The Network Packet Broker, answering the challenge of increasing data rates

09 Jul 2015

A recent whitepaper from Telesoft looked at the enormous increase in high bandwidth services, in particular video, and the difficulties this creates for monitoring and analysis systems. Many providers are finding that it’s not commercially sustainable to keep purchasing more hardware and software in response to demand for high bandwidth services which are projected to keep increasing. The only conclusion drawn from this information is that this problem will only get worse and a solution is needed. Network operators facing this problem may benefit from using a Network Packet Broker to alleviate traffic flow to oversubscribed tools.

Selected traffic aggregation of high bandwidth traffic, such as video, can be separated from voice, web and other data allowing different types of traffic to be treated separately e.g. an operator looking to monitor Voice over IP (VoIP) and Quality of Service (QoS) within multiple 100Gbps streams of mixed traffic, could extend the life of existing 10Gbps analysis tools by aggregating all VoIP traffic within the 100Gbps streams then routing it as a single 10Gbps stream to third party systems. By dividing traffic like this, resources that would be wasted processing and discarding irrelevant packets are freed up to analyse the relevant data. The cost of a Network Packet Broker is likely to be significantly lower than that of a complete overhaul of existing hardware and software, operators can keep up with the increasing volume of network traffic whilst avoiding excessive capital expenditure.

An Network Packet Broker deployed in-line can also be used to increase network security by actively modifying traffic flow. Potentially harmful traffic types can be identified by the Network Packet Broker and then forwarded on to an Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) for further analysis where packets matching known threat patterns can be rejected before they reach their intended destination and are able to cause harm. TAPs, in contrast, only mirror traffic flowing through them, only supporting intrusion detection rather than active intrusion prevention like a Network Packet Broker.

Further, since traffic can be aggregated from numerous sources, operators can ensure security tools have complete network visibility without wasting budgetary resources on additional and unnecessary security tools.

Telesoft’s 400G Packet Broker enables operators to meet the challenge of processing the increasing volume of data flowing through their networks in the most cost effective manner and extend the life of existing 10G assets. Advanced FPGA hardware acceleration means packet signatures can be identified and classified at line rate from within 4x100G streams before being load balanced and egressed to monitoring, security and analytics applications over multiple 10GbE interfaces.

If you’re interested in getting the most out of your existing monitoring and analytics tools why not contact us to find out more?