Networking / February 19, 2019

Next-Generation Network Packet Brokers: Everything You Wanted to Know, But Were Afraid to Ask

As enterprises scale up in size and complexity, so increases the challenge of getting the right data to those teams tasked with keeping the network running smoothly and securely. That’s where next-generation network packet brokers (NGNPBs) can give you an edge. To learn more, read on and get our Definitive Guide to Next-Generation Network Packet Brokers, which breaks down what NGNPBs do and how they can help your teams work more efficiently.

Data Famine or Feast

Network operations (NetOps) teams are responsible for troubleshooting network problems, maximizing availability and sustaining application performance, while security operations (SecOps) teams must detect threats, block attacks and identify malicious activities on the network. Both depend on an array of network performance monitoring and cybersecurity tools to do their jobs, but for both NetOps and SecOps, their tools are only as good as the data that reaches them. And very often that data is too little — or too much. 

Data is too little when it is incomplete. Most enterprises suffer from blind spots: streams of network traffic that are inaccessible to NetOps and cybersecurity tools because they are in remote locations, or encrypted, or on cloud platforms.  

Data is too much when it overwhelms the tools, or forces enterprises into an endless cycle of equipment upgrades. In addition, overwhelming volumes of data are just what we get when networks advance from 10Gb to 40Gb to 100Gb and beyond.  

Getting in the Goldilocks Zone

Fortunately, true next-generation network packet brokers can eliminate blind spots by capturing network traffic and metadata across physical, virtual and cloud environments. NGNPBs filter network traffic and metadata, so tools receive only the types of data they are designed to process and can handle much greater volumes of network traffic. 

NGNPBs offer other remarkable features as well:

  • They create “decryption zones” where multiple tools have access to decrypted SSL/TLS traffic
  • They offload packet deduplication and header stripping from network devices to give them more capacity
  • They provide inline bypass and load balancing for NetOps and cybersecurity tools, so those tools don’t become bottlenecks or single points of failure 

Take a Page (or Two) from Our Book

In short, NGNPBs have a lot of necessary features that make entire ecosystems of NetOps and cybersecurity tools more efficient and more effective. This excerpt from the Definitive Guide to Next Generation Network Packet Brokers demonstrates just a couple of these essential features in action. 

The team members spend less time on repetitive manual tasks involved with collecting and filtering data, so they have more time for research, analysis and planning. And managers get more out of existing tools instead of blowing their budgets every time network traffic creeps upward.

Definitive Guide™ to Next-Generation Network Packet Brokers

In a larger sense, NGNPBs empower NetOps and SecOps teams (and CloudOps and Service Provider Operations teams) to produce better outcomes with less effort at lower cost. Their tools produce more accurate results because they have access to complete network traffic from one source.

More Information Awaits in the Full NGNPB Guide

Interested in learning more about NGNPBs? Our Definitive Guide to Next Generation Network Packet Brokers is designed to give you a short but thorough overview of NGNPBs:

  • What they are
  • Most important use cases
  • How they evolved from yesterday’s network packet brokers
  • How they benefit NetOps and SecOps teams and help them work together  

Read the executive summary or, for even more information, go straight to the full report.

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