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Network Instruments Gets Into Monitoring Switch Space

Company officials say the Matrix network monitoring switch will give customers a high-performing, low-cost option to competitors' technology.

Network Instruments, which sells a range of products aimed at helping businesses better manage their networking environments, is getting into the competitive and mature network monitoring switch space.

The company is rolling out the Matrix network monitoring switch that officials say not only will complement such Network Instruments' products as its Gigastor network analyzer appliances and nTap data access systems, but also will offer customers a networking monitoring option that is both inexpensive and easy to use.

"When Network Instruments assessed the NMS market, we noted an absence of a cost-effective, easy to use, yet powerful solution," Brad Reinbolt, senior product manager for Network Instruments, said in a post on the company's blog. "There are many expensive solutions that are relatively simple to operate and manage. There are inexpensive solutions that compromise on usability or don't include key features. The Matrix achieves both."

Network Instruments is getting into a market that includes a range of vendors, from Ixia (which bought Anue Systems last year) to Arista Networks (which earlier this year announced a product similar to Network Instruments' offering) to Gigamon (which unveiled its visibility-as-a-service, or VaaS, offering at VMworld in August). Network monitoring and visibility is becoming increasingly important as trends like cloud computing, mobility and virtualization put more pressure on networks to be flexible, adaptable and scalable.

The company's Matrix 1024, announced Sept. 17, is a 1U (1.75-inch) appliance that includes an HTML5 graphical user interface that ensures that operations and routing are done in a single central location, Reinbolt wrote. In addition, all the packet manipulation and traffic routing are done in silicon, enabling faster packet trimming and deduplication without increasing latency.

Licensing for the Matrix is done in four-port increments, starting with 8-gigabit ports at either gigabit or 10Gbit speeds.

"Should you require more than 24 ports, you can simply extend the cost-effectiveness across multiple 1024s using trunk ports," Reinbolt wrote.