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Short Description
pcap-based, RESTful OpenFlow traffic monitor
Full Description


pcap-based, RESTful OpenFlow traffic monitor

Filters OpenFlow packets from a network interface and reports statistics.


  • Summary and detailed OF statistics in real-time: summary statistics refer to
    total incoming and outgoing OF traffic (from the viewpoint of the SDN
    controller). Detailed statistics offer a finer-grain breakdown based on the OF
    message type. Both classes are being updated and displayed in real-time.
  • Support for OF1.0 and OF1.3 protocols
  • REST interface for accessing statistics. This enables remote online
    monitoring of a controller's incoming and outgoing OF traffic.
  • Non-intrusive to the controller


  • Python 2
  • pypcap, dpkt and bottle Python packages

On an Ubuntu-based machine, install the required packages as follows:

sudo apt-get install python-pypcap python-dpkt python-bottle


sudo python --rest-host <host> --rest-port <port> --of-port <ofport> --ifname <interface> [--server]

Command line arguments:

  • --rest-host: the IP or hostname of the interface the REST server should listen to
  • --rest-port: the port the REST server should listen to
  • --of-port: the OpenFlow port number based on which packet filtering will take place
  • --ifname: the network interface to sniff packets from
  • --server: run oftraf as server only without printing stats


  1. Launch an SDN controller and a Mininet topology on the same machine
  2. Launch oftraf:
    sudo python --rest-host localhost --rest-port 5555 --of-port 6653 --ifname lo
    This starts sniffing and counting OF packets on the lo interface. The statistics are
    being displayed in real-time in a curses-based console which refreshes every 1 second.
    Sample output:
Elapsed seconds:89.1658
OF in pps:                49.0
OF in Bps:             27532.0
OF out pps:               29.0
OF out Bps:            16000.0

Packet Type                           Count          Bytes
Total OF in:                          9807           4275930
Total OF out:                         5282           3328935

OF13_OFPT_ECHO_REQUEST:               6              360
OF13_OFPT_ERROR:                      10             800
OF13_OFPT_FEATURES_REPLY:             10             840
OF13_OFPT_HELLO:                      10             680
OF13_OFPT_MULTIPART_REPLY:            6424           2061320
OF13_OFPT_PACKET_IN:                  508            89560
OF13_OFPT_PORT_STATUS:                26             3432
OF10_OFPT_ECHO_REQUEST:               9              540
OF10_OFPT_ERROR:                      4              288
OF10_OFPT_FEATURES_REPLY:             10             1512
OF10_OFPT_HELLO:                      10             600
OF10_OFPT_PACKET_IN:                  284            43054
OF10_OFPT_PORT_STATUS:                81             9396
OF10_OFPT_STATS_REPLY:                648            200048

OF13_OFPT_ECHO_REPLY:                 6              360
OF13_OFPT_FEATURES_REQUEST:           7              420
OF13_OFPT_HELLO:                      14             1024
OF13_OFPT_MULTIPART_REQUEST:          1301           1159444
OF13_OFPT_PACKET_OUT:                 153            57012
OF13_OFPT_SET_CONFIG:                 11             992
OF10_OFPT_ECHO_REPLY:                 9              540
OF10_OFPT_FEATURES_REQUEST:           6              360
OF10_OFPT_HELLO:                      7              428
OF10_OFPT_PACKET_OUT:                 47             11515
OF10_OFPT_SET_CONFIG:                 11             704
OF10_OFPT_STATS_REQUEST:              100            92344

OF in and OF out refer to OF traffic traveling into and out of the SDN controller,
respectively. pps and Bps are packets-per-second and bytes-per-second.

  1. The REST server starts together with oftraf. Let's try to send some statistics requests.

    On another console, issue the following REST request to access summary statistics:

    curl  http://localhost:5555/get_of_counts


     "OF_out_counts": [366417, 114676077],
     "OF_in_counts": [700581, 212923343]

    In each statistic returned, the first number (e.g. 366417) is the packet count, and the
    second (114676077) is the byte count.

