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Configuring Log Generation of NAT Events in Flow Monitoring Record Format on an MX Series Router or NFX250

Keep the following points in mind when you configure the capability to generate logs or records in flow monitoring format for NAT events:

  • Enabling syslog and Jflow capabilities at the same time might result in scaling impacts because both these mechanisms use a separate infrastructure to transfer records out to the collector.

  • High number of NAT events can cause scalability considerations because of the flow monitoring framework too requiring system processes.

  • The flow monitoring log infrastructure uses data CPUs to send the logs to the external flow server, which might cause a slight impact on performance.

  • An explicit, separate maximum limit on the number of flow monitoring messages that are generated for NAT error events is implemented. You can control the maximum number of NAT error events for which logs in flow monitoring format must be recorded by including the message-rate-limit messages-per-second option at the [edit interfaces interface-name services-options jflow-log] hierarchy level. These records for NAT error events are generated when addresses for allocation from the NAT pool are not available, when ports for allocation to a subscriber are not available, or when the allocated quota is exceeded for NAT events (more than the configured number of ports is requested). Also, you can configure the message-rate-limit option that previously existed at the [edit interfaces interface-name services-options syslog] hierarchy level to specify the maximum number of system log messages per second that can be sent from the PIC to either the Routing Engine (local) or to an external server (remote).

  • NAT error events such as “Out of Ports”, “Out of Addresses” and “Quota Exceeded” are rate limited. Default rate limit is 10,000 events per second. This setting is also configurable at PIC level.

  • The template for NAT event logging is in accordance with IETF as IPFIX Information Elements for logging NAT Events—draft-ietf-behave-ipfix-nat-logging-02.

  • Only UDP-based logging is supported, which is an unreliable protocol.

  • This functionality is supported on MX Series routers with Junos OS Extension-Provider packages installed and configured on the device, and on MS-MPCs, MS-PICs, and MX-SPC3s. It is not supported on MS-DPCs with MX Series routers.

  • Transmission of logs occurs in clear-text format similar to other log messages that the services PICs do not encrypt. It is assumed that the transport of logs and the positioning of the log collector are within a secured realm. Because the messages do not contain sensitive details such as username or passwords, the messages do not cause any security or reliability risks.

  • Template IDs 0 through 255 are reserved for template sets and the maximum number of templates supported for logging events in flow monitoring format is 255. When you modify a template-profile configuration (changes to the collector or version, or a deactivation and activation of the service set associated with the template), the specific template is deregistered and reregistered. However, the flow monitoring infrastructure requires 10 minutes by default as the delay period for the template IDs to be freed up. As a result, if you modify the template-profile settings many times within the 10-minute period, the maximum limit on the template IDs of 255 is exceeded and further templates are not registered. In such a case, when templates are not being registered, you must wait until the delay period for deleting a deregistered template of 10 minutes before you perform any more configuration changes to have templates registered with the flow monitoring application. To examine whether a template has been registered, you can use the show services service-sets statistics jflow-log command. If the Sent field displays a non-zero value for template records, it denotes that templates are successfully registered.

  • In a scenario in which the capability to log NAT events in flow monitoring format is enabled at the service-set level, and if the PIC boots up, the flow monitoring log templates are registered with the flow monitoring application. During the registration process, a first set of 12 template records are sent to the collector. However, all of the template records might not reach the collector from the PIC on the router or might not be transmitted out of the router because the interface might not be up from the perspective of the Packet Forwarding Engine. After the refresh time of a template expires, next set of template records are sent out to the collector. For example, if the template refresh time is 60 seconds, only after 60 seconds from the time of booting of the PIC, template records are properly sent to the collector.

  • If no problems occur in the transmission of flow monitoring log messages to the collector from the PIC, the Sent field is incremented to indicate NAT events being logged for every event. Also, the tcpdump utility at the destination IP address of the collector denotes the reception of UDP packets. If NAT processing occurs and the value in the Dropped section of the output of the show services service-sets statistics jflow-log service-set service-set-name command is incremented or not incremented, you must examine the debugging statistics and counters to determine if any problems exist in the network for transmission of the flow monitoring log messages.