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Traceflow is a proposed protocol to improve OAM (Operations and Management) of complex Layer 2/Layer 3 networks that may include LAG (Link Aggregation Groups), ECMP (Equal Cost Multipath), and ACLs (Access Control Lists). The clients sends TFRQ (TraceFlow ReQuest) packets towards a destination. The packets include a "flow signature" of the first up to 256 bytes of a packet, as well as other options. Nodes (routers and switches) supporting the protocol send TFRSP (TraceFlow ReSPonse) packets back.

The protocol has been proposed by employees of Force10, a vendor of (mainly 10GE) L2/L3 switches. It is still unclear whether it will see wider adoption.


  • Traceflow, A. Viswanathan, S. Krishnamurthy, V. Zinjuvadia, R. Manur, NANOG 43 presentation, June 2008 (PDF)
  • TraceFlow, V. Zinjuvadia, R. Manur, S. Krishnamurthy, A. Viswanathan, February 2008, draft-zinjuvadia-traceflow-00.txt (work in progress)
  • Operations and Maintenance Next Generation Requirements, S. Amante, A. Atlas, A. Lange, D. McPherson, February 2008, draft-amante-oam-ng-requirements-01.txt (work in progress)

– Main.SimonLeinen - 02 Jun 2008

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