Net Optics Improves Network Monitoring

Net Optics is unveiling its Director family of data monitoring switches designed to bring relief to overloaded networking monitoring tools. With the rapid increase of multiprotocol network traffic, IT administrators are trying to find ways to make sure that all their monitoring tools see all of the network traffic. Director offers a high-port-density access solution that helps control the flow of traffic to the monitoring tools and enables administrators to use their established 1GbE tools as well as new 10GbE monitoring technologies that are finding their way into enterprise data centers.

Net Optics is looking to give IT administrators a way of getting the most out of their network monitoring tools at a time when multiprotocol traffic is rapidly increasing.

Net Optics' Director, armed with the company's TapFlow filtering technology, is designed to enable networking monitoring tools to handle more traffic, more links and more protocols than in the past, CEO Bob Shaw said.

Director was announced April 20.

"[IT administrators and compliance officers] have so much ... traffic, they have to figure out how to make these [networking monitoring] tools more efficient," Shaw said in an interview.

Network traffic has reached the point that monitoring tools are getting overwhelmed, and IT administrators are struggling to ensure that the myriad monitoring tools they're using in the network are able to see all of the network traffic, he said.

Net Optics currently offers a host of products designed to map network links and Span ports to monitor ports, including Network Taps (for one-to-one connectivity), Regeneration Taps (for one-to-many connectivity), Port and Link Aggregator Taps (for many-to-one connectivity), and Intelligent Tap technology (for connectivity plus traffic statistics).

The Director family of data monitoring switches offers all these capabilities, providing one-to-one, one-to-many, many-to-one and many-to-many connectivity, Shaw said.

Using Net Optics' Director, IT administrators can essentially create a pool of monitoring tools that can be deployed among a large number of network links. Through remote and centralized control capabilities, the administrators can determine which traffic is sent to each monitoring tool. The monitoring tools can then dynamically be moved from one link or set of links to another, with little to no delay, he said.

"It gives [administrators] the ability to aggregate a lot of ... links to one particular tool," Shaw said.

For example, one tool may be assigned to monitor all HTTP traffic. In addition, that aggregated traffic also can be copied to more than one monitoring port at the same time, enabling multiple sets of tools to monitor the same traffic with no conflicts, he said.

Director also enables administrators to use 1G-bps Ethernet monitoring tools on 10GbE networks, and 10GbE tools on aggregated 1GbE links, a key consideration as businesses continue migrating from 1GbE to high-speed 10GbE in the data center.

Director has no IP address on the network, making it secure and immune to viruses, malware and intrusions, according to Shaw. It also has no negative impact on network performance, lets businesses use their existing monitoring tools, takes the load off oversubscribed tools through its filtering capabilities, and is compatible with monitoring tools and intrusion detection and prevention systems from the top suppliers.

Net Optics Director is available now from the company or through resellers, with pricing starting at $11,500.