Applying connection-rate ACLs

A host sending legitimate traffic can trigger connection-rate filtering in some circumstances. If you can verify that such a host is indeed sending valid traffic and is not a threat to your network, you can want to configure a connection-rate ACL (access control list) that allows this traffic to bypass the configured connection-rate filtering.

A connection-rate ACL is an optional tool that consists of one or more explicitly configured Access Control Entries (ACEs) used to specify whether to enforce the configured connection-rate policy on traffic from a particular source.

Use of connection-rate ACLs provides the option to apply exceptions to the configured connection-rate filtering policy. This enables you to allow legitimate traffic from a trusted source, and apply connection-rate filtering only to inbound traffic from untrusted sources. For example, where a connection-rate policy has been configured, you can apply a connection-rate ACL that causes the switch bypass connection-rate policy filtering on traffic from:
  • A trusted server exhibiting a relatively high IP connection rate due to heavy demand

  • A trusted traffic source on the same port as other, untrusted traffic sources.

The criteria for an exception can include the source IP address of traffic from a specific host, group of hosts, or a subnet, and can also include source and destination TCP/UDP criteria. This allows you to apply a notify-only, throttling, or blocking policy while allowing exceptions for legitimate traffic from specific sources. You can also allow exceptions for traffic with specific TCP or UDP criteria.

For more information on when to apply connection-rate ACLs, see Application options.


Connection-rate ACLs are a special case of the switch ACL feature. If you need information on other applications of ACLs or more detailed information on how ACLs operate, see IPv4 Access Control Lists (ACLs).