Cisco UCS Netflow Support was recently added with the release of version 2.2(2c). NetFlow exports can be configured either in the GUI or the CLI. The configuration is somewhat different from the typical Flexible NetFlow configuration. In this blog we will take a look at the CLI configuration method and some of the different aspects of this new NetFlow export!
Figure 1: Cisco UCS NetFlow Support [Source]
Cisco UCS NetFlow CLI Configuration:
The fundamentals of typical IOS Flexible NetFlow configuration are present in this new export as you configure a record, exporter, and monitor – then apply that monitor to what interface you want to see metrics on. The commands, though, are quite different.
First off, we need to build the Flow Record; in this case I built two, one for IPv4 and one for layer two traffic:
scope eth-flow-mon enter flow-record flow-record-ipv4 set keytype ipv4keys set ipv4keys ipv4-src-address ipv4-dest-address src-port dest-port ip-protocol ip-tos set nonkeys counter-bytes-long counter-packets-long sys-uptime-first sys-uptime-last commit-buffer
scope eth-flow-mon enter flow-record flow-record-l2 set keytype l2keys set l2keys src-mac-address dest-mac-address ethertype set nonkeys counter-bytes-long counter-packets-long sys-uptime-first sys-uptime-last commit-buffer
Next, we need to configure a NetFlow Exporter Profile. This differs from FNF and is specific for the Cisco UCS. This profile contains the networking properties used to export NetFlow packets and is a global configuration.
scope eth-flow-mon scope flow-profile flow-exporter-profile enter vlan xxx enter fabric a set addr xx.xx.xx.xx subnet 255.255.255.0 up enter fabric b set addr xx.xx.xx.xx subnet 255.255.255.0 commit-buffer
Now we need to specify the NetFlow Collector. Each flow collector contains an IP address, port, external gateway IP, and VLAN that defines where the flows are sent.
scope eth-flow-mon enter flow-collector flow-collector set dest-port 2055 set vlan vlanxxx enter ip-if set addr xx.xx.xx.xx set exporter-gw xx.xx.xx.xx commit-buffer
After that we can return to a more configuration that resembles a Flexible NetFlow Configuration, and configure the Flow exporter, which includes the template timeouts. Please note that this not the active timeout!! We will get to that later in the configuration.
scope eth-flow-mon enter flow-exporter flow-exporter set dscp x set flow-collector flow-collector set exporter-stats-timeout 300 set interface-table-timeout 300 set template-data-timeout 300 commit-buffer
Next, we need to configure a Flow Monitor(s). A flow monitor consists of a flow record, one or two flow exporters, and a timeout policy. Note: Each flow monitor operates in either the ingress or egress direction because we do not match and collect interface information.
scope eth-flow-mon enter flow-monitor flow-monitor-ipv4 set flow-record flow-record-ipv4 create flow-exporter flow-exporter commit-buffer scope eth-flow-mon enter flow-monitor flow-monitor-l2 set flow-record flow-record-l2 create flow-exporter flow-exporter commit-buffer
If we have two flow records and two monitors, we can create a Flow Monitor Session:
scope eth-flow-mon scope flow-mon-session flow-monitor-session create flow-monitor flow-monitor-ipv4 create flow-monitor flow-monitor-l2 commit-buffer
Configuring NetFlow Cache Active and Inactive Timeout:
scope eth-flow-mon scope flow-timeout default set cache-timeout-active 60 set cache-timeout-inactive 15 commit-buffer
Associating a Flow Monitor Session to a vNIC:
Scope org / Scope service-profile flow-service-profile Scope vnic ethx enter flow-mon-src flow-monitor-session commit-buffer
Cisco UCS NetFlow Reporting:
Figure 2: Cisco UCS NetFlow Reporting
A couple of notes on this export. There are no Deep Packet Inspection capabilities so don’t expect NBAR or AVC Support like there is with FNF. Also, VLAN’s must be defined as an exporter interface before they can be used with a flow collector. There are some specific limitations based on UCS Fabric and VIC adaptors as well:
NetFlow monitoring is not supported on:
Cisco UCS 6100 Series Fabric Interconnect
NetFlow monitoring is only supported on:
Cisco UCS VIC 1240
Cisco UCS VIC 1280
Cisco UCS VIC 1225
First generation or non-Cisco VIC adapters are not supported.
More on Cisco UCS NetFlow
Exporting NetFlow on your Cisco UCS gives you another vantage point into traffic on the network. Do you have questions on exporting Cisco UCS NetFlow?
Contact our team to learn more on Cisco UCS and about how exporting NetFlow from every point capable on the network can help security monitoring and the mitigation of threats.