IPFIX (Internet Protocol Flow Information Export) is an IETF protocol created by the need for a common, universal standard of export for Internet Protocol flow information from routers, probes and other devices that are used by mediation systems, accounting/billing systems and network management systems to facilitate services such as measurement, accounting and billing. The IPFIX standard defines how IP flow information is to be formatted and transferred from an exporter to a collector.
A Metering Process collects data packets at an Observation Point, optionally filters them and then aggregates information about these packets. Using the IPFIX protocol, an Exporter then sends this information to a Collector. Exporters and Collectors are in a many-to-many relationship as one Exporter can send data to many Collectors and one Collector can receive data from many Exporters.