Introducing AppFlow, a new standard for application monitoring and reporting that democratizes both the generation of application data from the network as well as the analytics that reports on it. As an extension of IPFIX, AppFlow stands on the shoulders of giants and leverages a broad ecosystem of existing analytics and monitoring tools already available.

On the surface, this almost seems ho-hum – it’s just an IPFIX extension! That is, unitl you re-read the first sentence: AppFlow is headed down the path of being an open standard.

The need for something like AppFlow originated with a number of our customers that wanted high speed granular data about the transactions flowing through the NetScaler that would associate network data to application data. It didn’t take much discussion however before we realized that in order for this to work well, a true ecosystem was needed that brought multiple views to the data (proxy servers, WANopt devices, security perimeters, etc.) along with multiple analytics tools that could digest the data and produce reports that were more than just rehashes of IPFIX.

After a lot of discussion, we decided to take an open standards approach. Open standards just make sense – when standards open up, ecosystems flourish and everyone can join the party. Most importantly, open standards bring something to the community and in turn makes sure that we guide the effort down a path that is most meaningful to those who want to use it. 

The result has been overwhelming. Over the coming weeks, you’ll see some of the companies that were not only excited to participate but have been very supportive of the standards based approach. As you can already tell, Citrix has put its hat in the ring and has been kind enough to share its AppFlow v1 specification with the web site and start the discussion around AppFlow v2. 

In the meantime, take some time to look around the web site and check it out for yourself. You can see the site over at http://www.appflow.org. Be sure to sign up to the wiki to gain editing rights and if you’re a protocol kind of person, sign up to the mailing lists. 

We look forward to seeing you on the discussion!