Each Dedicated NetFlow Connector, which is a 2U appliance, can manage up to 1,000 interfaces from hardware vendors such as Cisco and Juniper Networks. Additional collectors can be attached in a peer relationship to handle more than 1,000 interfaces. As an example, a T1 link would typically provide 10 flows per second, but larger carriers may have 10Gb networks, which are 6,000 times faster than a T1. This results in many more conversations. The company's largest customer is Comcast Corp., which has 2.2 million elements in his network.
Sevone now also provides functionality known as Universal Metric to Flow Technology, which makes it easier for organizations to use NetFlow data for rapid traffic analysis. Users can use any of the product's supported monitoring technologies to trigger a workflow, using NetFlow for traffic analysis. For example, users can graph network latency from Cisco's Internet Protocol Service Level Agreements, observe a spike, highlight it and drill down into the network traffic to determine what caused the slow response time.
While there are other network flow collector products in the market, the Sevone devices have the highest capacity, says Jim Frey, research director for Enterprise Management Associates, a Portsmouth, N.H., consultancy. Netflow provides a data source as to how the network is being used, but there is a challenge over time to keep up with increased volumes of traffic. For other systems to handle the same amount of traffic as SevOne, more collectors are required, which increases the cost.
The product comes in five models, with five different models of the Performance Appliance Solution network management appliance: PAS5K, PAS10K, PAS20K, PAS40K, and PAS60K. The 5K manages up to 5,000 Simple Network Management Protocol elements and up to 20 NetFlow interfaces; the 10K manages to up to 10,000, and so on. Starting price is $25,000.