Metering Process clock.  The accuracy and
   precision of the Exporting Process clock, and the synchronization of
   the Metering Process and Exporting Process clocks, are also important
   when using the delta timestamp Information Elements.  To ensure
   accuracy, the clocks should be synchronized to a UTC time source.
   Normally, it would be sufficient to derive the time from a remote
   time server using the Network Time Protocol (NTP) [RFC1305].  IPFIX
   Devices operating with time values of microsecond or nanosecond
   resolution need direct access to a time source, for example, to a GPS
   (Global Positioning System) unit.

   The most important consideration in selecting timestamp Information
   Elements is to use a precision appropriate for the timestamps as
   generated from the Metering Process.  Specifically, an IPFIX Device
   should not export timestamp Information Elements of higher precision
   than the timestamps used by the Metering Process (e.g., millisecond-
   precision Flows should not be exported with flowStartMicroseconds and
   flowEndMicroseconds).

4.6.  IPFIX Message Header Export Time and Data Record Time

   Section 5 of [RFC5101] defines a method for optimized export of time-
   related Information Elements based upon the Export Time field of the
   IPFIX Message Header.  The architectural separation of the Metering
   Process and Exporting Process in [IPFIX-ARCH] raises some
   difficulties with this method, of which implementers should be aware.

   Since the Metering Process has no information about the export time
   of the IPFIX Message (that is, when the message leaves the Exporting
   Process), it cannot properly use the delta time Information Elements;
   it must store absolute timestamps and transmit these to the Exporting
   Process.  The Exporting Process must then convert these to delta
   timestamps once the export time is known.  This increases the
   processing burden on the Exporting Process.  Note also that the
   absolute timestamps require more storage than their delta timestamp
   counterparts.  However, this method can result in reduced export
   bandwidth.





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   Alternatively, the Exporting Process may simply export absolute
   timestamp Information Elements.  This simplifies the Exporting
   Process' job and reduces processing burden, but increases export
   bandwidth requirements.

4.7.  Devices without an Absolute Clock

   Exporting just relative times in a device without an absolute clock
   is often not sufficient.  For instance, observed traffic could be
   retained in the device's cache for some time before being exported
   (e.g., if the Exporter runs once per minute), or stuck in an Inter
   Process Communication (IPC) queue, or stuck in the export stack, or
   delayed in the network between the Exporter and Collector.

   For these reasons, it can be difficult for the Collecting Process to
   convert the relative times exported using the flowStartSysUpTime and
   flowEndSysUpTime Information Elements to absolute times with any sort
   of accuracy without knowing the systemInitTimeMilliseconds.
   Therefore, the sending of the flowStartSysUpTime and flowEndSysUpTime
   Information Elements without also sending the
   systemInitTimeMilliseconds Information Element is not recommended.

5.  Collecting Process Guidelines

5.1.  Information Element (De)Coding

   Section 9 of [RFC5101] specifies: "The Collecting Process MUST note
   the Information Element identifier of any Information Element that it
   does not understand and MAY discard that Information Element from the
   Flow Record".  The Collecting Process may accept Templates with
   Information Elements of unknown types.  In this case, the value
   received for these Information Elements should be decoded as an octet
   array.

   Alternatively, the Collecting Process may ignore Templates and
   subsequent Data Sets that contain Information Elements of unknown
   types.

   It is recommended that Collecting Processes provide means to flexibly
   add types of new Information Elements to their knowledge base.  An
   example is a configuration file that is read by the Collecting
   Process and that contains a list of Information Element identifiers
   and their corresponding types.  Particularly for adding enterprise-
   specific Information Elements, such a feature can be very useful.







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5.2.  Reduced-Size Encoding of Information Elements

   Since a Collector may receive data from the same device and
   Observation Domain in two Templates using different reduced-size
   encodings, it is recommended that the data be stored using full-size
   encoding, to ensure that the values can be stored or even aggregated
   together.

5.3.  Template Management

   Template IDs are generated dynamically by the Exporting Process.
   They are unique per Transport Session and Observation Domain.

   Therefore, for each Transport Session, the Collecting Process has to
   maintain a list of Observation Domains.  For each Observation Domain,
   the Collecting Process has to maintain a list of current Template IDs
   in order to decode subsequent Data Records.

   Note that a restart of the Transport Session may lead to a Template
   ID renumbering.

6.  Transport-Specific Guidelines

   IPFIX can use SCTP, TCP, or UDP as a transport protocol.  IPFIX
   implementations MUST support SCTP with partial reliability extensions
   (PR-SCTP), and MAY support TCP and/or UDP (see [RFC5101], Section
   10.1).  In the IPFIX documents, the terms SCTP and PR-SCTP are often
   used interchangeably to mean SCTP with partial reliability
   extensions.

6.1.  SCTP

   PR-SCTP is the preferred transport protocol for IPFIX because it is
   congestion-aware, reducing total bandwidth usage in the case of
   congestion, but with a simpler state machine than TCP.  This saves
   resources on lightweight probes and router line cards.

   SCTP, as specified in [RFC4960] with the PR-SCTP extension defined in
   [RFC3758], provides several features not available in TCP or UDP.
   The two of these most universally applicable to IPFIX
   implementations, and which IPFIX implementers need to know about, are
   multiple streams and per-message partial reliability.

   An SCTP association may contain multiple streams.  Streams are useful
   for avoiding head-of-line blocking, thereby minimizing end-to-end
   delay from the Exporting Process to the Collecting Process.  Example





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   applications for this feature would be using one SCTP stream per
   Observation Domain, one stream per type of data (or Template ID), or
   one stream for Flow data and one for metadata.

