Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Forwarding using sFlow-RT

The diagrams show different two different configurations for sFlow monitoring:
  1. Without Forwarding Each sFlow agent is configured to stream sFlow telemetry to each of the analysis applications. This configuration is appropriate when a small number of applications is being used to continuously monitor performance. However, the overhead on the network and agents increases as additional analyzers are added. Often it is not possible to increase the number of analyzers since many embedded sFlow agents have limited resources and only support a small number of sFlow streams. In addition, the complexity of configuring each agent to add or remove an analysis application can be significant since agents may reside in Ethernet switches, routers, servers, hypervisors and applications on many different platforms from a variety of vendors.
  2. With Forwarding In this case all the agents are configured to send sFlow to a forwarding module which resends the data to the analysis applications. In this case analyzers can be added and removed simply by reconfiguring the forwarder without any changes required to the agent configurations.
There are many variations between these two extremes. Typically there will be one or two analyzers used for continuous monitoring and additional tools, like Wireshark, might be deployed for troubleshooting when the continuous monitoring tools detect anomalies.

This article will demonstrate how to forward sFlow using sFlow-RT.

Download and install and install the software and configure the sFlow agents to stream telemetry to the sFlow-RT instance.
The sFlow-RT status page, accessible on HTTP port 8008, can be used to verify that sFlow is being received from the agents. Click on the API option then click on the Open REST API Explorer button to access documentation on the sFlow-RT REST API.
The following REST API call creates a forwarding session, SessionA, directing a stream of sFlow to analyzer
curl -H "Content-Type:application/json" -X PUT --data '{"address":""}' \
Create a second session, SessionB, to a non-standard port, 7343:
curl -H "Content-Type:application/json" \
-X PUT --data '{"address":"","port":7343}' \
Create a third session, SessionC, to forward sFlow from selected agent,
curl -H "Content-Type:application/json" \
-X PUT --data '{"address":"","port":8343,"agents":[""]}' \
See the all forwarding sessions:
Delete forwarding session, SessionB:
curl -X DELETE
In addition, sFlow-RT supports the complex filtering and forwarding operations needed stream per-tenant views of the sFlow telemetry in a shared network, see Multi-tenant sFlow.
Finally, the streaming analytics capabilities of sFlow-RT can be used to simultaneously deliver metrics to time series databases (e.g. Prometheus and Grafana), send events to SIEM tools like Splunk or Logstash (e.g. Exporting events using syslog), and export flow data (e.g. sFlow to IPFIX/NetFlow) while also running embedded applications to visualize data, mitigate DDoS attacks, and optimize routing.

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