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Andy Wick edited this page Jan 28, 2019 · 20 revisions

Here are some sample deployments of Moloch for different network architectures. Most folks will probably run a hybrid of the following since no one solution fits all. The ability to scale capturing can be done horizontally by adding more capture machines, vertically by adding more cpus/disk, or both. We usually recommend scaling horizontally unless physically space constrained, and using a network packet broker in front of multiple machines. However it is possible to use big machines, with lots of cpu/disk, and run moloch-capture with more threads. There is a companion video for this page.


  • A box represents a physical machine.
  • It is possible to run multiple capture processes per machine, or have a single capture process listen to multiple interfaces - (FAQ Answer)
  • Recommend "Big Data" style boxes for capture - (FAQ Answer)
  • Run multiple Elasticsearch processes per machine since each ES node should be configured at most to 30G - (FAQ Answer)
  • Except for single host deployments, it is recommended/useful that all operator access flows through a single apache/viewer combination that can provide better authentication, logging, and a single choke point - (FAQ Answer)


  • All ES instances should have iptables for port 9200-920N and 9300-930N, where N is the number of ES instances per machine, and only allow the other elasticsearch, capture and viewer machines to connect
  • All viewer hosts, except the apache/viewer box, should have iptables for port 8005 and only allow other viewer machines to connect. The viewer must listen on OS interface if using multiple machines
  • The shared viewer instances can listen on localhost since only apache talks to it

Single Host

A single host deployment should usually only be used for demos and extremely low traffic networks. The read/write patterns of Moloch vs Elasticsearch will tax most systems using spinning disks and is not recommended.

Multiple Hosts Monitoring Multiple Network Segments

Multiple Hosts Monitoring High Traffic Networks


  • Using a Network Packet Broker (NPB) allows traffic to be load balanced and recombined. This is especially useful in HA or asymmetric routing cases
  • By using a NPB, other security devices can see the same traffic moloch sees
  • When running multiple moloch-captures on the same host make sure the IO doesn't over whelm the disk and other subsystems.
  • Use a TAP with high traffic networks since many mirror ports drop traffic under heavy load
  • Operators use an apache fronted viewer and don't hit the other viewers directly. The apache provides authentication.
  • Lock down ES and moloch viewer with iptables

Multiple Clusters


  • It is possible to use a single ES cluster using the prefix= ini configuration
  • Operator uses apache fronted viewers and doesn't hit the other viewers directly. The apache provides authentication. Can use virtual paths to route to different clusters.
  • NPBs are recommended for high traffic networks
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