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So I'm looking at the "show perfmon" output from my ASA (5550, 9.0 software), and am confused by the "VALID CONNS RATE in TCP INTERCEPT" output:

primary-int# sh perfmon    

PERFMON STATS:                     Current      Average
Xlates                              111/s          0/s
Connections                         155/s          0/s
TCP Conns                           106/s          0/s
UDP Conns                            45/s          0/s
URL Access                           66/s          0/s
URL Server Req                       41/s          0/s
TCP Fixup                          3761/s          0/s
TCP Intercept Established Conns       0/s          0/s
TCP Intercept Attempts                0/s          0/s
TCP Embryonic Conns Timeout           3/s          0/s
HTTP Fixup                         3761/s          0/s
FTP Fixup                             9/s          0/s
AAA Authen                            0/s          0/s
AAA Author                            0/s          0/s
AAA Account                           0/s          0/s

VALID CONNS RATE in TCP INTERCEPT:    Current      Average
                                       N/A         5027.59%

I can't really figure out what this means, nor why it's such a ridiculously high number... though I suspect the latter is due to this being a failover ASA in an HA pair, which has been powered on and in standby state for several months. Of course, I didn't get a chance to look at these numbers on the primary. :(

So, 2 part question: What does "VALID CONNS RATE in TCP INTERCEPT" mean? and why is the average so extraordinarily high?

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What does "VALID CONNS RATE in TCP INTERCEPT" mean?

TCP Intercept is a firewall function (ASA or IOS) that acts as an inline-proxy for all TCP connections, vs. mere inspection and passing through (with possible NAT rewrite.) This is a means of syn flood protection. "Valid conns rate" is the rate of valid (fully completed tcp three-way handshake) connections forming when this feature is enabled.

why is the average so extraordinarily high?

Bug? I'm assuming you do not have the tcp-intercept feature enabled, so it's using nonsense numbers and/or attempting to divide by zero.

[See Also: TCP intercept Feature on the ASA device]

(PS: I'm not a fan of Cisco's blog documentation.)

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  • Thanks a ton, that's definitely what it is. Didn't find even reference to this line of output in any of the ASA CLI guides. One annoyance down! – Smithers Jan 16 '15 at 16:45

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