Monitor Image credit pixabay/GeraltMore ports, same space, faster speeds, simpler deployment, foolproof configuration, fully scalable and a smarter way to protect your network. Sounds like an IT professional’s dream. In the world of high technology, the holy grail of new products can be summed up with three words: Faster, Simpler, Smarter.

With continued innovation in design, process and materials the pace of technological progress has continued for over 50 years. In just the last 10 years we have seen advancement from 1/10Gbps to 25Gbps to 40/100Gbps. These rapid advancements, while great for users, are challenging for network architects and managers. These are the professionals who are tasked with monitoring and managing data flows and is vital to make their job easier.

Are traditional tools enough?

There are many specialised tools designed to monitor network data flows. Some of these tools are built for analysis and optimisation of network traffic. Other tools are designed to block malicious attacks and deter theft of confidential information. In either case, the job of these tools becomes exponentially more difficult as network speeds increase. It is far more complex to open packets, read, analyse and take action when the data is moving at one hundred billion bits per second. It would be more manageable if the data is moving at ten billion bits per second instead.

The dramatic increase in network link speed has led to a corresponding increase in complexity of the tools used. The price of the tools being used to monitor and protect networks has also greatly increased. Tools with this problem are inefficient as they go against our key three words. The tools are getting faster, but they aren’t getting simpler. Working at higher speeds makes monitoring all traffic difficult and having to perform multiple checks makes the process less simple. Then the higher price of tools is down to how much wasted time and energy is used. The tools are not scalable and are wasting money. They treat each attack as the same rather than scaling to match – the smarter way of traffic monitoring.

Advances in materials, processes, design and software have helped make the IT industry more efficient. The same is happening in the ancillary products used to provide visibility to the tools that monitor and protect networks. As network tool speeds and prices escalate there is a need to develop new ways of providing visibility. Visibility needed for high speed links using simpler, lower cost, lower speed tools becomes essential.

The three virtues of traffic monitoring

The challenge is to help network engineers bridge the gap between high-speed networks and lower speed 10G network analysers. Devices such as Network Critical’s SmartNA-PortPlus provide the visibility and intelligence required for improving the stability, performance, and security of networks. With these management devices, operations and security teams have end-to-end visibility. They also have access and the ability to groom, trim, optimise, and manipulate traffic from test or production networks. Faster.

Remembering the sage advice of parents and mentors – when faced with a large, complex problem or project, it is best to break it up into smaller, more manageable pieces. This is a foundational principle for companies looking to deploy high speed links accessible up to 100Gbps. A good device allows high speed incoming traffic loads to be parsed and balanced among the lower speed ports.  This provides more manageable segments of the incoming link to the connected lower speed tools. Simpler.

Finding a product that can pull-off everything stated above might sound impossible. It gives the impression of a complicated device that requires seasoned experts to deploy. That thought would be erroneous. Sophisticated packet brokers and other networking monitoring tools do exist. Some of the best will run automatically in the background, enabling fast, error-free configuration and management. Smarter.

Becoming reality

When looking for the best network traffic monitoring technology for enterprises, there are three key capabilities that network and security managers should look for. A monitoring device that is faster can more easily identify the good traffic from the malicious. It can quickly alert IT professionals and allow them to deal with a threat before it is too late. This speed can easily be achieved through a simple method: more ports. Stress on the device can be reduced by taking advantage of more entry methods. This also reduces complexity by dividing the workload making for a more efficient security device. And when the whole system is automated then users know they have a smarter device on hand.

A device that is Faster, Simpler and Smarter to use than anything else out there will be the best in the market. Enterprises should find themselves a device that anyone can use, is cost-effective, efficient and can even work with older devices without sacrificing performance. Such devices may sound like a technological impossibility, but they do exist and have only been getting better over time. So, improve your network security by using the Faster, Simpler and Smarter solutions.

NetWork Critical logoSince 1997, Network Critical has provided high quality TAP and Network Packet Broker solutions to customers around the world. A global business with 20 years’ experience in the network access technology marketplace, Network Critical has gained an enviable reputation for the quality and flexibility of its products and professional customer service and support. Network Critical has over 5,000+ customers served by offices in the US, Europe, Middle East and Asia and it has longstanding history of producing and distributing it products to global markets.


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