   An Exporting Process may request any number of streams, and may send
   IPFIX Messages containing any type of Set (Data Set, Template Set,
   etc.) on any stream.  A Collecting Process MUST be able to process
   any Message received on any stream.

   Stream negotiation is a feature of the SCTP protocol.  Note, however,
   that the IPFIX protocol doesn't provide any mechanism for the
   Exporter to convey any information about which streams are in use to
   the Collector.  Therefore, stream configuration must be done out of
   band.

   One extra advantage of the PR-SCTP association is its ability to send
   messages with different levels of reliability, selected according to
   the application.  For example, billing or security applications might
   require reliable delivery of all their IPFIX Messages, while capacity
   planning applications might be more tolerant of message loss.  SCTP
   allows IPFIX Messages for all these applications to be transported
   over the same association with the appropriate level of reliability.

   IPFIX Messages may be sent with full or partial reliability, on a
   per-message basis.  Fully reliable delivery guarantees that the IPFIX
   Message will be received at the Collecting Process or that that SCTP
   association will be reset, as with TCP.  Partially reliable delivery
   does not guarantee the receipt of the IPFIX Message at the Collecting
   Process.  This feature may be used to allow Messages to be dropped
   during network congestion, i.e., while observing a Denial of Service
   attack.

   [RFC3758] defines the concept of a Partial Reliability policy, which
   specifies the interface used to control partially reliable delivery.
   It also defines a single example Partial Reliability policy called
   "timed reliability", which uses a single parameter: lifetime.  The
   lifetime is specified per message in milliseconds, and after it
   expires, no further attempt will be made to transmit the message.
   Longer lifetimes specify more retransmission attempts per message and
   therefore higher reliability; however, it should be noted that the
   absolute reliability provided by a given lifetime is highly dependent
   on network conditions, so an Exporting Process using the timed
   reliability service should provide a mechanism for configuring the
   lifetime of exported IPFIX Messages.  Another possible Partial
   Reliability policy could be limited retransmission, which guarantees
   a specified number of retransmissions for each message.  It is up to
   the implementer to decide which Partial Reliability policy is most
   appropriate for its application.



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   There is an additional service provided by SCTP and useful in
   conjunction with PR-SCTP: unordered delivery.  This also works on a
   per-message basis by declaring that a given message should be
   delivered to the receiver as soon as it is queued rather than kept in
   sequence; however, it should be noted that unless explicitly
   requested by the sender, even messages sent partially reliably will
   still be delivered in order.  Unordered delivery should not be used
   when the order of IPFIX Messages may matter: e.g., a Template or
   Options Template.  Unordered delivery should not be used when Total
   counters are used, as reordering could result in the counter value
   decreasing at the Collecting Process and even being left with a stale
   value if the last message processed is stale.

   By convention, when the IPFIX documents state a requirement for
   reliable delivery (as, for example, the IPFIX protocol document does
   for Template Sets, Options Template Sets, and Template Withdrawal
   Messages), an IPFIX Exporting Process must not use partially reliable
   delivery for those Messages.  By default, and explicitly if the IPFIX
   documents call for "partially reliable" or "unreliable" delivery, an
   IPFIX Exporting Process may use partially reliable delivery if the
   other requirements of the application allow.

   The Collecting Process may check whether IPFIX Messages are lost by
   checking the Sequence Number in the IPFIX header.  The Collecting
   Process should use the Sequence Number in the IPFIX Message Header to
   determine whether any messages are lost when sent with partial
   reliability.  Sequence Numbers should be tracked independently for
   each stream.

   The following may be done to mitigate message loss:

   o  Increase the SCTP buffer size on the Exporter.

   o  Increase the bandwidth available for communicating the exported
      Data Records.

   o  Use sampling, filtering, or aggregation in the Metering Process to
      reduce the amount of exported data (see [RFC5101], Section
      10.4.2.3).

   o  If partial reliability is used, switch to fully reliable delivery
      on the Exporting Process or increase the level of partial
      reliability (e.g., when using timed reliability, by specifying a
      longer lifetime for exported IPFIX Messages).







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   If the SCTP association is brought down because the IFPIX Messages
   can't be exported reliably, the options are:

   o  Increase the SCTP buffer size on the Exporter.

   o  Increase the bandwidth available for communicating the exported
      Data Records.

   o  Use sampling, filtering, or aggregation in the Metering Process to
      reduce the amount of exported data.

   Note that Templates must not be resent when using SCTP, without an
   intervening Template Withdrawal or SCTP association reset.  Note also
   that since Template Sets and Template Withdrawal Messages may be sent
   on any SCTP stream, a Template Withdrawal Message may withdraw a
   Template sent on a different stream, and a Template Set may reuse a
   Template ID withdrawn by a Template Withdrawal Message sent on a
   different stream.  Therefore, an Exporting Process sending Template
   Withdrawal Messages should ensure to the extent possible that the
   Template Withdrawal Messages and subsequent Template Sets reusing the
   withdrawn Template IDs are received and processed at the Collecting
   Process in proper order.  The Exporting Process can achieve this by
   one of two possible methods: 1. by sending a Template Withdrawal
   Message reliably, in order, and on the same stream as the subsequent
   Template Set reusing its ID; or 2. by waiting an appropriate amount
   of time (on the scale of one minute) after sending a Template
   Withdrawal Message before attempting to reuse the withdrawn Template
   ID.

6.2.  UDP

   UDP is useful in simple systems where an SCTP stack is not available,
   and where there is insufficient memory for TCP buffering.

   However, UDP is not a reliable transport protocol, and IPFIX Messages
   sent over UDP might be lost as with partially reliable SCTP streams.
   UDP is not the recommended protocol for IPFIX and is intended for use
   in cases in which IPFIX is replacing an existing NetFlow
   infrastructure, with the following properties:

   o  A dedicated network,

   o  within a single administrative domain,

   o  where SCTP is not available due to implementation constraints, and

   o  the Collector is as topologically close as possible to the
      Exporter.



