Tag Archives: Scalability

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.

Scale Your Network Visibility with WildPackets

Scalability is an issue that’s coming up more and more frequently as 10G and 40G networks grow in popularity. As networks grow in size, the ability of network analysis solutions to either handle the growing amount of data or to accommodate the growth is telling of its scalability.

Network growth results in more network analysis through increased analytical throughput, scope, data storage, and distributed analysis. As your network grows and you encounter these issues, there are ways to scale your visibility so that you’re not looking for a needle in a 10G haystack.

Architect for Visibility
As always, knowing your network is key. Know what traffic is important to your company. Is it mission critical business applications, like order entry, financials, and CRM? Or is it web-based traffic that’s driving your online retail business? Once you decide what, and how much, of this traffic requires ongoing monitoring and analysis, you’ll know where to look to specifically identify the traffic that you’ll want to capture. Building visibility into your network infrastructure can help both of these practices. Through strategic placement of analysis points, you’ll be able to get instant information to fix problems faster.

Visibility includes both summary level monitoring data and detailed network metrics, including visibility into network packet traffic and even specific packet decodes. Only a packet-based network analysis system, like the Omni Distributed Analysis Platform, provides the complete range of visibility required to monitor and troubleshoot today’s high-speed networks, keeping networks running smoothly and guaranteeing the very best end-user experience.

Backbone Visibility
Though often the fastest link in your infrastructure, the network backbone – the aggregation of all your distribution layer networks – can be an excellent point for monitoring network traffic and capturing network data for more detailed analysis. Depending on your overall network architecture, the network backbone may be a roll-up of just about all of your critical network traffic, especially if traffic is driven through a centralized network operations center (NOC), or if your company is a heavy user of cloud-based or other third party SaaS applications that drive network traffic through your WAN link. Using high speed network monitoring appliances on the network backbone can centralize your network monitoring and analysis, and save money by consolidating network analysis into a single appliance.
The aggregated traffic on the network backbone will typically be high speed, with more and more enterprises migrating to 10G backbones. Packet-based network analysis on the backbone means you’ll be interested in all of the packets, so you will likely need an appliance like WildPackets’ TimeLine network recorder, which captures at rates up to 12Gbps with zero packet loss. Timeline network recorder allows you to store all your data for forensic analysis while continuously capturing network traffic. And if you’re already migrating your backbone to 40G, you can simply add an aggregation tap and a few more TimeLine appliances for a complete 40G solution.

Adding Visibility to Virtual “Blind Spots”
Traditionally, north-south traffic was the most important in network monitoring. However, with the explosive growth virtualization, east-west traffic is becoming more and more important in enterprise networks, and poses a new challenge in network and application performance monitoring. East-west traffic is typically traffic moving within a virtual host or a distributed virtual system. Since much of this traffic resides solely within the virtual environment, and therefore never hits a physical network interface, traditional network monitoring and analysis that is done by tapping into the physical network does not capture this east-west traffic. For example, let’s say the order entry system and the inventory database reside on separate VMs within the same host or distributed system. Communications between the order entry application and the database are east-west traffic. Application performance issues between these systems are “hidden” within the VM. To add visibility, you can either install WildPackets OmniVirtual on one of the VMs to gain visibility into the entire host, or, in the case of larger, distributed virtual systems, the use of a virtual tap is recommended. Virtual taps are sold by many tap vendors, and they provide a physical link that traditional network monitoring appliances can access to expose east-west traffic within the virtual system.

For more information about how WildPackets can help scale your networks, check out our ondemand webcast.

Manage Your Network Monitoring with Omni Distributed Analysis Platform 7.1

As network complexity increases, the need arises for better monitoring through increased numbers of capture points. Previously, this has led to the problem of increased complexity in the network monitoring infrastructure itself. Now, WildPackets introduces Omni Distributed Analysis Platform version 7.1, to provide strong central management of the network monitoring system.

This blog post outlines 5 ways that you can regain control over your network with version 7.1.

1. Simplified Scalable Filtering
While networks are being asked to carry more traffic, that traffic is becoming increasingly specialized. WildPackets addresses your traffic analysis needs with scalable filters that allow you to add localized traffic specialization to OmniPeek network analyzers, OmniEngine software probes and Omnipliance and TimeLine network recorders.

The multi-address filter feature in the Omni platform handles up to thousands of discrete addresses per filter, with simple copy-and-paste configuration, to create filters which can be used across your teams for focused analysis of specific services.  Example uses include:

  • All IP addresses for the front-end servers of a web-based application, to monitor cross-cluster application performance.
  • All hardware addresses of “known” wireless clients, to expedite searching for guest devices or intruders on a Wi-Fi network.
  • Addresses identified as questionable or malicious by a SEIM or IDS, for rapid scoping and investigation of potential security incidents.

2. Enhanced Capture Log Handling
The Capture Log has long been a favorite tool among our uses for high-level event tracking, with many of our customers configuring the log for real-time export to external log monitoring systems. In version 7.1, we’ve enhanced the internal Capture Log with more sophisticated filtering. Example uses include:

  • Filtering on Expert events by severity to find evidence of network problems, narrowing the field of potential root causes, and reducing MTTR.
  • Searching for all events during specific timeframes to provide insight into network activity during known periods, such as a network outage or security incident.
  • Exporting the browsing history for a specific user.

3. In-depth Audit Log
Change management is critical for your networking equipment, and WildPackets provides a powerful solution for OmniEngine software probes and Omnipliance and TimeLine network recorders, with complex searching of the Audit Log via the OmniEngine Manager utility. Track the activities of your engineers by username, client IP address, and time, to determine who changed what and when.

4. Improved Batch Operations
As network performance becomes ever more important, scheduled downtime and change windows become smaller, making it necessary to use those maintenance opportunities effectively. The OmniEngine Manager utility allows you to pre-stage configuration and user ACL changes, with batch distribution for quick change deployment, and results per remote system to validate successful pushes. Version updates can similarly be distributed quickly, with a batch operation to keep all systems at the same version, and detailed results of the upgrade on each system available in the Audit Log.

5. Windows 8 Support
WildPackets is working hard to assure that you have access to the latest technology, with full support of Windows 8 on all Omni Distributed Analysis Platform modules that run on Windows.

6. OmniWiFi WLAN Capture Adapter Support
As a bonus, Omni Distributed Analysis Platform 7.1 includes support for the OmniWiFi WLAN Capture Adapter.  Read more about it here, or watch this blog for a post next week!