Thursday, October 5, 2023

Internet eXchange Provider (IXP) Metrics

IXP Metrics is available on Github. The application provides real-time monitoring of traffic between members of an Internet eXchange Provider (IXP) network.

This article will use Arista switches as an example to illustrate the steps needed to deploy the monitoring solution, however, these steps should work for other network equipment vendors (provided you modify the vendor specific elements in this example).

git clone
cd prometheus-grafana
env RT_IMAGE=ixp-metrics ./

The easiest way to get started is to use Docker, see Deploy real-time network dashboards using Docker compose, and deploy the sflow/ixp-metrics image bundling the IXP Metrics application.

  - job_name: sflow-rt-ixp-metrics
    metrics_path: /app/ixp-metrics/scripts/metrics.js/prometheus/txt
    - targets: ['sflow-rt:8008']
Follow the directions in the article to add a Prometheus scrape task to retrieve the metrics.
sflow source-interface management 1
sflow destination
sflow polling-interval 20
sflow sample 50000
sflow run

Enable sFlow on all exchange switches, directing sFlow telemetry to the Docker host (in this case

Use the sFlow-RT Status page to confirm that sFlow is being received from the switches. In this case 286 sFlow datagrams per second are being received from 9 switches.
The IX-F Member Export JSON Schema V1.0 is used to identify exchange members and their assigned MAC addresses. Upload the member data to the IXP Metrics Settings tab. Additional tabs are provided to locate members and MAC addresses to switch ports, query for unauthorized traffic, see real-time charts, etc.
Upload an sFlow-RT Topology. In this example, Arista eAPI can be used to query Arista switches and discover the network topology.
Use the Topology Status page to verify that sFlow telemetry is being received for all the switches and links in the topology.
sFlow-RT IXP Overall Traffic dashboard (ID: 19706) shows overall traffic in and out of exchange, breakdown of IPv4, IPv6 and ARP traffic, packet size distribution, and total number of BGP peering connections across exchange.
sFlow-RT IXP Member Traffic Top N dashboard (ID: 19707) shows peering traffic. Select a member and see trends of traffic to / from other members of the exchange.
sFlow-RT IXP Traffic Matrix dashboard displays a grid view of the traffic exchanged between members across the exchange.
Grafana Network Weathermap describes how to construct a real-time dashboard showing network topology and link utilizations.

Support for sFlow is a standard in switches used to construct Internet Exchanges. The combination of Docker, sFlow-RT, Prometheus, and Grafana provide a scaleable, cost effective, and flexible method of monitoring traffic and generating real-time dashboards.