Due to issues such as data racks that are so full it’s hard to find a place to locate probes, and underpowered monitoring tools that are not capable of reliably monitoring even 10 Gbit Ethernet traffic, IT administrators are increasingly turning to monitoring switches such as those produced by Anue, says Andre Kindness, a senior analyst for Forrester Research. "Network engineers can plug any or all of their network monitoring and management tools directly into a matrix switch and have them all sit on a rack together," he says. "The switch can share all the flow-based information with other tools, which eliminates the span port and network tap shortage. This can help standardize operations and keep various teams from willy-nilly adding taps, probes or span ports, which can be a management nightmare and security risk." The new Anue products also help enterprises position themselves to support forthcoming 40 Gbit networks in the future, he adds.
"40 G is not yet mainstream, but it is becoming increasingly common as the normal cycles of data center refresh occur and new data centers are planned and built," says Jim Frey, managing research director for Enterprise Management Associates. "Whenever network technologies take a step up in bandwidth, it creates significant disruption on the monitoring and management tools side, both for network and security management objectives. We saw a similar wave of disruption when 10 Gbit Ethernet arrived several years back. Essentially, management and monitoring tools that are designed to handle lower and more commonplace data rates, such as 1 G, don't support either the media interfaces for higher data rates nor can they handle the total volume of data that might be pushed at them."
The Anue 5288 Net Tool Optimizer provides up to 32 10 Gbit ports per rack unit, and supports up to 16 40-Gbit and up to 32 1-Gbit, which gives network administrators a growth path to 40 Gbit while still supporting existing 1-Gbit and 10-Gbit networks--as well as protecting users’ investments in their management tools, says Rudy Millian, product manager for the Austin, Texas, company. The product also features a small footprint with lower energy requirements, and continues to use the same drag-and-drop interfaces that the company’s previous 5200 series of products have been using, he says.
Pricing for the devices, which are available now, start at $70,000 and range up to $225,000 for a fully configured 64-port model.
See more on this topic by subscribing to Network Computing Pro Reports IT Pro Ranking: WAN Optimization Appliances (subscription required).