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   Note that because UDP itself provides no congestion control
   mechanisms, it is recommended that UDP transport be used only on
   managed networks, where the network path has been explicitly
   provisioned for IPFIX traffic through traffic engineering mechanisms,
   such as rate limiting or capacity reservations.

   An important example of an explicitly provisioned, managed network
   for IPFIX is the use of IPFIX to replace a functioning NetFlow
   implementation on a dedicated network.  In this situation, the
   dedicated network should be provisioned in accordance with the
   NetFlow deployment experience that Flow export traffic generated by
   monitoring an interface will amount to 2-5% of the monitored
   interface's bandwidth.

   As recommended in [TSVWG-UDP], an application should not send UDP
   messages that result in IP packets that exceed the MTU of the path to
   the destination and should enable UDP checksums (see Sections 3.2 and
   3.4 of [TSVWG-UDP], respectively).

   Since IPFIX assumes reliable transport of Templates over SCTP, this
   necessitates some changes for IPFIX Template management over UDP.
   Templates sent from the Exporting Process to the Collecting Process
   over UDP MUST be resent at regular time intervals; these intervals
   MUST be configurable (see Section 10.3 of [RFC5101]).

   We recommend a default Template-resend time of 10 minutes,
   configurable between 1 minute and 1 day.

   Note that this could become an interoperability problem; e.g., if an
   Exporter resends Templates once per day, while a Collector expires
   Templates hourly, then they may both be IPFIX-compatible, but not be
   interoperable.

   Retransmission time intervals that are too short waste bandwidth on
   unnecessary Template retransmissions.  On the other hand, time
   intervals that are too long introduce additional costs or risk of
   data loss by potentially requiring the Collector to cache more data
   without having the Templates available to decode it.

   To increase reliability and limit the amount of potentially lost
   data, the Exporting Process may resend additional Templates using a
   packet-based schedule.  In this case, Templates are resent depending
   on the number of data packets sent.  Similarly to the time interval,
   resending a Template every few packets introduces additional
   overhead, while resending after a large amount of packets have
   already been sent means high costs due to the data caching and
   potential data loss.




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   We recommend a default Template-resend interval of 20 packets,
   configurable between 1 and 1000 data packets.

   Note that a sufficiently small resend time or packet interval may
   cause a system to become stuck, continually resending Templates or
   Options Data.  For example, if the resend packet interval is 2 (i.e.,
   Templates or Options Data are to be sent in every other packet) but
   more than two packets are required to send all the information, then
   the resend interval will have expired by the time the information has
   been sent, and Templates or Options Data will be sent continuously --
   possibly preventing any data from being sent at all.  Therefore, the
   resend intervals should be considered from the last data packet, and
   should not be tied to specific Sequence Numbers.

   The Collecting Process should use the Sequence Number in the IPFIX
   Message Header to determine whether any messages are lost.

   The following may be done to mitigate message loss:

   o  Move the Collector topologically closer to the Exporter.

   o  Increase the bandwidth of the links through which the Data Records
      are exported.

   o  Use sampling, filtering, or aggregation in the Metering Process to
      reduce the amount of exported data.

   o  Increase the buffer size at the Collector and/or the Exporter.

   Before using a Template for the first time, the Exporter may send it
   in several different IPFIX Messages spaced out over a period of
   packets in order to increase the likelihood that the Collector has
   received the Template.

   Template Withdrawal Messages MUST NOT be sent over UDP (per Section
   10.3.6 of [RFC5101]).  The Exporter must rely on expiration at the
   Collector to expire old Templates or to reuse Template IDs.

   We recommend that the Collector implements a Template Expiry of three
   times the Exporter refresh rate.

   However, since the IPFIX protocol doesn't provide any mechanism for
   the Exporter to convey any information about the Template Expiry time
   to the Collector, configuration must be done out of band.







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   If no out-of-band configuration is made, we recommend to initially
   set a Template Expiry time at the Collector of 60 minutes.  The
   Collecting Process may estimate each Exporting Process's resend time
   and adapt the Expiry time for the corresponding Templates
   accordingly.

6.3.  TCP

   TCP can be used as a transport protocol for IPFIX if one of the
   endpoints has no support for SCTP, but a reliable transport is needed
   and/or the network between the Exporter and the Collector has not
   explicitly been provisioned for the IPFIX traffic.  TCP is one of the
   core protocols of the Internet and is widely supported.

   The Exporting Process may resend Templates (per UDP, above), but it's
   not required to do so, per Section 10.4.2.2 of [RFC5101]:

   "A Collecting Process MUST record all Template and Options Template
   Records for the duration of the connection, as an Exporting Process
   is not required to re-export Template Records."

   If the available bandwidth between Exporter and Collector is not
   sufficient or the Metering Process generates more Data Records than
   the Collector is capable of processing, then TCP congestion control
   may cause the Exporter to block.  Options in this case are:

   o  Increase the TCP buffer size on the Exporter.

   o  Increase the bandwidth of the links through which the Data Records
      are exported.

   o  Use sampling, filtering, or aggregation in the Metering Process to
      reduce the amount of exported data.

7.  Guidelines for Implementation on Middleboxes

   The term middlebox is defined in [RFC3234] as:

   "any intermediary device performing functions other than the normal,
   standard functions of an IP router on the datagram path between a
   source host and destination host."

