In the world of networking, the topics of SDN and NFV now dominate every discussion– positioning by vendors, analysis by market pundits and evaluation by customers are never complete without a reference to these topics today. It is testament to the progress in the nature of these discussions that the industry now acknowledges the need for more agility to be brought to the networking component in IT infrastructure to mirror similar advances that have happened in the realm of compute and storage.
In addition to SDN and NFV, several important developments have happened in the last three years:
- Network speeds have increased dramatically. 10GbE is now mainstream, 40GbE adoption is rapidly increasing and it is a matter of when (not if) 100GbE will be deployed more broadly. Merchant silicon usage in switches and routers tailored for enterprise campus or data center use has ensured more uniformity in available capabilities and the consequent deflation of per-port prices. Cloud computing, 4G/LTE and BYOD have led to investments that have taken advantage of these lower per-port prices to yield much higher network throughput to users.
- Tools to administer a network have grown over time. The actual tools vary based on the business need: Application Performance Management (APM), Network Performance Management (NPM), Security appliances, Deep Packet Inspection Engines etc. but in general, every organization is using far more tools today than ever before. Often, the tools need a different view of the same network data.
- The network is no longer just a physical entity. Whether it is network virtualization, network functions virtualization (NFV) or merely the use of a virtual switch, it is abundantly clear that network elements no longer exist in just a physical form factor. They can be both physical and virtual.
- Organizations want to leverage Big Data in real-time. Insight that is not timely is uninteresting. A Big Data analysis software that directly gets data from the network is best positioned to generate insight in real-time or near real-time.
Any one of these forces is demanding in itself but when all of these four forces combine, the result is a quadruple-whammy for the IT administrator! The gulf between speed of the network and speed of tools has never been more pronounced. The old school way of merely tapping and aggregating SPAN/mirror ports to deliver a fire-hose of data to tools that were already overwhelmed, fail to scale miserably.
Today, I am excited to become part of an organization that has made it a mission to provide Intelligent Traffic Visibility Networking solutions for enterprises, data centers and service providers around the globe. Gigamon® is a leader in providing pervasive traffic visibility across any element of the network infrastructure– physical or virtual, local or remote, 1 Gbps to 100 Gbps links. In addition, the combination of intelligence with traffic visibility delivered through Gigamon’s unique GigaSMART technology ensures that administrators can be highly selective in the type of traffic forwarded to tools along with any associated modification/manipulation to increase tool throughput (and increase ROI) or meet business compliance goals.
The journey starts today!