The cost and complexity of monitoring solutions are increasing at an explosive rate. More kinds of tools need to be deployed across a steadily increasing number of network links because
- Converged voice-video-data networks demand specialized tools to optimize different types of traffic
- High-speed 1 Gbps and 10 Gbps links generate more traffic than ever needed to be monitored before
- Security threats are expanding on a daily basis
Net Optics introduces Director, the industry’s highest port-density monitoring access solution, with TapFlow™ filtering technology to enable your pool of monitoring tools to handle more traffic, more links, and more protocols than ever before. With Director as the hub of your monitoring access platform (MAP), dozens or hundreds of critical high-volume data links can be dynamically connected to a sub-station of monitoring tools. TapFlow filtering ensures that each tool sees only the traffic-of-interest for its particular purpose.
Director models are available with up to four 10-Gbps XFP ports which can be used as network or monitor connections, as well as one or two Director Network Modules (DNMs). Each provides 6 in-line links or 12 Span ports, supporting Gigabit SX Fiber or 10/100/1000 Copper media. All Director models include 10 1-Gbps SFP monitoring ports for Fiber or Copper tools. A dedicated 10/100/1000 Management port, a local RS-232 CLI port, and dual redundant power supply modules make Director easy to install, highly reliable, and quick to deliver value.
Aggregation, Regeneration, and Switching
Director provides one-to-one, many-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many mappings of network links and Span ports to monitor ports. In other words, traffic from any network links and Span ports can be aggregated into a single stream and copied to any one monitoring port. In addition, the same aggregated traffic stream can be copied to more than one monitoring port at the same time, enabling different groups to monitor the same data without conflicts. Multiple different aggregations and regenerations can operate simultaneously, without interfering with each other functionally or causing slow-downs. Director aggregates, regenerates, switches, and filters traffic completely at line speed, even for fully-utilized 10-Gbps ports.
net optics director tap flowHigh-speed, multi-protocol aggregated traffic streams can be challenging for monitoring tools to handle. Often tools use front-end pre-filters simply to strip off traffic-of-interest, such as VoIP traffic for a VoIP performance analysis tool, while discarding the rest of the packets. This seemingly simple operation can consume a significant amount of a tool’s processing power because it must handle every single packet on the wire. Director restores these precious processing cycles for monitoring tools by utilizing TapFlow. This does the pre-filtering job for them, selecting traffic by protocol type, IP addresses, port numbers, and even packet payload information, and sending each tool only the necessary traffic of interest. For example, Director sends only VoIP packets to the VoIP tool, so the tool spends all of its resources on the job it was designed to do; analyzing VoIP traffic. As a result, tools can handle more traffic than before, increasing their ability to monitoring a half-dozen aggregated links when, without Director, it was challenged to keep up with a single link.
Net Optics Director makes extensive use of modular interface technology to eliminate the headache of matching interfaces between monitoring tools and links. All Director monitor ports use SFP or XFP modular transceivers so virtually any monitoring tool can be accommodated. In addition, DNMs are available for copper and SX fiber in both in-line and Span versions, increasing the flexibility of media type support. In another major innovation, Director enables you to mix 1-Gbps and 10-Gbps links and tools. Traffic from a 10-Gbps link can be truncated or filtered to multiple 1-Gbps monitoring tools. Conversely, multiple 1-Gbps links can be aggregated to a 10-Gbps monitoring tool, making use of, and therefore getting value out of the tool bandwidth that might otherwise go to waste.
Load Balancing allows the traffic to be split into multiple streams so the data can be processed by two or more tools working in parallel. Director Load Balancing takes the traffic from any Network Port or aggregated set of Network Ports and distributes it between to two to ten Monitor Ports. The load can be balanced by IP address, port, protocol, VLAN, and MAC address, or any other packet header field.
Do your monitoring needs call for more than 38 ports? With Net Optics Director, this is not a problem, because up to 10 Director chassis can be daisy-chained together to act as a single logical unit with up to 380 ports. Moreover, SR, LR, and ER 10-Gbps daisy-chain links support a reach as far as 40 km or 25 miles, enabling an entire campus or metro area to be monitored by a single logical Director installation.
Dual Hot-Swappable Power Supplies
Director’s two modular power supplies provide fault tolerance: If one power supply loses power, Director continues operating on the remaining supply. For maximum reliability, each supply has its own integrated cooling fan. If a power supply module needs replacement, there is no need to take Director offline because the power supplies are hot-swappable. Both universal AC and -48VDC (telco) models are available.
Packed with functionality, Director is also an appliance-style device that plugs and plays as easily as the rest of the Net Optics Tap products. Indigo™ management software provides three different interfaces to make configuration and operation of Director a breeze. The command-line interface (CLI) enables any Director parameters or filters to be checked or changed with a few keystrokes. System Manager is a Windows-based console with a rich GUI interface for managing any number of Director and other iTap-enabled devices anywhere on your network. The third Indigo interface, Web Manager, is an HTML page embedded in the Director chassis and accessible from any Web browser anywhere in the world. This enables quick check-ups on Director and your network. All three interfaces are password-protected and accessed through a secure, dedicated management port. The CLI is also available through a local RS-232 serial port.
Security and Reliability
Director is a secure and reliable appliance delivering unsurpassed monitoring access flexibility. It handles network traffic entirely in hardware, so there is no software to be loaded, maintained, or compromised. Configuration variables and TapFlow filters can be changed only through the device’s management port, so your monitoring access is immune to viruses, worms, and other attacks that pass through the Director network ports. Director maintains its configuration and TapFlow filters even when power is absent, making it a truly unstoppable appliance. In addition, when Director is powered off, traffic flows are not impeded between the device’s in-line network ports, maximizing network uptime even when Director is offline.
Doing Our Part
Net Optics is dedicated to ensuring user safety and developing products that are increasingly environmentally friendly. Net Optics Director adheres to UL and CE safety certifications; FCC, VCCI, and C-Tick EMC certifications; and RoHS and WEEE environmental certifications.