Sniffer to Support 10 Gigabit

Network Associates beefs up its Sniffer product line with additional throughput support and more management.

Network Associates Inc.s Sniffer Technologies group has pumped up the companys Sniffer product line with additional throughput support and more management.

The new Sniffer Portable Lab 10 Gigabit Ethernet Analyzer is the companys first protocol analyzer for 10 Gigabit Ethernet and is based on Intel Corp.s 2.2GHz Pentium 4 processor running Windows 2000.

The Santa Clara, Calif., company also released its new InfiniStream network management tool, which combines a hardware-based traffic capture engine and large-scale storage with protocol decodes and expert analysis software in a management console.

The Sniffer Portable Lab includes a 1GB buffer to provide full-line-rate, full-duplex data capture without frame loss. It includes advanced filtering technology to quickly isolate data required to troubleshoot problems on the network, and it incorporates triggers that can be used to more quickly pinpoint intermittent problems.

The Sniffer Portable Lab gathers real-time performance statistics without impeding full-line-rate traffic capture and graphically displays the statistics to allow users to quickly recognize unusual network behavior. It includes the Sniffer protocol decodes and expert analysis engine and is available now for $150,000.

Network Associates is initially targeting equipment vendors looking to validate 10 Gigabit Ethernet product designs, but government entities, enterprises adopting 10G-bps Ethernet and service providers are expected to follow. More likely, initial manufacturer users at this point in the market are application vendors whose products will eventually run over 10 Gigabit Ethernet networks, said Eric Hemmendinger, an analyst at Aberdeen Group Inc., in Boston.

Unlike the portable Sniffer, the new InfiniStream tool provides continuous, long-term data capture so users can gather data post-capture on an entire transaction or string of transactions and analyze different data captured during the same time frame.

"This is a full-time appliance on your network. You can apply our breadth of decodes and expert analysis tool to understand the problem without having to wait for it to occur a second time," said Catherine Nadeau, manager of product marketing at Network Associates.

Users who can benefit from the InfiniStream offering are "those running Gigabit [Ethernet]-class networks and doing a lot of troubleshooting as they add more capabilities and resources and user demands to that base," said Hemmendinger. "Both of these products are important in customer environments where there is a lot of change going on."

The InfiniStream tool comes in two hardware platforms. The i410 is designed for 10/100M-bps Fast Ethernet network links and provides 800GB of traffic storage. The i1610 is intended for Gigabit Ethernet links and provides up to 3.2 terabytes of traffic storage. Both units can simultaneously retrieve data while using data mining filters and provide circular buffer storage for a continuous loop of traffic capture. They are based on Linux.

The tool, available now, costs $35,000 for the i410 model and $75,000 for the i1610.