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Manual Chapter: About Logging Network Firewall Events to IPFIX Collectors
Manual Chapter
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Overview: Configuring IPFIX logging for AFM

You can configure the BIG-IP system to log information about Advanced Firewall Manager (AFM) processes and send the log messages to remote IPFIX collectors.

The BIG-IP system supports logging of AFM events over the IPFIX protocol. IPFIX logs are raw, binary-encoded strings with their fields and field lengths defined by IPFIX templates. IPFIX collectors are external devices that can receive IPFIX templates and use them to interpret IPFIX logs.

The configuration process involves creating and connecting the following configuration objects:

Object to create in implementation Reason
Pool of IPFIX collectors Create a pool of IPFIX collectors to which the BIG-IP system can send IPFIX log messages.
Destination Create a log destination to format the logs in IPFIX templates, and forward the logs to the local-syslog database.
Publisher Create a log publisher to send logs to a set of specified log destinations.

Task summary

Perform these tasks to configure IPFIX logging of AFM processes on the BIG-IP system.
Note: Enabling IPFIX logging impacts BIG-IP system performance.

Creating a pool of IPFIX collectors

You must have one or more external IPFIX collectors to receive IPFIX logs of your CGNAT mappings, before you can group the collectors into an LTM pool.

Before creating a pool of IPFIX collectors, gather the IP addresses of the collectors that you want to include in the pool. Ensure that the remote IPFIX collectors are configured to listen to and receive log messages from the BIG-IP system.

These are the steps for creating a pool of IPFIX collectors. The BIG-IP system can send IPFIX log messages to this pool.
  1. On the Main tab, click Local Traffic > Pools. The Pool List screen opens.
  2. Click Create. The New Pool screen opens.
  3. In the Name field, type a unique name for the pool.
  4. Using the New Members setting, add the IP address for each IPFIX collector that you want to include in the pool:
    1. Type the collector's IP address in the Address field, or select a node address from the Node List.
    2. Type a port number in the Service Port field. By default, IPFIX collectors listen on UDP or TCP port 4739 and Netflow V9 devices listen on port 2055, though the port is configurable at each collector.
    3. Click Add.
  5. Click Finished.

Creating an IPFIX log destination

A log destination of the IPFIX type specifies that log messages are sent to a pool of IPFIX collectors.

  1. On the Main tab, click System > Logs > Configuration > Log Destinations. The Log Destinations screen opens.
  2. Click Create.
  3. In the Name field, type a unique, identifiable name for this destination.
  4. From the Type list, select IPFIX.
  5. From the Protocol list, select IPFIX or Netflow V9, depending on the type of collectors you have in the pool.
  6. From the Pool Name list, select an LTM pool of IPFIX collectors.
  7. From the Transport Profile list, select TCP, UDP, or any customized profile derived from TCP or UDP.
  8. Type the Template Retransmit Interval, the time between transmissions of IPFIX templates to the pool of collectors. An IPFIX template defines the field types and byte lengths of the binary IPFIX log messages. The logging destination sends the template for a given log type (for example, NAT44 messages) before sending any of those logs, so that the IPFIX collector can read the logs of that type. The logging destination assigns a template ID to each template, and places the template ID into each log that uses that template.

    The log destination periodically retransmits all of its IPFIX templates. The retransmissions are helpful for UDP connections, which are lossy, and they are also helpful for debugging a TCP connection.

  9. The Template Delete Delay is the time that the BIG-IP device should pause between deleting an obsolete template and using its template ID. This feature is not currently implemented.
  10. Click Finished.

Creating a publisher

A publisher specifies where the BIG-IP system sends log messages for IPFIX logs.
  1. On the Main tab, click System > Logs > Configuration > Log Publishers. The Log Publishers screen opens.
  2. Click Create.
  3. In the Name field, type a unique, identifiable name for this publisher.
  4. Use the Log Destinations area to select an existing IPFIX destination (perhaps along with other destinations for your logs): click any destination name in the Available list, and click << to move it to the Selected list.
  5. Click Finished.

Creating a custom Network Firewall Logging profile

Create a custom Logging profile to log messages about BIG-IP system Network Firewall events.
  1. On the Main tab, click Security > Event Logs > Logging Profiles. The Logging Profiles list screen opens.
  2. Click Create. The New Logging Profile screen opens.
  3. In the Name field, type a unique name for the profile.
  4. Select the Network Firewall check box.
  5. In the Network Firewall area, from the Publisher list, select the publisher the BIG-IP system uses to log Network Firewall events.
  6. For the Log Rule Matches setting, select how the BIG-IP system logs packets that match ACL rules. You can select any or all of the options.
    Option Description
    Option Enables or disables logging of packets that match ACL rules configured with:
    Accept action=Accept
    Drop action=Drop
    Reject action=Reject
  7. Select the Log IP Errors check box, to enable logging of IP error packets.
  8. Select the Log TCP Errors check box, to enable logging of TCP error packets.
  9. Select the Log TCP Events check box, to enable logging of open and close of TCP sessions.
  10. From the Storage Format list, select how the BIG-IP system formats the log. Your choices are:
    Option Description
    None Specifies the default format type in which the BIG-IP system logs messages to a remote Syslog server, for example: "management_ip_address","bigip_hostname","context_type","context_name","src_ip","dest_ip","src_port","dest_port","vlan","protocol","route_domain","acl_rule_name","action","drop_reason
    Field-List This option allows you to:
    • Select from a list, the fields to be included in the log.
    • Specify the order the fields display in the log.
    • Specify the delimiter that separates the content in the log. The default delimiter is the comma character.
    User-Defined This option allows you to:
    • Select from a list, the fields to be included in the log.
    • Cut and paste, in a string of text, the order the fields display in the log.
  11. In the IP Intelligence area, from the Publisher list, select the publisher that the BIG-IP system uses to log source IP addresses, which according to an IP Address Intelligence database have a bad reputation, and the name of the bad reputation category.
    Note: The IP Address Intelligence feature must be enabled and licensed.
  12. Click Finished.
Assign this custom network firewall Logging profile to a virtual server.

Implementation result

Now you have an implementation in which the BIG-IP system logs messages about AFM events and sends the log messages to a pool of IPFIX collectors.

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