Information Elements

Information in messages of the IPFIX protocol is modeled in terms of Information Elements of the IPFIX information model.

All Information Elements specified for the IPFIX protocol has the following properties defined:

  • name - a unique and meaningful name for the Information Element.
  • elementId - A numeric identifier of the Information Element. If this identifier is used without an enterprise identifier, then it is globally unique, and the list of allowed values is administered by IANA. It is used for compact identification of an Information Element when encoding Templates in the protocol.
  • description - The semantics of this Information Element. It describes how the Information Element is derived from the Flow or other information available to the observer. Information Elements of dataType string or octetArray that have length constraints such as fixed length, minimum and/or maximum length, state these constraints in the descriptions.
  • dataType - One of the types listed in DataTypes or registered in the IANA "IPFIX Information Element Data Types" subregistry.  The type space for attributes is constrained to facilitate implementation. The existing type space encompasses most primitive types used in modern programming languages, as well as some derived types such as ipv4Address, that are common to this domain.
  • status - The status of the specification of this Information Element. Allowed values are current and deprecated. All newly defined Information Elements are in the current status.
  • enterpriseId - You can define Information Elements without registering them with IANA, for example, for enterprise internal purposes. For such Information Elements, the Information Element identifier is not sufficient when the Information Element is used outside the enterprise. If specifications of enterprise-specific Information Elements are made public and if enterprise-specific identifiers are used by the IPFIX protocol outside the enterprise, then the enterprise-specific identifier is globally unique by combining it with an enterprise identifier. Valid values for the enterpriseId are defined by IANA as Structure of Management Information (SMI) network management private enterprise numbers, defined at [IANA-PEN]