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Version: VAST v3.1


Commercial Plugin

This feature is available as commercial plugin that runs on top open-source VAST. Please contact us if you'd like to try it out.

NetFlow is suite of protocols for computing and relaying flow-level statistics. An exporter, such as a router or switch, aggregates packets into flow records and sends them to a collector.

Supported Versions

VAST has native support for NetFlow v5, v9, and IPFIX. We have a blog post about how we implement Flexible NetFlow. For IPFIX we support Private Enterprise Numbers 3054 (IXIA IxFlow) and 29305 (Bidirectional Flow Export) are supported. Please contact us if you require support for additional Private Enterprise Numbers.


VAST can either act as collector or parse binary NetFlow data on standard input. The NetFlow version is automatically identified at runtime, and mixing multiple versions (e.g., from multiple export devices) is possible.

To spin up a VAST client as NetFlow a collector, use the vast import netflow command:

vast import -l :2055/tcp netflow

A commonly used NetFlow collector is nfcapd, which writes NetFlow messages into framed files. To replay from nfcapd you can use nfreplay:

vast import -l :9995/udp netflow
nfreplay < path/to/capture.nfcapd # Exports all records to

Because VAST behaves like any other UNIX tool, it can also import NetFlow messages from files or standard input directly:

# From file
vast import -r path/to/netflow.bin netflow

# Pipe multiple files at once
cat path/to/*.bin | vast import netflow