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Increasing traffic and the necessity of stateful analyses impose strong computational requirements on network intrusion detection systems (NIDS), and motivate the need of distributed architectures with multiple sensors. In a context of high traffic with heavy tailed characteristics, static rules for dispatching traffic slices among distributed sensors cause severe imbalance. Hence, the distributed NIDS architecture must be combined with adequate mechanisms for dynamic load redistribution. In this paper, we propose and compare different policies for the activation/deactivation of the dynamic load balancer. In particular, we consider and compare single vs. double threshold schemes, and load representations based on resource measures vs. load aggregation models. Our experimental results show that the best combination of a double threshold scheme with a linear aggregation of resource measures is able to achieve a really satisfactory balance of the sensor loads together with a sensible reduction of the number of load balancer activations.
Date of Conference: 12-14 July 2007