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Category Archives: Network Monitoring and Analysis Education

Adoption of High-Speed Networks Keeps Growing, as Does Need for Network Monitoring

One of the most impactful ongoing trends in the IT space is growing adoption of 10G, 40G and 100G networks. As businesses continue to utilize more video, emphasize mobile communications and deploy complex cloud-based applications, they are confronted by the reality that 1G networks simply don’t have the capacity to meet these new demands.

Upgrading network capacity was traditionally an expensive investment, particularly for SMBs with limited resources. But just as happens in all markets, with technology maturity comes falling prices, and such is the case for high-bandwidth networking. In fact, Crehan Research Inc. recently released a report that predicts that competition and other factors will result in lower price points in the coming years for 10G, 40G and 100G Ethernet switches, leading to increased adoption of these technologies, and resulting in relatively stable overall Ethernet data center switch average selling prices.

“Aside from continual cost reductions and port-density improvements, price drops are being driven by factors such as increased competition in the data center switch market (including numerous recent entrants), low-priced white box and merchant operating system offerings, and the price negotiating power of some of the very large, hyper-scale public cloud vendors,” said Seamus Crehan, president of Crehan Research, in a statement regarding the report.

More affordable high-speed networking is certainly good news for businesses with increasing traffic demands, but adoption does come with obstacles. Higher rates of data transfer can obscure a complete system view for network engineers, making troubleshooting problems more difficult. As a result, the increased traffic flying across the network—and the applications that rely on that traffic—may suffer.

To combat network visibility problems, organizations can adopt network monitoring solutions designed specifically to handle 10G, 40G and 100G speeds. Top-shelf network analysis and recording tools capture network traffic that makes data available simultaneously for real-time examination. If a performance problem arises, the network administrator is immediately alerted and can tackle the issue. Additionally, network recording tools allow for forensic searches that pinpoint specific network faults or breach attempts and produce benefits like:

  • Network and security data that is captured 24/7
  • Reduced mean time to resolution (MTTR), achieved by eliminating the time-consuming step of having to reproduce problems before they can be analyzed, and responding to issues in real time
  • Greater understanding of service-level compliance within an organization
  • Compliance with government regulations and human resources policies achieved by auditing and tracking all network activity
  • Elimination of brute-force analysis across disparate data sources that is replaced by nuanced graphical reports and application performance scoring

Network monitoring solutions should be factored into the design of these high speed infrastructures otherwise there is a high likelihood of reduced or complete loss of visibility. So the question is: Does your business have what it needs to make the most of a faster network?

Click here to download our white paper, “Real-Time Performance Visibility in 10/40 GbE Networks”

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.

Security Series Part 3: Improved Network Forensic Performance Bolsters Security Posture

Data breaches are constantly occurring in organizations of all sizes and industries. As such, you should assume that you’re under attack, or that one is forthcoming, and plan accordingly with network forensics tools. These tools must be able to capture, store, and analyze all network incidents going across the wire and replay them as needed. When a data breach occurs, these devices are invaluable.

An effective network forensics solution gives IT organizations and security teams a complete record and analysis of network activity over hours or days. When security tools raise alerts, IT organizations can use the network forensics tools to analyze traffic and find proof that an attack has actually taken place.

Common use cases for forensics include: 1) Confirming whether an incident was a false positive or real 2) Finding proof of a security attack 3) Identifying the source of data leaks 4) Monitoring user activity for IT/HR compliance and 5) Verifying business transactions.

Earlier this week, WildPackets announced the release of Omni 8.0 which accepts  time stamping from network packet brokers such as APCON, Gigamon, and Ixia. In addition, Omni 8.0 offers greatly improved forensics performance by up to 64%! Along with our record breaking capture- Continue reading