representativeness of flow data based on samples

There are a few vendors who now provide traffic export from high-speed
interfaces by sampling those interfaces at a particular rate, and
using the sampled packets to populate the per-flow counters, rather
than looking at every packet.

Folks might be interested in the Internet Draft on "A framework for
passive packet measurement" that focuses on packet sampling. See

There's a public mailing list at

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The goal is to define a minimal set of requirements that need to be
supported in routers (or line cards) to meet the needs of folks that
operate networks. Feedback more than welcome!

-- Jen