   The list of middleboxes discussed in [RFC3234] contains:

   1.   Network Address Translation (NAT),

   2.   NAT-Protocol Translation (NAT-PT),




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   3.   SOCKS gateway,

   4.   IP tunnel endpoints,

   5.   packet classifiers, markers, schedulers,

   6.   transport relay,

   7.   TCP performance enhancing proxies,

   8.   load balancers that divert/munge packets,

   9.   IP firewalls,

   10.  application firewalls,

   11.  application-level gateways,

   12.  gatekeepers / session control boxes,

   13.  transcoders,

   14.  proxies,

   15.  caches,

   16.  modified DNS servers,

   17.  content and applications distribution boxes,

   18.  load balancers that divert/munge URLs,

   19.  application-level interceptors,

   20.  application-level multicast,

   21.  involuntary packet redirection,

   22.  anonymizers.

   It is likely that since the publication of RFC 3234 new kinds of
   middleboxes have been added.

   While the IPFIX specifications [RFC5101] based the requirements on
   the export protocol only (as the IPFIX name implies), these sections
   cover the guidelines for the implementation of the Metering Process
   by recommending which Information Elements to export for the
   different middlebox considerations.



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7.1.  Traffic Flow Scenarios at Middleboxes

   Middleboxes may delay, reorder, drop, or multiply packets; they may
   change packet header fields and change the payload.  All these
   actions have an impact on traffic Flow properties.  In general, a
   middlebox transforms a unidirectional original traffic Flow T that
   arrives at the middlebox into a transformed traffic Flow T' that
   leaves the middlebox.

                                 +-----------+
                          T ---->| middlebox |----> T'
                                 +-----------+

       Figure 1: Unidirectional traffic Flow traversing a middlebox

   Note that in an extreme case, T' may be an empty traffic Flow (a Flow
   with no packets), for example, if the middlebox is a firewall and
   blocks the Flow.

   In case of a middlebox performing a multicast function, a single
   original traffic Flow may be transformed into more than one
   transformed traffic Flow.

                                           +------> T'
                                           |
                                 +---------+-+
                          T ---->| middlebox |----> T''
                                 +---------+-+
                                           |
                                           +------> T'''

     Figure 2: Unidirectional traffic Flow traversing a middlebox with
                            multicast function

   For bidirectional traffic Flows, we identify Flows on different sides
   of the middlebox; say, T_l on the left side and T_r on the right
   side.

                                 +-----------+
                        T_l <--->| middlebox |<---> T_r
                                 +-----------+

    Figure 3: Bidirectional unicast traffic Flow traversing a middlebox

   In case of a NAT, T_l might be a traffic Flow in a private address
   realm and T_r the translated traffic Flow in the public address
   realm.  If the middlebox is a NAT-PT, then T_l may be an IPv4 traffic
   Flow and T_r the translated IPv6 traffic Flow.



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   At tunnel endpoints, Flows are multiplexed or demultiplexed.  In
   general, tunnel endpoints can deal with bidirectional traffic Flows.

                                           +------> T_r1
                                           v
                                 +---------+-+
                        T_l <--->| middlebox |<---> T_r2
                                 +---------+-+
                                           ^
                                           +------> T_r3

                     Figure 4: Multiple data reduction

   An example is a traffic Flow T_l of a tunnel and Flows T_rx that are
   multiplexed into or demultiplexed out of a tunnel.  According to the
   IPFIX definition of traffic Flows in [RFC5101], T and T' or T_l and
   T_rx, respectively, are different Flows in general.

   However, from an application point of view, they might be considered
   as closely related or even as the same Flow, for example, if the
   payloads they carry are identical.

7.2.  Location of the Observation Point

   Middleboxes might be integrated with other devices.  An example is a
   router with a NAT or a firewall at a line card.  If an IPFIX
   Observation Point is located at the line card, then the properties of
   measured traffic Flows may depend on the side of the integrated
   middlebox at which packets were captured for traffic Flow
   measurement.

   Consequently, an Exporting Process reporting traffic Flows measured
   at a device that hosts one or more middleboxes should clearly
   indicate to Collecting Processes the location of the used Observation
   Point(s) with respect to the middlebox(es).  This can be done by
   using Options with Observation Point as scope and elements like, for
   instance, lineCardID or samplerID.  Otherwise, processing the
   measured Flow data could lead to wrong results.

   At first glance, choosing an Observation Point that covers the entire
   middlebox looks like an attractive choice.  But this leads to
   ambiguities for all kinds of middleboxes.  Within the middlebox,
   properties of packets are modified, and it should be clear at a
   Collecting Process whether packets were observed and metered before
   or after modification.  For example, it must be clear whether a
   reported source IP address was observed before or after a NAT changed
   it or whether a reported packet count was measured before or after a




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   firewall dropped packets.  For this reason, [RFC5102] provides
   Information Elements with prefix "post" for Flow properties that are
   changed within a middlebox.

   If an Observation Point is located inside a middlebox, the middlebox
   must have well-defined and well-separated internal functions, for
   example, a combined NAT and firewall, and the Observation Point
   should be located on a boundary between middlebox functions rather
   than within one of the functions.

7.3.  Reporting Flow-Related Middlebox Internals

   While this document recommends IPFIX implementations using
   Observation Points outside of middlebox functions, there are a few
   special cases where reporting Flow-related internals of a middlebox
   is of interest.

   For many applications that use traffic measurement results, it is
   desirable to get more information than can be derived from just
   observing packets on one side of a middlebox.  If, for example,
   packets are dropped by the middlebox acting as a firewall, NAT, or
   traffic shaper, then information about how many observed packets are
   dropped may be of high interest.

   This section gives recommendations on middlebox internal information
   that may be reported if the IPFIX Observation Point is co-located
   with one or more middleboxes.  Since the internal information to be
   reported depends on the kind of middlebox, it is discussed per kind.

