AppFlow and IPFIX

AppFlow and IPFIX are flow export standards used to identify and collect application and transaction data in the network infrastructure. This data gives better visibility into application traffic utilization and performance.

The collected data, called flow records are transmitted to one or more IPv4 collectors. The collectors aggregate the flow records and generate real-time or historical reports.

AppFlow

AppFlow exports flow level data for HDX / ICA connections only. You can enable either the TCP only for HDX dataset template or the HDX dataset template. The TCP only for HDX dataset provides multi-hop data. The HDX dataset provides HDX insight data.

Note

HDX template is available for Citrix SD-WAN PE edition and Two-box appliances only. It should be enabled on the Data Center appliance.

AppFlow Collectors like Splunk and Citrix ADM have dashboards to interpret and present these templates.

IPFIX

IPFIX is a collector export protocol used for exporting flow level data for all connections. For any connection, you can view information such as packet count, byte count, type of service, flow direction, routing domain, application name and so on. IPFIX flows are transmitted through the management interface. Most collectors can receive IPFIX flow records, but may need to build a custom dashboard to interpret IPFIX template.

IPFIX version 10 is supported in Citrix SD-WAN release 10 version 2 and above.

There are a few architectural changes, resulting in low performance impact when Net Flow, AppFlow, and IPFIX are enabled together as these protocol reuse resources.

Limitations

  • The export interval for Net Flow is increased from 15 seconds to 60 seconds.
  • AppFlow/IPFIX flows are transmitted over UDP, on connection loss not all data is retransmitted. If the export interval is set to X minutes, the appliance stores X minutes of data only. Which is retransmitted after X minutes of connection loss.
  • In Citrix SD-WAN, release 10 version 2 the AppFlow settings are made local to every appliance, while in the previous releases it was a global setting. If the SD-WAN software release is downgraded to any of the previous releases and if AppFlow is configured on any one of the appliances, it will be applied globally to all alliances.

Configuring AppFlow/IPFIX

You can configure AppFlow / IPFIX on individual SD-WAN appliances or configure it on SD-WAN Center and push the configuration to a group of appliances.

To configure AppFlow / IPFIX on SD-WAN appliances:

  1. In Citrix SD-WAN SE/PE web interface, navigate to Configuration > AppFlow/IPFIX.
  2. Click Enable.

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  3. In the Data Update Interval field, specify the time interval, in minutes, at which the flow reports are exported to AppFlow/IPFIX collector. The maximum interval is 10 minutes.

  4. Select the AppFlow dataset template, you can choose either one of the following dataset templates:
    • TCP only for HDX (AppFlow): The AppFlow dataset template to collect and send multi-hop data of ICA connections to the AppFlow collector.
    • HDX (AppFlow): The AppFlow dataset template to collect and send HDX insight data of ICA connections to AppFlow collector.

    Note

    HDX template is available for Citrix SD-WAN PE and Two Box appliances only.

  5. You can configure up to four AppFlow / IPFIX collectors. For each collector specify the following parameters:

    • IP Address: The IP Address of the external AppFlow / IPFIX collector system.
    • Port: The port number on which the external AppFlow / IPFIX collector system listens. The default value is 4739.

    • Application Flow Info (IPFIX): The IPFIX template to collect and send flow records of all connections to IPFIX collector.
    • Citrix ADM: Select this to use Citrix ADM as the AppFlow collector.

    Note

    Citrix ADM currently does not support IPFIX collection.

    • Citrix ADM User: User name of the Citrix ADM collector
    • Password: Citrix ADM collector password.

    The user name and password are used to seamlessly log in into Citrix ADM and store flow data.

  6. Click Apply Settings.

To configure AppFlow / IPFIX collector using Citrix SD-WAN Center:

  1. In Citrix SD-WAN Center management UI, navigate to Configuration > Appliance Settings.
  2. Navigate to the AppFlow / IPFIX section and choose Include in File.
  3. Select Enable IPFIX / AppFlow Collection.

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  4. In the Data Update Interval field, specify the time interval, in minutes, at which the AppFlow reports are exported to the AppFlow / IPFIX collector.
  5. Select the AppFlow dataset template, you can choose either one of the following dataset templates:
    • TCP only for HDX: The AppFlow dataset template to collect and send multi-hop data of ICA connections to the AppFlow collector.
    • HDX: The AppFlow dataset template to collect and send HDX insight data of ICA connections to AppFlow collector.

    Note

    HDX template is available for Citrix SD-WAN PE and Two Box appliances only.

  6. You can configure up to four AppFlow / IPFIX collectors. For each collector specify the following parameters:

    • IPFIX / AppFlow Collector: The IP Address of the external AppFlow / IPFIX collector system.
    • Port: The port number on which the external AppFlow / IPFIX collector system listens. The default value is 4739.
    • Application Flow Info: The IPFIX template to collect and send flow records of all connections to IPFIX collector.
    • Citrix ADM: Select this to use Citrix ADM as the AppFlow collector.

      Note

      Citrix ADM currently does not support IPFIX collection.

    • Citrix ADM User: User name of the Citrix ADM collector
    • Password: Citrix ADM collector password.

      The user name and password are used to seamlessly log in into Citrix ADM and store flow data.

  7. Save and Export the configuration to the managed appliances.

Note

If SD-WAN Center version is lower than 10.2 and SD-WAN appliances version is 10.2 and above then you can observe the following conditions.

  • If local collectors are enabled on the appliances, the AppFlow / IPFIX configuration pushed from SD-WAN center does not affect the existing configuration.
  • If local collectors are not enabled on the appliances, the AppFlow/IPFIX configuration pushed from SD-WAN center will be applied to the appliance.
  • If the global AppFlow/IPFIX configuration is enabled in SD-WAN Center configuration, all the local collectors are enabled on the appliances.

Log files

For troubleshooting issues related to AppFlow / IPFIX export protocols, you can view and download the SDWAN_export.log files. Navigate to Configuration > Logging / Monitoring and select the SDWAN_export.log files.

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