In the world of high technology there are three key specs that distinguish the best products from the mediocre - Smaller, Faster and Simpler. Over the last decade we have seen advancement from 1/10Gbps to 25Gbps to 40/100Gbps. These rapid advancements, while great for users, are challenging for network architects and managers who are tasked with monitoring, managing and protecting the networks and the information they move.

There are many specialised tools designed to monitor network data flows. Some of these tools are built for analysis and optimisation of network traffic. Some tools are designed to block malicious attacks and deter theft of confidential information. In either case, the job of these tools becomes exponentially more difficult as network speed increases. It is much more complex to open packets, read, analyse and take action when the data is moving at one hundred billion bits per second than when the data is moving at ten billion bits per second. The dramatic increase in network link speed has led to a corresponding increase in complexity and price of the tools being used to monitor and protect networks.

Just as advances in materials, processes, design and software have helped make the IC industry more efficient, the same is happening in the ancillary products being used to provide visibility to the tools that monitor and protect networks. As network tool speeds and prices escalate, products like the SmartNA-100 are providing new ways to provide visibility to high speed links using Smarter, lower cost, lower speed tools.

Newer software that can enhance the chip capabilities are a must for those looking for Faster acting ancillary products. Devices that not only have the most advanced chip technology but also have intuitive software that works with those chips in tandem. By utilising this powerful combination, the latest network data monitors provide visibility to 100G links with incredible flexibility that utilises both new and legacy management tools.

Remembering the sage advice of teachers and mentors…when faced with a large, complex problem or project, it is best to break it up into smaller, more manageable pieces. This advice works as well for packet brokers by increasing the number of ports with Gbps access. Then, when a sophisticated load balancing feature is deployed, high speed links can be accessed at up to 100Gbps which is then distributed down among the multiple ports where the tools are connected. By splitting up the high-speed traffic among as many ports as possible it becomes far more manageable to monitor and a Simpler experience overall.

When looking for the best traffic monitoring technology for enterprises, these three specs are the ones cybersecurity experts want to look for. When you have a product that is Smarter, Faster and Simpler to use than all the others out there you will find yourself with an easy to set-up device that is easy to use, cost-effective, efficient and can even work with older devices without sacrificing performance. Such devices may sound like a technological impossibility, but they do exist and have only been getting better over time. So, improve your network security by using the Smarter, Faster and Simpler solution.

By Alastair Hartrup, Global CEO, Network Critical

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