   The recommendations cover middleboxes that act per packet and that do
   not modify the application-level payload of the packet (except by
   dropping the entire packet) and that do not insert additional packets
   into an application-level or transport-level traffic stream.

   Covered are the packet-level middleboxes of kinds 1, 2, 3, 5, 9, 10,
   21, and 22 (according to the enumeration given at the beginning of
   Section 7 of this document).  Not covered are 4, 6-8 and 11-20.  TCP
   performance-enhancing proxies (7) are not covered because they may
   add ACK packets to a TCP connection.

   Still, if possible, IPFIX implementations co-located with uncovered
   middleboxes (i.e., of type 7 or 11-20) should follow the
   recommendations given in this section if they can be applied in a way
   that reflects the intention of these recommendations.







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7.3.1.  Packet Dropping Middleboxes

   If an IPFIX Observation Point is co-located with one or more
   middleboxes that potentially drop packets, then the corresponding
   IPFIX Exporting Process should be able to report the number of
   packets that were dropped per reported Flow.

   Concerned kinds of middleboxes are NAT (1), NAT-PT (2), SOCKS gateway
   (3), packet schedulers (5), IP firewalls (9) and application-level
   firewalls (10).

7.3.2.  Middleboxes Changing the DSCP

   If an IPFIX Observation Point is co-located with one or more
   middleboxes that potentially modify the Diffserv Code Point (DSCP,
   see [RFC2474]) in the IP header, then the corresponding IPFIX
   Exporting Process should be able to report both the observed incoming
   DSCP value and also the DSCP value on the 'other' side of the
   middlebox (if this is a constant value for the particular traffic
   flow).  The related Information Elements specified in [RFC5102] are:
   IpClassOfService and postIpClassOfService.

   Note that the current IPFIX information model only contains
   Information Elements supporting packets observed before the DSCP
   change, i.e. ipClassOfService and postIpClassOfService, where the
   latter reports the value of the IP TOS field after the DSCP change.
   We recommend, whenever possible, to move the Observation Point to the
   point before the DSCP change and report the Observed and post-
   values.  If reporting the value of the IP TOS field before DSCP
   change is required, "pre" values can be exported using enterprise-
   specific Information Elements.

   Note also that a classifier may change the same DSCP value of packets
   from the same Flow to different values depending on the packet or
   other conditions.  Also, it is possible that packets of a single
   unidirectional arriving Flow contain packets with different DSCP
   values that are all set to the same value by the middlebox.  In both
   cases, there is a constant value for the DSCP field in the IP packet
   header to be observed on one side of the middlebox, but on the other
   side the value may vary.  In such a case, reliable reporting of the
   DSCP value on the 'other' side of the middlebox is not possible by
   just reporting a single value.  According to the IPFIX information
   model [RFC5102], the first value observed for the DSCP is reported by
   the IPFIX protocol in that case.

   This recommendation applies to packet markers (5).





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7.3.3.  Middleboxes Changing IP Addresses and Port Numbers

   If an IPFIX Observation Point is co-located with one or more
   middleboxes that potentially modify the:

   o  IP version field,

   o  IP source address header field,

   o  IP destination address header field,

   o  Source transport port number, or

   o  Destination transport port number

   in one of the headers, then the corresponding IPFIX Exporting Process
   should be able to report the 'translated' value of these fields, as
   far as they have constant values for the particular traffic Flow, in
   addition to the observed values of these fields.

   If the changed values are not constant for the particular traffic
   Flow but still reporting is desired, then it is recommended that the
   general rule from [RFC5102] for Information Elements with changing
   values is applied: the reported value is the one that applies to the
   first packet observed for the reported Flow.

   Note that the 'translated' value of the fields can be the values
   before or after the translation depending on the Flow direction and
   the location of the Observation Point with respect to the middlebox.
   We always call the value that is not the one observed at the
   Observation Point the translated value.

   Note also that a middlebox may change the same port number value of
   packets from the same Flow to different values depending on the
   packet or other conditions.  Also, it is possible that packets of
   different unidirectional arriving Flows with different source/
   destination port number pairs may be mapped to a single Flow with a
   single source/destination port number pair by the middlebox.  In both
   cases, there is a constant value for the port number pair to be
   observed on one side of the middlebox, but on the other side the
   values may vary.  In such a case, reliable reporting of the port
   number pairs on the 'other' side of the middlebox is not possible.
   According to the IPFIX information model [RFC5102], the first value
   observed for each port number is reported by the IPFIX protocol in
   that case.






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   This recommendation applies to NAT (1), NAT-PT (2), SOCKS gateway (3)
   and involuntary packet redirection (21) middleboxes.  It may also be
   applied to anonymizers (22), though it should be noted that this
   carries the risk of losing the effect of anonymization.

8.  Security Guidelines

8.1.  Introduction to TLS and DTLS for IPFIX Implementers

   Transport Layer Security (TLS) [RFC4346] and Datagram Transport Layer
   Security (DTLS) [RFC4347] are the REQUIRED protocols for securing
   network traffic exported with IPFIX (see Section 11 of [RFC5101]).
   TLS requires a reliable transport channel and is selected as the
   security mechanism for TCP.  DTLS is a version of TLS capable of
   securing datagram traffic and is selected for UDP, SCTP, and PR-SCTP.

   When mapping TLS terminology used in [RFC4346] to IPFIX terminology,
   keep in mind that the IPFIX Exporting Process, as it is the
   connection initiator, corresponds to the TLS client, and the IPFIX
   Collecting Process corresponds to the TLS server.  These terms apply
   only to the bidirectional TLS handshakes done at Transport Session
   establishment and completion time; aside from TLS connection set up
   between the Exporting Process and the Collecting Process, and
   teardown at the end of the session, the unidirectional Flow of
   messages from Exporting Process to Collecting Process operates over
   TLS just as over any other transport layer for IPFIX.

