Big changes are coming for mobile service providers. Not only is there a transition from 3G to 4G currently in process, but a steady change is taking place in how consumers use their mobile devices. This evolution requires a change in the underlying technology that delivers this service.
Common network monitoring issues can make even the toughest member of your team cry. The continually increasing demands for a more secure network is putting a strain on IT capabilities. How can data centers increase network security without adding expensive infrastructure? The key to delivering higher quality network security without making large capital investments into IT infrastructure is to get more out of the network monitoring equipment that you already have in place.
That can be easier said than done, however. Improving network security will require a dedicated effort to collect and analyze information about network operation so that areas for improvement can be recognized and implemented. As outlined in this white paper, realizing significant network monitoring performance improvement comes with its own set of challenges.
First, network switches typically only have oneSPANport that can be used to connect network monitoring tools. This severe limitation in the ability to connect monitoring tools means that network traffic cannot be captured or analyzed in a comprehensive way because only one network monitoring tool at a time can be connected to the network switch. One monitoring tool simply cannot provide the thorough and complete network traffic analysis needed to realize significant performance improvement. It takes a full complement of monitoring tools to fully analyze how a network operates.
Network speeds continue to increase, but sometimes monitoring tools are not upgraded to keep up with the network such as, a 10G monitoring tool connected to a 40G network link. Outdated network monitoring tools can be overwhelmed, leading to lost information that could be critical in analyzing network security.
Duplicate packets generated by SPANports are another common issue leading to overwhelmed monitoring tools. Many SPANports generate duplicate network traffic packets that are then sent to monitoring tools. This excess data causes problems for many monitoring tools like capture devices – significantly reducing their capability and effectiveness. Plus, it is more difficult for network engineers to successfully use monitoring devices since so much of the data consists of duplicate packets that provide no value, not to mention inaccurate reports.
Using a network monitoring switch can solve common networking issues by providing features to:
- Connect various diverse monitoring tools to a singleSPANport
- Remove duplicate packets generated by theSPANport
- Direct the right traffic to the right tool to prevent data overflows and dropped packets using filter and traffic controls
The right investment into improved monitoring can bring big returns and ensure you get the most out of your network monitoring efforts – painless and without tears!
Recently a potential customer in the financial industry shared the challenges they face when trying to quickly diagnose and fix problems within their data center network. I listened intensely as they explained how determining root cause could drag on for weeks and in some cases months. Fortunately we were able to help them by implementing our Automated Response Technology. You can see a good example of how it works by watching this brief video.
In the video you will see how together, the LogMatrix NerveCenter and the Anue Net Tool Optimizer™ (NTO), along with your existing network monitoring tools and management systems, can significantly improve network reliability as well as reduce network Mean Time to Repair – MTTR. This is accomplished by intelligently collecting network traffic and automatically routing it to the right monitoring tool when network problems or anomalies occur. When NerveCenter detects the problem, it alerts the Anue NTO to direct the affected network traffic to a particular monitoring tool. When the anomaly no longer exists, the data capture or monitoring can be automatically stopped as well.
Businesses and Organizations Rely on Networks
Network traffic and application traffic problems can be difficult and time-consuming to troubleshoot, especially if the problem is intermittent. Unresolved network issues result in unsatisfied users, customers, and management. Businesses rely on networks performing. When they don’t work or even work optimally not only are users frustrated, but operations and sales can be negatively impacted as well.
An automated approach to network monitoring can reduce the time it takes to identify and resolve network and application issues. Intelligent data gathering is critical when troubleshooting network problems. Watching the video was a real eye-opener for the customer because previously they had no idea it could be so easy to attain the right data to solve their network problems. I’m just happy we were able to help.
To keep pace with increasing demands on compute power and bandwidth, data centers face a tremendous challenge. Cloud and the explosion of bandwidth-hungry video and mobile apps all contribute to the challenge. In addition, the trend of dispersed computing across personal computers has reversed, and more computing power and storage is being centralized at the data center.
In the video, Mark Fabbi, VP, distinguished analyst at Gartner Research, and Alex Pepe, Anue president and CEO answer key questions. Mark discusses the challenges, and Alex describes the role of the network monitoring switch in achieving data center goals.
Alex responds to Mark’s thoughts on the modern data center and makes observations around the major barrier that make a network monitoring switch essential:
- Lack of monitoring tool connectivity using TAP and SPAN ports
- Monitoring tool bandwidth capability not equal to network speeds
- Difficulty in properly configuring monitoring tools
These barriers lead to gaps in monitoring since not all tools can be connected when and where they are needed, or tools may be overwhelmed, which leads to lost critical data. Plus, improperly configured tools do not capture needed network traffic.
The Anue Solution
Anue’s network monitoring switch, the Anue Net Tool Optimizer™ (NTO), solves many network monitoring issues. It allows complete connectivity for a wide range of monitoring tools without the limitations of TAP and SPAN, ports allowing connections to any and all of the needed network monitoring tools.
Additionally, with features like packet filtering technology, packet de-duplication, and packet slicing, the NTO sends only the data that each monitoring tool needs – preserving tool bandwidth and storage space. Now a 1G tool can be connected to a 10G network port without dropping packets and exceeding storage space.
The NTO also has a unique drag-and-drop control panel that makes connecting monitoring tools fast and easy. Network engineers can focus on network monitoring instead of configuring tools.
With effective network monitoring, data centers can enhance traffic flow efficiency for better bandwidth utilization, and they can spot and correct potential network problems before they lead to a failure. Plus better comprehensive network data and metrics is the first step in continually improving network performance. Proper monitoring also enhances security since alerts are quickly created for suspected breaches and network traffic can be diverted to the right tool for monitoring and inspection.
While meeting the modern data center challenges will take a multi-faceted approach, incorporating the NTO into the data center strategy is essential in working smarter to meet these ever increasing demands.
Please check out the video!