The company’s vBroker products deliver traffic to management tools and performance monitoring tools in real time, but tools for big data aren’t necessarily able to absorb data that way. “Tools can’t just store all the data, and some tools don’t know they need the data until there’s been an event on the network,” says Andrew Harding, VSS’s vice president of product line management. (He joined VSS in August out of Big Switch Networks, you’ll recall.)
So, VSS’ job in big data would be to provide asynchronous access — sending the data off to storage, then retrieving it as needed.
It’s also common for analytics tools to just throw out the data after use, Harding says. VSS is trying to amend that by making it easier to recall just the relevant data. In the simple example of diagnosing a performance or security problem after the fact, VSS could just limit its data retrieval to the time before and during the problem. “What we’re doing is helping them ingest the data,” Harding says.
So, here’s what the new gear is:
One new software product, vNetConnect, peers into virtual switches, specifically Cisco‘s Nexus 1000v and VMware‘s vSwitch, watching all east-west traffic between virtual machines. It gathers this data by programming the virtual switches, telling them to provide another copy of the traffic.
To retrieve the data and deliver it to analytics tools, VSS is introducing vSpool, a hardware module that goes onto VSS’ vBroker chassis. It narrows the data down, as noted above, and it also translates it into a format that tool can use, such as PCAP.
VSpool and vNetConnect are available immediately.