8.2.  X.509-Based Identity Verification for IPFIX over TLS or DTLS

   When using TLS or DTLS to secure an IPFIX Transport Session, the
   Collecting Process and Exporting Process must use strong mutual
   authentication.  In other words, each IPFIX endpoint must have its
   own X.509 certificate [RFC3280] and private key, and the Collecting
   Process, which acts as the TLS or DTLS server, must send a
   Certificate Request to the Exporting Process during the TLS
   handshake, and fail to establish a session if the Exporting Process
   does not present a valid certificate.

   Each Exporting Process and Collecting Process must verify the
   identity of its peer against a set of authorized peers.  This may be
   done by configuring a set of authorized distinguished names and
   comparing the peer certificate's subject distinguished name against
   each name in the set.  However, if a private certification authority
   (CA) is used to sign the certificates identifying the Collecting
   Processes and Exporting Processes, and the set of certificates signed
   by that private CA may be restricted to those identifying peers
   authorized to communicate with each other, it is sufficient to merely
   verify that the peer's certificate is issued by this private CA.



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   When verifying the identity of its peer, an IPFIX Exporting Process
   or Collecting Process must verify that the peer certificate's subject
   common name or subjectAltName extension dNSName matches the fully-
   qualified domain name (FQDN) of the peer.  This involves retrieving
   the expected domain name from the peer certificate and the address of
   the peer, then verifying that the two match via a DNS lookup.  Such
   verification should require both that forward lookups (FQDN to peer
   address) and reverse lookups (peer address to FQDN) match.  In
   deployments without DNS infrastructure, it is acceptable to represent
   the FQDN as an IPv4 dotted-quad or a textual IPv6 address as in
   [RFC1924].

8.3.  Implementing IPFIX over TLS over TCP

   Of the security solutions specified for IPFIX, TLS over TCP is as of
   this writing the most mature and widely implemented.  Until stable
   implementations of DTLS over SCTP are widely available (see
   Section 8.5, below), it is recommended that applications requiring
   secure transport for IPFIX Messages use TLS over TCP.

   When using TLS over TCP, IPFIX Exporting Processes and Collecting
   Processes should behave in all other aspects as if using TCP as the
   transport protocol, especially as regards the handling of Templates
   and Template withdrawals.

8.4.  Implementing IPFIX over DTLS over UDP

   An implementation of the DTLS protocol version 1, described in
   [RFC4347] and required to secure IPFIX over UDP, is available in
   OpenSSL [OPENSSL] as of version 0.9.8.  However, DTLS support is as
   of this writing under active development and certain implementations
   might be unstable.  We recommend extensive testing of DTLS-based
   IPFIX implementations to build confidence in the DTLS stack over
   which your implementation runs.

   When using DTLS over UDP, IPFIX Exporting Processes and Collecting
   Processes should behave in all other aspects as if using UDP as the
   transport protocol, especially as regards the handling of Templates
   and Template timeouts.

   Note that the selection of IPFIX Message sizes for DTLS over UDP must
   account for overhead per packet introduced by the DTLS layer.









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8.5.  Implementing IPFIX over DTLS over SCTP

   As of this writing, there is no publicly available implementation of
   DTLS over SCTP as described in [RFC4347] and [TUEXEN].

   When using DTLS over SCTP, IPFIX Exporting Processes and Collecting
   Processes should behave in all other aspects as if using SCTP as the
   transport protocol, especially as regards the handling of Templates
   and the use of reliable transport for Template and scope information.

   An implementation of the DTLS protocol version 1, described in
   [RFC4347] and required to secure IPFIX over SCTP, is available in
   OpenSSL [OPENSSL] as of version 0.9.8.  However, DTLS support is as
   of this writing under active development and certain implementations
   might be unstable.  We recommend extensive testing of DTLS-based
   IPFIX implementations to build confidence in the DTLS stack over
   which your implementation runs.

9.  Extending the Information Model

   IPFIX supports two sets of Information Elements: IANA-registered
   Information Elements and enterprise-specific Information Elements.
   New Information Elements can be added to both sets as described in
   this section.  If an Information Element is considered of general
   interest, it should be added to the set of IETF-specified Information
   Elements that is maintained by IANA.

   Alternatively, private enterprises can define proprietary Information
   Elements for internal purposes.  There are several potential reasons
   for doing so.  For example, the Information Element might only relate
   to proprietary features of a device or protocol of the enterprise.
   Also, pre-standard product delivery or commercially sensitive product
   features might cause the need for enterprise-specific Information
   Elements.

   The IPFIX information model [RFC5102] document contains an XML-based
   specification of Template, abstract data types, and IPFIX Information
   Elements, which may be used to create consistent machine-readable
   extensions to the IPFIX information model.  This description can be
   used for automatically checking syntactic correctness of the
   specification of IPFIX Information Elements and for generating code
   that deals with processing IPFIX Information Elements.

9.1.  Adding New IETF-Specified Information Elements

   New IPFIX Information Elements that are considered to be of general
   interest should be added to the set of IETF-specified Information
   Elements that is maintained by IANA.



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   The introduction of new Information Elements in the IANA registry is
   subject to expert review.  As described in Section 7.1 of [RFC5102],
   an expert review is performed by one of a group of experts designated
   by an IETF Operations and Management Area Director.  The experts will
   initially be drawn from the Working Group Chairs and document editors
   of the IPFIX and PSAMP Working Groups.  The group of experts must
   double check the Information Elements definitions with already
   defined Information Elements for completeness, accuracy, redundancy,
   and correct naming following the naming conventions in [RFC5102],
   Section 2.3.

