FLAME: An Open Packet Monitoring Architecture

Network monitoring is a vital part of modern network infrastructure management. Existing techniques either present a restricted view of network behavior and state, or do not efficiently scale to higher network speeds and heavier monitoring workloads. We have designed a novel architecture for programmable packet-level network monitoring that addresses these shortcomings. Our approach allows users to customize the monitoring function at the lowest possible level of abstraction to suit a wide range of monitoring needs: we use operating system mechanisms that result in a programming environment providing a high degree of flexibility, retaining fine-grained control over security, and minimizing the associated performance overheads. FLAME is an implementation of this architecture. The documents below present the design, implementation and our experience with the system as well as a set of experimental applications.


Paper trail

  1. K. G. Anagnostakis, M. B. Greenwald, S. Ioannidis, D. Li, J. M. Smith. Flexible network monitoring with FLAME. In Computer Networks, Volume 50, Issue 14, 5 October 2006, Pages 2548-2563, ISSN 1389-1286, DOI 10.1016/j.comnet.2006.04.018.
  2. K. G. Anagnostakis, M. Greenwald, S. Ioannidis, S. Miltchev. ``Open Packet Monitoring on FLAME: Safety, Performance and Applications.'' In Proceedings of the 4th International Working Conference on Active Networks (IWAN 2002), December 2002, Zurich, Switzerland.
  3. S. Ioannidis, K. G. Anagnostakis, J. Ioannidis, and Angelos Keromytis. ``xPF: Packet Filtering for Low-Cost Network Monitoring.'' In Proceedings of IEEE Workshop on High Performance Switching and Routing (HPSR) 2002. May 2002, Kobe, Japan.
  4. K. G. Anagnostakis, S. Ioannidis, S. Miltchev, J. Ioannidis, M. Greenwald and J. M. Smith. ``Efficient Packet Monitoring for Network Management.'' In Proceedings of the 8th IEEE Network Operations and Management Symposium (NOMS), April 2002, Florence, Italy.
  5. Kostas G. Anagnostakis, Sotiris Ioannidis, Stefan Miltchev, John Ioannidis, and Jonathan M. Smith. ``Safety and Performance in an Open Packet Monitoring Architecture.'' Technical Report MS-CIS-02-07, April 2002, University of Pennsylvania.
  6. K. G. Anagnostakis, S. Ioannidis, S. Miltchev, and J. M. Smith. ``Practical Network Applications on a Lightweight Active Management Environment.'' In Proceedings of the 3rd International Working Conference on Active Networks (IWAN), October 2001, Philadelphia.
  7. K. G. Anagnostakis, S. Ioannidis, S. Miltchev, J. Ioannidis, and J. M. Smith. ``Efficient Packet Monitoring for Network Management.'' Technical Report MS-CIS-01-31, September 2001, University of Pennsylvania.


The following people have contributed to the design and implementation of FLAME:

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Acknowledgements: This work is supported in part by the DoD University Research Initiative (URI) program administered by the Office of Naval Research under Grant N00014-01-1-0795.