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Category Archives: Network Managment

Security Series Part 5: Are you Monitoring Your Employees Too?

Network security is everyone’s responsibility.

Many organizations task specific departments with implementing and monitoring security protocols. Much of the time, these efforts are focused on customer interactions, being that any compromising of client data (especially during the sales and service process) makes for terrible publicity and is the quickest way to ruin a customer relationship.

However, with the mobility and frenetic pace of today’s marketplace, it is just as important to develop and implement comprehensive internal security protocols and solutions.

An area of company communications that is especially vulnerable is WLAN. Because it uses radio transmissions, these exchanges are inherently more difficult to secure than wired LANs and are more prone to being intercepted. So, a key for modern businesses is ensuring that all employees are following security protocols to the letter. That’s what makes solutions like WildPackets’ OmniPeek so powerful and appealing.

OmniPeek is a wireless network analyzer and software console that offers an intuitive, easy-to-use graphical interface that allows rapid data analysis and troubleshooting on enterprise networks.  

A few of the key features include:

  • Deep packet inspection
  • Comprehensive 802.11 analysis, including 802.11ac
  • Complete VoIP monitoring and analysis
  • Application performance monitoring

For a quick look at OmniPeek in use, view the video below

With so many tools in one affordable offering, a wireless network analyzer like OmniPeek allows businesses to keep an eye on their security at all times. For that kind of feature richness and peace of mind, many business owners would pay a small fortune. But that’s arguably OmniPeek’s best attribute: you get all of these game-changing features for an affordable price.

Top Three Benefits of 10G

It’s a digital world, and every machine connected to the network is demanding more data, more applications, and more access at a rapid rate. Heavy workloads can max out bandwidth, overtax servers, and lead to frustrating bottlenecks, especially if server network is not keeping pace with the demand.

To avoid those problems, businesses are migrating from 1G to 10G networks. Let’s take a look at the top three benefits 10G has to offer.

Reduced costs: 10G allows for fewer Ethernet ports, which reduces overall infrastructure. This translates to fewer IT hours spent configuring network interface controllers, less money spent on cooling and power in the data center, and increased efficiency due to fewer components to set up, monitor, and run.

Increased scalability: More bandwidth means more room for applications to scale. This increases network performance and lowers the incidence of bottlenecks, ensuring optimum application availability, no matter how many virtual machines are accessing the network. According to a whitepaper by Cisco, 10G Ethernet allows each virtual machine more than one Gbps of bandwidth, giving applications more room to scale, both in terms of storage and production traffic.

Simplified management: A 10G network is simpler, more streamlined, and allows for more consistent configurations between servers. That means applications are more accessible and available, without added infrastructure that can fail or added IT hours spent dealing with added components to increase bandwidth or accessibility.

Is it time for 10G? To check out WildPackets 10G network capabilities, click here.

Survey Says: We Need More Network Forensics and Real-Time Visibility at 10G!

We launched our 2013 State of Faster Networks survey back in July of this year with the goal of determining exactly how widespread companies’ migration to 10G is and what kinds of problems are being seen along the way.

Over the past few months we compiled your responses and are excited to share them with you. We thank all of you who participated in helping us better understand the footprint of 10G, and we hope the below results help shed some light on how you can fully utilize, and transition to, faster networks.

Who Took the Survey?
We received responses from more than 100 network engineers and IT directors, and as you will see below, the majority of respondents are already supporting 10G networks.

Key Findings
Our survey questions addressed two central topics in relation to faster speed networks: network analysis and network forensics.

The survey found that while many companies support 10G networks (72 percent), network engineers are facing a myriad of challenges in migrating to 10G. For example, 43 percent of respondents cited limited or no network visibility as the biggest challenge in transitioning to faster speed networks. Other challenges respondents cited include:

  • Limitation of security monitoring (21 percent)
  • Lack of real-time network analysis (20 percent)
  • Lack of smart tap compatibility with an existing solution (16 percent)

When it came to network forensics, we found only 31 percent of respondents are implementing some type of network forensics solution in their network, even though 85 percent stated it was essential. What is the reason for such a large discrepancy? Cost is a huge inhibiting factor, with nearly half of respondents identifying cost as the biggest factor in enabling network forensics on high-speed networks.

The below graph details additional challenges with network forensics at 10G: netforensics_graph As we stated before, network forensics is the only solution at 10G. It allows you to quickly solve everything from intermittent network failures to major security risks. Attempting to recreate a network problem is like trying to find a needle in a haystack at 10G! Out of all of our statistics, we were shocked to learn this practice wasn’t more pervasive.

What Does it all Mean?
Now that we’ve seen the results and determined what companies need in order to make the switch to faster networks, what are the next steps? Survey respondents made it clear they need more real-time statistics and faster forensic search times in order to migrate to 10G, yet several factors are stepping in their way.

WildPackets offers many different network analysis solutions at 10G that fit any budget and provide the real-time insight needed. Check out our whitepaper, “Network Forensics in a 10G World,” to learn more about how you can better perform network monitoring and analysis at 10G.