   The specification of new IPFIX Information Elements must use the
   Template specified in [RFC5102], Section 2.1, and must be published
   using a well-established and persistent publication medium.

9.2.  Adding Enterprise-Specific Information Elements

   Enterprises or other organizations holding a registered Structure of
   Management Information (SMI) network management private enterprise
   code number can specify enterprise-specific Information Elements.
   Their identifiers can be chosen arbitrarily within the range of
   1-32767 and have to be coupled with a Private Enterprise Identifier
   [PEN].  Enterprise identifiers MUST be registered as SMI network
   management private enterprise code numbers with IANA.  The registry
   can be found at http://www.iana.org/assignments/enterprise-numbers.

10.  Common Implementation Mistakes

   The issues listed in this section were identified during
   implementation and interoperability testing.  They do not stem from
   insufficient clarity in the protocol, but each of these was an actual
   mistake made in a tested IPFIX implementation.  They are listed here
   for the convenience of future implementers.

10.1.  IPFIX and NetFlow Version 9

   A large group of mistakes stems from the fact that many implementers
   started implementing IPFIX from an existing version of NetFlow
   version 9 [RFC3954].  Despite their similarity, the two protocols
   differ in many aspects.  We list here some of the most important
   differences.

   o  Transport protocol: NetFlow version 9 initially ran over UDP,
      while IPFIX must have a congestion-aware transport protocol.
      IPFIX specifies PR-SCTP as its mandatory protocol, while TCP and
      UDP are optional.





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   o  IPFIX differentiates between IANA-registered and enterprise-
      specific Information Elements.  Enterprise-specific Information
      Elements can be specified by coupling a non-IANA-registered
      Information Element identifier with an Enterprise ID
      (corresponding to the vendor that defined the Information
      Element).

   o  Options Templates: in IPFIX, an Options Template must have a
      scope, and the scope is not allowed to be of length zero.  The
      NetFlow version 9 specifications [RFC3954] don't specify that the
      scope must not be of length zero.

   Message Header:

   o  Set ID: Even if the packet headers are different between IPFIX and
      NetFlow version 9, similar fields are used in both of them.  The
      difference between the two protocols is in the values that these
      fields can assume.  A typical example is the Set ID values: the
      Set ID values of 0 and 1 are used in NetFlow version 9, while they
      are not used in IPFIX.

   o  Length field: in NetFlow version 9, this field (called count)
      contains the number of Records.  In IPFIX, it indicates the total
      length of the IPFIX Message, measured in octets (including Message
      Header and Set(s)).

   o  Timestamp: the NetFlow version 9 header has an additional
      timestamp: sysUpTime.  It indicates the time in milliseconds since
      the last reboot of the Exporting Process.

   o  The version number is different.  NetFlow version 9 uses the
      version number 9, while IPFIX uses the version number 10.

10.2.  Padding of the Data Set

   [RFC5101] specifies that the Exporting Process MAY insert some octets
   for set padding to align Data Sets within a Message.  The padding
   length must be shorter than any allowable Record in that set.

   It is important to respect this limitation: if the padding length is
   equal to or longer than the length of the shortest Record, it will be
   interpreted as another Record.

   An alternative is to use the paddingOctets Information Element in the
   Template definition.






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10.3.  Field ID Numbers

   Information Element numbers in IPFIX have the range 0-32767
   (0-0x7FFF).  Information Element numbers outside this range (i.e.,
   with the high bit set) are taken to be enterprise-specific
   Information Elements, which have an additional four-byte Private
   Enterprise Number following the Information Element number and
   length.  Inadvertently setting the high bit of the Information
   Element number by selecting a number out of this range will therefore
   cause Template scanning errors.

10.4.  Template ID Numbers

   Template IDs are generated as required by the Exporting Process.
   When the same set of Information Elements is exported at different
   times, the corresponding Template is usually identified by different
   Template IDs.  Similarly, if multiple co-existing Templates are
   composed of the same set of Information Elements, they are also
   identified by different Template IDs.  The Collecting Process does
   not know in advance which Template ID a particular Template will use.

11.  Security Considerations

   This document describes the implementation guidelines of IPFIX.  The
   security requirements for the IPFIX target applications are addressed
   in the IPFIX requirements document [RFC3917].  These requirements are
   considered for the specification of the IPFIX protocol [RFC5101], for
   which a Security Considerations Section exists.

   Section 7 of this document recommends that IPFIX Exporting Processes
   report internals about middleboxes.  These internals may be security-
   relevant, and the reported information needs to be protected
   appropriately for reasons given below.

   Reporting of packets dropped by firewalls and other packet-dropping
   middleboxes carries the risk that this information can be used by
   attackers for analyzing the configuration of the middlebox and for
   developing attacks against it.  Address translation may be used for
   hiding the network structure behind an address translator.  If an
   IPFIX Exporting Process reports the translations performed by an
   address translator, then parts of the network structure may be
   revealed.  If an IPFIX Exporting Process reports the translations
   performed by an anonymizer, the main function of the anonymizer may
   be compromised.

   Note that there exist vulnerabilities in DTLS over SCTP as specified
   in the IPFIX protocol, such that a third party could cause messages
   to be undetectably lost, or an SCTP association to shut down.  These



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   vulnerabilities are addressed by [TUEXEN]; however, it is unclear
   whether initial OpenSSL-based implementations of DTLS over SCTP will
   contain the required fixes.  DTLS over SCTP should be used with
   caution in production environments until these issues are completely
   addressed.

