Thresholding Flow Applications

The Classification Engine categorizes flows in applications. OpenNMS supports summing up the bytesIn/bytesOut data of flow records based on these flow applications. Users can define thresholds on this data to generate alarms when the amount of traffic violates these thresholds.

Configure thresholding for flow applications

To enable thresholding for flows you need to enable the applicationThresholding flag in the adapter’s definition in telemetry-configuration.xml.

Note that you do not need to enable or configure telemetryd on the core to support flows thresholding if you are using Sentinels for processing telemetryd data. Thresholding on flow applications also works without enabling data collection on flow applications.

Example of enabling thresholding for the NetFlow v9 adapter in telemetryd-configuration.xml
    <queue name="Netflow-9">
        <adapter name="Netflow-9-Adapter" class-name="org.opennms.netmgt.telemetry.protocols.netflow.adapter.netflow9.Netflow9Adapter" enabled="true">
            <parameter key="applicationDataCollection" value="false"/>
            <parameter key="applicationThresholding" value="true"/>
            <package name="Netflow-9-Default">
                <rrd step="300">

Next, you need an additional package definition in your threshd-configuration.xml file.

Example of a package definition in the threshd-configuration.xml
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<threshd-configuration threads="5">
    <package name="flow-thresholding">
        <filter>IPADDR != ''</filter>
        <include-range begin="" end=""/>
        <include-range begin="::1" end="ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff"/>
        <service name="Flow-Threshold" interval="300000" user-defined="false" status="on">
            <parameter key="thresholding-group" value="flow-thresholding-group"/>

Finally, define the thresholds in the thresholds.xml file. Use flowApp for the ds-type. The following example defines thresholds for HTTPS traffic exceeding 4096000 bytes/second.

Example of thresholds for https traffic in thresholds.xml
<?xml version="1.0"?>
    <group name="flow-thresholding-group" rrdRepository = "/opt/opennms/share/rrd/snmp/">
        <threshold type="high" description="Flow-Threshold" ds-type="flowApp" ds-name="bytesIn" value="4096000" rearm="2048000" trigger="1" filterOperator="OR" ds-label="application">
            <resource-filter field="application">https</resource-filter>
        <threshold type="high" description="Flow-Threshold" ds-type="flowApp" ds-name="bytesOut" value="4096000" rearm="2048000" trigger="1" filterOperator="OR" ds-label="application">
            <resource-filter field="application">https</resource-filter>

Specify the properties for the step size and the idle timeout in the file ${OPENNMS_HOME}/etc/org.opennms.features.flows.persistence.elastic.cfg. You can set the following properties:

Property Description Default


Interval for checking thresholds and doing data collection, in milliseconds.



Timeout for cleaning up idle sessions.


Application threshold behavior

This section describes how flows thresholds work in specific scenarios.

Undefined application

If a flow threshold does not specify an application, you will see the following behavior:

  • If the filterOperator is set to OR, there must be at least one filter or the threshold configuration will not match.

  • If the filterOperator is set to AND, an empty list of filters will result in a match.

Apply flow threshold to all applications

You may want to create a flow threshold that applies to all applications; for example, "if any application consumes more than X bandwidth …​".

To apply a flow threshold to all applications, use a match-all regex expression like .* inside the filter.

Flows thresholds per application

Note that you cannot apply flows thresholds to the total bandwidth for a location. You can apply them only to a single resource; in this case, the interface of the exporting device.

Flow thresholds with Sentinel

Horizon synchronizes thresholds from the core to Sentinels using the key-value store. The default implementation uses the default PostgreSQL database.

You do not need to configure thresholds on Sentinel; just make sure you have enabled the applicationThresholding flag in the adapter’s definition in telemetry-configuration.xml as described in configure thresholding for flows applications.

Threshold configuration and state are synced dynamically to all places where needed. A triggered threshold results in an event, which Sentinel sends back to the core for further processing and transformation into alarms, and so on.