We recently introduced our solution for NetFlow/IPFIX export using a Xilinx Alveo Accelerator Card. But some astute observers might ask, what is the difference between NetFlow and IPFIX? The simple answer is that NetFlow is a Cisco proprietary protocol introduced around 1996 and IPFIX is its standards body approved brother.
Both protocols serve the same purpose: enabling network engineers and administrators to collect and analyze network level IP traffic flows. Cisco developed NetFlow so that its switches and routers could output this valuable information. Given the dominance of Cisco gear, NetFlow quickly became the de-facto standard for network traffic analysis. However, industry competitors realized that using a proprietary protocol controlled by its chief rival was not a good idea and hence the IETF led an effort to standardize an open protocol for traffic analysis, which is IPFIX.
IPFIX is based on NetFlow version 9 and was originally introduced around 2005 but took some number of years to gain industry adoption. At this point, the two protocols are essentially the same and though the term NetFlow is still more prevalent most implementations (though not all) are compatible with the IPFIX standard.
To learn more about how Xilinx Alveo can be used as a Flow Exporter please read this description.