Pmacct: the Traffic Analysis Tool with Unpronounceable Name

SDN evangelists talking about centralized traffic engineering, flow steering or bandwidth calendaring sometimes tend to gloss over the first rule of successful traffic engineering: Know Thy Traffic.

In a world ruled by OpenFlow you’d expect the OpenFlow controller to know all the traffic; in more traditional networks we use technologies like NetFlow, sFlow or IPFIX to report the traffic statistics – but regardless of the underlying mechanism, you need a tool that will collect the statistics, aggregate them in a way that makes them usable to the network operators, report them, and potentially act on the deviations.

There are plenty of commercial traffic analysis tools on the market, but many large networks (including some humongous ones) prefer a very powerful open-source alternative: pmacct.

In the fifth episode of Software Gone Wild podcast, we talked with Paolo Lucente, the author of pmacct. We started with the history, continued with the internal architecture of the tool, and mentioned some of the interesting use cases.

Listen to the podcast, explore other episodes of Software Gone Wild and subscribe to the podcast with your RSS reader or iTunes.

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