North-south traffic

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In computer networking, north-south traffic is network traffic flowing into and out of a data center.


Based on the most commonly deployed network topology of systems within a data center, north-south traffic typically indicates data flow that either enters or leaves the data center from/to a system physically residing outside the data center, such as user to server.

Southbound traffic is data entering the data center (through a firewall and/or other networking infrastructure). Data exiting the data center is northbound traffic, commonly routed through a firewall[1] to Internet space.

The other direction of traffic flow is east-west traffic which typically indicates data flow within a data center.[2][page needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "NSX Packet Walks – North/South Traffic". Retrieved 2022-01-09.
  2. ^ Denton, James (2015-11-27). Learning OpenStack Networking (Neutron). Packt Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-1-78528-079-5.