CAIDA Networking Workshop

Monitoring and Managing Networks: cflowd and RRDtool

September 29 - 30, 1999
San Diego Supercomputer Center


One of the goals of CAIDA is to facilitate technology transfer from the authors of networking software tools to the individuals who need to use them from both the academic and commercial communities. This fall workshop is the first of a series of workshops that will highlight tools that are relevant in both arenas. The presenters are the actual software developers who will focus on the uses of the tools and discuss the importance of monitoring and management tools for the networking community as a whole. Registration is open to CAIDA members and network operators responsible for monitoring and managing WAN and enterprise networks.


cflowd is a flow analysis tool currently used for analyzing Cisco's NetFlow routing statistics. The current release includes the collections, storage, and basic analysis modules for cflowd and for arts++ libraries. This analysis package permits data collection and analysis by ISPs and network engineers in support of capacity planning, trends analysis, and characterization of workloads in a network service provider environment. Other areas where cflowd may prove useful include usage tracking for Web hosting, accounting and billing, network planning and analysis, network monitoring, developing user profiles, data warehousing and mining, as well as security-related investigations.


RRDtool (Round-Robin Database tool) is a system to store and display time-series data (i.e. network bandwidth, machine-room temperature, server load average). It stores the data in a very compact way that will not expand over time, and it presents useful graphs by processing the data to enforce a certain data density. It can be used either via simple wrapper scripts or via frontends that poll network devices and put a friendly user interface on it. The two prime shortcomings of MRTG (Multi-Router Traffic Grapher) were performance and flexibility. RRDtool addresses both. It is several magnitudes faster than MRTG and it is completely configurable.


The Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA) is a collaborative effort toward greater cooperation in engineering and maintaining a robust, scalable global Internet infrastructure. Its neutral framework supports cooperative endeavors by government, academia, and commercial providers and vendors.

CAIDA's Internet Engineering Curriculum repository offers dynamic, state-of-the-art Internet engineering training materials. Other CAIDA outreach includes periodic Internet Statistics and Metrics Analysis (ISMA) workshops focusing on problems inherent in scaling the Internet.

CAIDA's visualization tools are an important means of depicting the Internet infrastructure. Publicly available measurement and analysis tools, including Coral passive traffic monitors, cflowd software, and skitter active measurement tools provide unique windows into Internet traffic behavior. CAIDA also supports deployment of prototypes, such as the commercial cache initiative at the MAE-West exchange; benchmarking of Internet hardware and software; and a network access point for Southern California ISPs.

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