What Does JFlow Mean?

JFlow is a software-based networking technology that facilitates the monitoring and recording of data packets flowing between configured devices, particularly routers and switches.


JFlow is configured by default in routers and switches developed by Juniper networks. It records all network activity from the enabled port and saves statistical information on network usage retrievable through its programmatic interface.

Techopedia Explains JFlow

JFlow is primarily a data flow sampling technology created using a collection of Java classes. JFlow operates like NetFlow and SFlow, developed by Cisco and HP, respectively. Although mainly used as a flow recording technique, JFlow also provides network analysis and anomaly detection by saving and comparing network data flow trends.

JFlow works by monitoring each packet that flows inside a network. If an incoming packet is not registered in the router’s table, JFlow records that instance and discards any that already have routing table instances. Data collected by JFlow is maintained in a series of caches, each of which provides a different set of information that pertains to network flow.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.