Net Optics xBalancer
The growing momentum toward 10G networks brings major challenges with it —in particular, monitoring critical traffic in a high-speed, high-volume landscape. In most organizations, recording and inspecting all network traffic for threats and data leaks is vital to compliance and security. But such intensive pressures threaten to overwhelm and limit the effectiveness of the very devices that carry out the monitoring: traffic recorders and intrusion prevention and detection systems (IPSs and IDSs). Unable to keep up with increasing loads, these overburdened tools can put service-level agreements at risk and expose the network to threats. To deal with this problem, a company may have to invest in costly new tools that are engineered for the 10G environment.
In response to customer needs for a cost-effective solution to this challenge, Net Optics developed xBalancer™—the first appliance in the industry built specifically to prevent tool overburdening by distributing the traffic load to multiple monitoring tools. xBalancer’s 24 SFP+ ports and integrated data rate conversion makes it ideal for balancing traffic from 10G links to multiple 1G tools. It can also aggregate traffic from multiple 1G and 10G links and distribute it to 1G or 10G tools.
Load Balancing for Control and Management of Network Monitoring Traffic Flows
xBalancer’s load-balancing capability splits traffic into multiple streams so that two or more tools working in parallel can process data. It takes traffic from any network port or aggregated set of network ports and distributes it to monitor ports for balancing according to IP address, port, protocol, VLAN, and MAC address, or other parameters.
By enabling already-integrated 1G tools to fill an expanded role, xBalancer helps organizations handle increasing traffic volumes without investing in new 10G equipment. Not only does this minimize CAPEX, it also eliminates the operational expense of implementing the new tools and training users. Best of all, xBalancer dramatically raises the efficiency, security and availability of the network itself by reducing or bypassing IPS failures.
Purpose-Built to Share Devices Across Multiple Links and Solve Oversubscription
The innovative xBalancer is engineered to distribute traffic to multiple monitoring tools and relieve oversubscribed resources, including:
With its 24 SFP+ 10g ports and integrated data rate conversion in a 1U form-factor, xBalancer enables two or more appliances to be deployed in parallel with traffic balanced between them—from 10G links to multiple 1G tools—as well as aggregating traffic from multiple 1G and 10G links and distributing it to 1G or 10G tools.
Load Balancing Features Capable of Scaling 1G Network Monitoring Tools in 10G Environments
xBalancer supports a variety of traffic monitoring requirements, such as any-to-any and many-to many port mapping. Additionally, it allows any port to be used as a monitor or tool port with ingress and egress traffic. Its unique load balancing capabilities include distributing the same aggregated traffic to multiple tool groups, integrated filtering, and packet slicing create an extremely versatile solution. xBalancer’s 480Gbps backplane provides sufficient hardware throughput and capacity for your peak network traffic.
High Availability with State Synchronization Ensures Network Monitoring Uptime
As the Network becomes critical for achieving business success, SLAs continue to demand near 100% uptime. xBalancer—like all three products in the xStream Family—delivers High Availability (HA) features to provide continuous monitoring visibility to your tools. State synchronization allows for two units to be deployed in a HA configuration to mirror all configuration changes. A configuration change (e.g., adding a filter) made on one xBalancer is immediately mirrored to the other xBalancer, making sure that the two xBalancers remain in sync all the time.
Customers can deploy fully redundant security and monitoring tools in both in-line and out-of-band configurations—even if those tools were not designed with high availability features of their own.
Heartbeat Packets Reinforce Network Health and Maintain Network Optimization
xBalancer’s advanced availability features encompass link-state awareness and Heartbeat packet assessment for mission-critical monitoring. Heartbeat packets allow monitoring of attached appliances and reallocation of traffic: If one tool fails, traffic is automatically distributed to remaining tools until the failed tool is repaired and back online. This minimizes loss of monitoring capability in most failure scenarios.
TapFlow™ Multi-Layer Filtering Engine Improves Network Monitoring Tool Efficiency
xBalancer offers TapFlow™ filtering technology—a unique capability that raises the efficiency of your monitoring tools and empowers them to handle more traffic, more links, and more protocols. TapFlow filtering sends to each tool only the traffic that addresses its particular purpose. With its ability to filter traffic at full 10 Gbps line speeds, TapFlow technology enables traffic to be selected according to IP source address, IP destination address, MAC source address, MAC destination address, source port, destination port, protocol, network port or port group, VLAN protocol, IP address, TCP/UDP port, VLAN, and others.
Delivering Reliability and Economy
Net Optics supports xBalancer users with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty and a service plan with up to seven years coverage, with an available advanced replacement option.
Doing Our Part
Net Optics is dedicated to ensuring user safety, and developing products that are environmentally friendly. xBalancer adheres to UL and CE safety certifications; FCC, VCCI, and C-Tick EMC certifications; and RoHS and WEEE environmental certifications.
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