"We're just giving them a much more palatable entry-level device for those situations where you may only have maybe one 10Gb port or just 1Gb ports that you're trying to get to," said Kevin Jablonski, vice president of Marketing and Business Development for Gigamon. The 212 comes with two 10Gb ports and eight 1Gb ports, versus the 420's four 10Gb/ 20 1Gb configuration and the 2404's 24 10Gb/four 1Gb configuration. The 212 is suited for growing data centers that may need 10Gb capacity but still have a lot of 1Gb monitoring tools. "We've seen it many times, People just built out a data center and they just spent $50 million on that. And the next thing they know, the operations manager says, 'Oh my goodness, I only have 1 gig tools and this is a brand new 10 gig network; what do I do?'" Jablonski said.
Eric Ogren, founder and princial analyst, Ogren Group, concurs, "Traditionally, customers would place a network security appliance off span ports where the security product may not see all of the traffic or tap into the network where many bumps in the wire makes network performance and stability issues. Customers can use Gigamon to get the benefits of high speed security using many specialized devices with only a single connection to the network data path."
The 212 is also coupled with Gigamon's GigaSMART software portfolio that offers time stamping, network port-labeling, slicing, masking and other tasks that improve the efficiency of data monitoring with minimal increase in latency. Even with as many as 4,000 data filters operating, the Gigamon platform adds only 6.7 microseconds or less of latency, Jablonski said. There are limitations to the 212 model versus the 420 and the 2404, he acknowledged, but the 212 can be connected to the larger capacity models a customer may already have in their data center. "The only thing we're giving up on the 212 is scalability," he said. "You can't expand on it, but of course we've overcome that by allowing you to uplink to the bigger switch."