Monitoring and analytics technology will be a big part of building a more automated and adaptive computing infrastructure. As the cloud model for building infrastructure expands into new markets, there will be new demand for network monitoring and analytics applications.
This may is what’s driving VSS Monitoring, a maker of network analysis and monitoring gear that’s already a big player in large enterprise and telecom markets, to launch the Optimizer 2400 NPB, with a $20,0000 price. The Optimizer is a Network Packet Broker (NPB) designed for enterprise networks.
NPBs are network appliances that siphon off copies of network traffic as it flows through the system, so that it can be monitored and analyzed. It’s important that these devices be high-performance so that they can keep up with production traffic without a disruption.
There are several applications for NPBs, including load-balancing, application performance monitoring, and security. As the network traffic is siphoned off and analyzed, that information can then be used to address security or performance issues that might develop. The VSS 2400 NPBD supports Layer 2-7 packet filtering, session-based flow-aware load-balancing and network security, analytics and monitoring applications.
VSS officials say the need for NPBs will grow even in smaller networks, as companies increasing move to cloud data centers that have performance and security requirements such as Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS), Data Loss Prevention (DLP), application monitoring, security and forensics. With many of these applications, managers get the power to look at a history of network activity and determine what’s going on.
You can look at the NPB as a device that creates a “monitoring layer” between the operational network and these specialized analytical tools. VSS has built its appliances on a “mesh” architecture, which means any box can connect to any port on another box and create a flow of network traffic for analysis.
VSS has traditionally made higher-end devices design for larger enterprise and service-provider networks, but it’s now introducing a lower-end device to drive further into the enterprise computing market.
“The time and cost to bring up new workloads in compute is getting close to zero, and networks need to catch up,” says Andrew Harding, VP of products at VSS. “Operations can’t keep up with the scale and speed of workloads.”
The pricing of the Optimizer 2400 does drive visibility into a broader part of the enterprise network, and this will be interesting to watch. The new VSS product launch follows a trend in the data center market, where networks are trying to catch up with the rapidly scaling computing infrastructure spawned by the cloud.