Monitoring access optimizers: A new approach
An effective solution that addresses the processing resources challenge has emerged in the monitoring access market space. The solution revolves around a class of smart access products called monitoring access optimizers. These products focus on providing access to high-speed data in the network core and optimizing the traffic prior to monitoring equipment. Here, the term "optimization" is an umbrella term for aggregation, filtering, interface translations and other tactics intended to streamline the data for specific monitoring needs.
By filtering core traffic prior to the monitoring tools, each device is only presented with the traffic relevant to that application. This method greatly reduces each tool's bandwidth requirements which, in turn, prolongs the useful life of the existing tools and decreases tool-related capital expenditures (CAPEX). Conversely, the same traffic may be sent to more than one monitoring tool for highly-differentiated analysis of multiprotocol backbones.
Another added benefit of this monitoring access solution is that tools do not become obsolete as core data speeds increase. This is a result of the monitoring access optimizer's ability to translate network traffic to match the interface type and speed on the monitoring devices.
Figure 2 shows the same data access configuration, but this time employs a monitoring access optimizer. The optimizer virtualizes the access to physical and logical layers of a wide range of WAN and LAN interfaces and protocols by converging them to IP interfaces and protocols. In this scenario, the monitoring access optimizer isolates the traffic that needs to be monitored and directs it to the appropriate equipment. The SPAN ports on the network router are thereby recovered for other uses, and the resources on the monitoring tools are freed up to function more efficiently.
Figure 2: Configuration employing a monitoring access optimizer
Monitoring access optimizers provide an efficient and cost-effective way to leverage several best-of-class monitoring tools simultaneously. In an environment where increasingly diverse traffic is being fed through the fire hose of converged networks, this solution translates directly into a decrease in tool-related CAPEX and an increase in tool performance. By introducing new access means and methods, monitoring access optimizers protect the user's investment in existing and new network monitoring tools by reducing their obsolescence.