IPFIX is the same as NetFlow v9?
We have several dozen customers collecting IPFIX from their Nortel hardware. Mostly they have 5500 and 8600 series switches and routers. The biggest issue we find is that somehow customers are getting the impression that it is almost exactly the same thing as Cisco NetFlow v9 – and this is true… well sort of.
Nortel supports flow sampling with IPFIX
IPFIX is basically NetFlow v9. However, Nortel is only sampling packets on most of their switches (e.g. 5500, 5600 and 8300 series). The sampling is done in a round robin fashion, similar to sFlow technology. Nortel claims that the 8600 series can sample 100%, but our customers that I’ve spoken with are still seeing sampling and not 100%. Perhaps someone from Nortel could comment on this? Then there is the hash overflow [pdf] issue. You can find information on configuring IPFIX on Nortel switches on our web site.
Nortel gives away IPFIX in base code
In the past, IPFIX support required a purchase of the advanced routing software on top of the 5500 switch. Recently, I heard that they are putting IPFIX support in the base code of the new 5600 series. I would contact your local Nortel team for an update on where the company is going with their products. Sometimes you can find out a whole lot after signing an NDA.
Nortel is still restructuring
Nortel isn’t out of their financial woes yet. However, certain divisions are seeing success in sales.