The Importance of Elegance in Network Visibility

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Last year there was a story out about the Large Hadron Collider that may have some of the more compulsively-organized of us cringing. CERN, the organization that runs the collider, had planned its biggest upgrade yet. But before the upgrade could move forward, engineers there had to identify and remove the unused cables that were still plugged into the network that ran the collider. How many cables? 9,000.

It was a massive undertaking. How do you get to 9,000 unused cables? One at a time. When the network or accelerators needed upgrading, the engineers would put in new equipment. That often included new cables. But putting new cables in didn’t mean old cables came out. Often the old cables were left in place. So, do that enough times, and you’ll eventually get to 9,000 unused cables.

That sound familiar at all? We often see it happening in an organization’s network monitoring systems. You’re given a new monitoring tool and told to connect it to your network. So, you find an open SPAN port or a TAP and you plug the tool in. Do that enough, and you have some tools over here and some over there. And you have a monitoring infrastructure that’s disorganized and inefficient. It’s difficult to keep track of, making it hard to get the most from your tools.

That’s why elegance should be part of the planning of any monitoring infrastructure.

What is an elegant solution?

An elegant solution, at least to our minds, is three things:

It’s organized: Essentially, it’s the opposite of what was described above. It’s not having to keep adding tools throughout the network, but taking advantage of the tools you already have.  A network packet broker lets you aggregate and filter the data streams from your network and send the relevant data to your monitoring tools. This solution helps you maximize your existing investment in monitoring tools.

Everything serves a purpose: It’s not the 9,000 extra cables above. If something is connected to the network, then it needs to serve a purpose. Advanced data aggregation and filtering features will increase the efficiency of the monitoring tools you have so they can provide better insights.

Planned from the outset: This involves considering the monitoring needs of the network as it exists today when making hardware and software purchases to meet those needs. But it’s also considering the monitoring needs that may present themselves tomorrow and building a solution that can scale with your organization. That eliminates the chances of increasing costs with the addition of network security or performance devices being attached to the network as it grows.

All-In-One Solution

We knew that having the aggregation, packet capture and analysis applications in a single unit would be appealing when we created the IntellaStore family. Because it’s all in one – because it’s elegant —our customers are deploying it at remote sites and in their data centers.

With this single solution, network security and monitoring is made easier.  Network engineers can remotely diagnose issues with access to immediate data, eliminating the need of assistance from operational staff in the branch. And now our latest addition, the IntellaStore II+, has more processing power, faster speed and more memory capacity, improving performance in existing virtual machines and applications.

Engineers now have a one-stop shop for an organized solution that serves a purpose and is ready for the future. To find out more visit our IntellaStore page or contact our sales team for a demonstration.

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