Remember when Pluto was a planet and performing ad hoc network analysis was the way it was done? Whether you have already made the switch to a 10 Gigabit (10G) network or you are about to, the way in which you monitor and analyze your network must change.
With traditional network analysis you had a lot of flexibility. Most times you simply connected your network analyzer if you had a problem, started a trace, and determined the problem. If the problem occurred in the past, you would attempt to replicate the problem and then solve the issue. But with 10G there is way too much data to attempt to reproduce problems for analysis.
So, how do you conquer this problem using the same equipment as you did with 1 Gigabit (1G)?
In most cases, you simply can’t. 10G and, in the future, 40G networks require different equipment to monitor 24/7. The days of using laptops and built-in network interface cards (NIC) are over. You need dedicated appliances that are purpose-built to monitor and analyze 10G networks on an ongoing basis. Reproduction is no longer a quick, smart, and feasible alternative on highly utilized 10G networks, so having a solid network forensics solution in place is essential, not only for uncovering security breaches (as most people think it is primarily used for), but also for examining common issues on your network, like spikes in utilization, drops in VoIP call quality, and increased latency – whether network or application.
Instead of having a point-and-shoot solution as you did with 1G, you need a different approach when handling your 10G networks. With 10G, you need to identify key analysis points, put equipment in place that can monitor 24/7 with alarms and alerts, and record network data at your peak data rate. When a problem is detected, you will already have the data stored and you can simply rewind data (rather than replicate the problem), analyze that data, and identify the root cause of the issue.
What does this cost? Is it worth it? It does require an up-front investment to monitor your 10G network, but it will save you big in the end by avoiding network downtime, improving tier one application performance, and increasing productivity within the company, with your network consistently running quickly and smoothly.
To check out more on how to correctly analyze and monitor at 10G, check out this short video.