    OF_out_counts refers to the packets travelling from the controller to the
    switches, OF_in_counts refers to the packets travelling at the opposite

    To access detailed OF13 statistics, issue the following REST request:

    curl http://localhost:5555/get_of13_counts


       "OFPT_ERROR": [10, 800],
       "OFPT_PORT_STATUS": [82, 10824],
       "OFPT_MULTIPART_REPLY": [107, 28276],
       "OFPT_FEATURES_REPLY": [10, 840],
       "OFPT_HELLO": [10, 680],
       "OFPT_PACKET_IN": [216, 38324],
       "OFPT_ECHO_REQUEST": [10, 600]
       "OFPT_PACKET_OUT": [35, 7201],
       "OFPT_FEATURES_REQUEST": [7, 420],
       "OFPT_MULTIPART_REQUEST": [17, 8240],
       "OFPT_SET_CONFIG": [9, 1332],
       "OFPT_HELLO": [11, 788],
       "OFPT_ECHO_REPLY": [10, 600]

    Similarly, use the following REST request for OF10 statistics:

    curl http://localhost:5555/get_of10_counts
  2. To stop oftraf, hit Ctrl-C in the console where it runs, or issue a
    REST request as follows:

    $ curl  http://localhost:5555/stop

Deployment of Docker containers

This project provides two options for deployment with the use of Docker

  • Deploy locally, using a Dockerfile
  • Deploy using a prebuild image from Docker Hub

In both cases, the docker platform must be installed
on the host side.

  • essential tool: docker (v.1.12.1 or later)

and the actions below have to be followed

  • Give non-root access to docker daemon
    • Add the docker group if it doesn't already exist sudo groupadd docker
    • Add the connected user "${USER}" to the docker group. Change the user name to
      match your preferred user
      sudo gpasswd -a ${USER} docker
    • Restart the Docker daemon:
      sudo service docker restart

      Deploy using Dockerfile

There are 2 different folders, containing Dockerfiles,
under the path <PROJECT_DIR>/deploy. The one Dockerfile
is for a proxy environment and one is for a no_proxy environment. The
names of the folders containing these Dockerfiles are proxy and no_proxy

in order to deploy the proxy Dockerfile (<PROJECT_DIR>/deploy/proxy/Dockerfile),
edit the proxy settings in the file. These settings are in the following lines.

ENV http_proxy="http://<proxy_ip>:<port>/"
ENV https_proxy="http://<proxy_ip>:<port>/"

RUN echo 'Acquire::http::Proxy "http://<proxy_ip>:<port>/";' | tee -a /etc/apt/apt.conf
RUN echo 'Acquire::https::Proxy "http://<proxy_ip>:<port>/";'| tee -a /etc/apt/apt.conf

RUN echo "http_proxy=http://<proxy_ip>:<port>/" | tee -a /etc/environment
RUN echo "https_proxy=http://<proxy_ip>:<port>/" | tee -a /etc/environment
RUN echo "no_proxy=,localhost" | tee -a /etc/environment
RUN echo "HTTP_PROXY=http://<proxy_ip>:<port>/" | tee -a /etc/environment
RUN echo "HTTPS_PROXY=http://<proxy_ip>:<port>/" | tee -a /etc/environment
RUN echo "NO_PROXY=,localhost" | tee -a /etc/environment

After configuring the proxy settings, from the path of Dockerfile, run the command

docker build -t oftraf_base .

The above command would be the first step in case we deploy a no_proxy docker

Verify that the image has been built successfully by running the command

  docker images

the output of this command should look like the following sample

REPOSITORY         TAG             IMAGE ID          CREATED           SIZE
<repo_name>        oftraf_base     c2c3152907b5      4 minutes ago     275.1 MB

to run the environment and start the Docker container, execute the following line

docker run -it <repo_name>:oftraf_base /bin/bash

and enter the password

password: root123

After the above step we get a console inside the docker environment and oftraf
can be executed with the following command

/opt/oftraf/ <host_ip> <rest_server_port> <port_to_monitor_for_OpenFlow_messages>

or alternatively, activate the virtual environment

source /opt/venv_oftraf/bin/activate

and follow the Usage

Deploy using prebuild image

The first step is to get the image from Docker Hub

docker pull intracom/nstat-sdn-controllers

Once the image pull operation is complete, check locally the existence of the

docker images

which should list the intracom/nstat-sdn-controllers:latest image. For
running a container out of the intracom/nstat-sdn-controllers:latest image

docker run -it intracom/nstat-sdn-controllers /bin/bash

password: root123

Run oftraf as described in the previous section after starting the Docker container.

Future Extensions

  • more efficient OF packet filtering utilizing BPF filters
  • breakdown of certain OF message types to finer-grain subtypes (e.g. multipart replies)
  • graphical client dashboard
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