12.  Acknowledgments

   We would like to thank the MoMe project for organizing two IPFIX
   Interoperability Events in July 2005 and in March 2006, and
   Fraunhofer Fokus for organizing the third one in November 2006.  The
   Interoperability Events provided us precious input for this document.
   Thanks to Brian Trammell for his contributions to the SCTP section
   and the security guidelines and for the multiple thorough reviews.
   We would also like to thank Benoit Claise, Carsten Schmoll, and
   Gerhard Muenz for the technical review and feedback, and Michael
   Tuexen, Randall Stewart, and Peter Lei for reviewing the SCTP
   section.

13.  References

13.1.  Normative References

   [RFC5101]         Claise, B., Ed., "Specification of the IP Flow
                     Information Export (IPFIX) Protocol for the
                     Exchange of IP Traffic Flow Information", RFC 5101,
                     January 2008.

   [RFC5102]         Quittek, J., Bryant, S., Claise, B., Aitken, P.,
                     and J. Meyer, "Information Model for IP Flow
                     Information Export", RFC 5102, January 2008.

   [RFC2119]         Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
                     Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

13.2.  Informative References

   [IPFIX-AS]        Zseby, T., Boschi, E., Brownlee, N., and B. Claise,
                     "IPFIX Applicability", Work in Progress, July 2007.

   [IPFIX-ARCH]      Sadasivan, G., Brownlee, N., Claise, B., and J.
                     Quittek, "Architecture for IP Flow Information
                     Export", Work in Progress, September 2006.

   [IPFIX-REDUCING]  Boschi, E., Mark, L., and B. Claise, "Reducing
                     Redundancy in IP Flow Information Export (IPFIX)
                     and Packet Sampling (PSAMP) Reports", Work
                     in Progress, May 2007.



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   [PSAMP-PROTO]     Claise, B., Quittek, J., and A. Johnson, "Packet
                     Sampling (PSAMP) Protocol Specifications", Work
                     in Progress, December 2007.

   [TUEXEN]          Tuexen, M. and E. Rescorla, "Datagram Transport
                     Layer Security for Stream Control Transmission
                     Protocol", Work in Progress, November 2007.

   [TSVWG-UDP]       Eggert, L. and G. Fairhurst, "UDP Usage Guidelines
                     for Application Designers", Work in Progress,
                     February 2008.

   [RFC1305]         Mills, D., "Network Time Protocol (Version 3)
                     Specification, Implementation and Analysis",
                     RFC 1305, March 1992.

   [RFC1924]         Elz, R., "A Compact Representation of IPv6
                     Addresses", RFC 1924, April 1996.

   [RFC2474]         Nichols, K., Blake, S., Baker, F., and D. Black,
                     "Definition of the Differentiated Services Field
                     (DS Field) in the IPv4 and IPv6 Headers", RFC 2474,
                     December 1998.

   [RFC3234]         Carpenter, B. and S. Brim, "Middleboxes: Taxonomy
                     and Issues", RFC 3234, February 2002.

   [RFC3280]         Housley, R., Polk, W., Ford, W., and D. Solo,
                     "Internet X.509 Public Key Infrastructure
                     Certificate and Certificate Revocation List (CRL)
                     Profile", RFC 3280, April 2002.

   [RFC3758]         Stewart, R., Ramalho, M., Xie, Q., Tuexen, M., and
                     P. Conrad, "Stream Control Transmission Protocol
                     (SCTP) Partial Reliability Extension", RFC 3758,
                     May 2004.

   [RFC3917]         Quittek, J., Zseby, T., Claise, B., and S. Zander,
                     "Requirements for IP Flow Information Export
                     (IPFIX)", RFC 3917, October 2004.

   [RFC3954]         Claise, B., Ed., "Cisco Systems NetFlow Services
                     Export Version 9", RFC 3954, October 2004.

   [RFC4346]         Dierks, T. and E. Rescorla, "The Transport Layer
                     Security (TLS) Protocol Version 1.1", RFC 4346,
                     April 2006.




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   [RFC4347]         Rescorla, E. and N. Modadugu, "Datagram Transport
                     Layer Security", RFC 4347, April 2006.

   [RFC4960]         Stewart, R., Ed., "Stream Control Transmission
                     Protocol", RFC 4960, September 2007.

   [OPENSSL]         OpenSSL, "OpenSSL: The Open Source toolkit for SSL/
                     TLS", <http://www.openssl.org/>.

   [PEN]             IANA, "PRIVATE ENTERPRISE NUMBERS", <http://
                     www.iana.org/assignments/enterprise-numbers>.

Authors' Addresses

   Elisa Boschi
   Hitachi Europe
   c/o ETH Zurich
   Gloriastr. 35
   8092 Zurich
   Switzerland

   Phone: +41 44 6327057
   EMail: elisa.boschi@hitachi-eu.com


   Lutz Mark
   Fraunhofer FOKUS
   Kaiserin Augusta Allee 31
   10589 Berlin
   Germany

   Phone: +49 421 2246-206
   EMail: lutz.mark@ifam.fraunhofer.de


   Juergen Quittek
   NEC Europe Ltd.
   Kurfuersten-Anlage 36
   69115 Heidelberg
   Germany

   Phone: +49 6221 4342-115
   EMail: quittek@nw.neclab.eu








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   Martin Stiemerling
   NEC Europe Ltd.
   Kurfuersten-Anlage 36
   69115 Heidelberg
   Germany

   Phone: +49 6221 4342-113
   EMail: stiemerling@nw.neclab.eu


   Paul Aitken
   Cisco Systems, Inc.
   96 Commercial Quay
   Edinburgh  EH6 6LX
   Scotland

   Phone: +44 131 561 3616
   EMail: paitken@cisco.com

































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Full Copyright Statement

   Copyright (C) The IETF Trust (2008).

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