Scalability discussions are focused around how to future-proof the network. The answer has historically been to purchase bigger boxes upfront or connect multiple boxes in an endless chain as port requirements grow. As bandwidth needs to expand, the port count needs to be matched with throughput speed. It does not help to add ports if you do not have the bandwidth to support the available ports. Consequently, switches, tools and packet brokers are becoming bigger and faster to support the ports and bandwidth. The question to ask today, however, is are manufacturers overshooting the market?
Speeds and Feeds
Manufacturers have been advancing bandwidth technology at a torrid pace. Year over year the talk and hype at trade shows continue to center around faster speeds. When 10Gbps was standard, the word was to get ready for 25G and maybe even 40G very soon. As soon as the industry hit 40G the talk moved to 100G. Now 400G speeds are available in switches and visibility devices.
At this rapid pace of accelerating speeds, how does one future proof networks and tools? The last thing a network manager wants to do is forklift and obsolete network infrastructure every two years just to keep up with the pace of technology.
It is not just switches. The support tools that monitor and protect networks must also be considered as changes are made. Intrusion Detection and Prevention, Data Loss Protection and other monitoring, performance and security devices must also be brought in sync with updated speeds and feeds.
Historically, this has been done by overbuying and under-utilizing network equipment. The thought being that it is better to spend a little more now and have idle capacity for use down the line as needed. This “over-spend and under-utilize" technique had some logical and economic justification compared to the alternative of buying only what is needed in the short term. The downside of buying short-term, however, is that equipment often needs to be decommissioned before it is fully depreciated.
Overbuy and Fully Utilize?
A new alternative is to buy more capacity (speed and ports) than what is needed and fully utilize it now. At first glance, that does not make much sense. However, Network Critical has introduced a new and disruptive solution in the visibility market that everyone should to consider.
Breaking it down, overbuying is not really overbuying if the capacity can be utilized in the present, yet be available in the future. Still lost? It still does not make sense, right?
Manufacturers are developing to meet the needs of their largest customers. In this case, those include massive cloud networks, service providers, cellular providers and other large global network providers. The speeds currently range up to 400Gbps. Smaller and mid-range networks, however, do not need those speeds now but do not want to be caught short in the future.
The new strategy developed by Network Critical is to buy the hyper speeds you will need in the future in a system and format that can provide maximum utilization today yet be available at higher speeds down the road when needed. This future-proofing breakthrough is being offered today in the Network Critical SmartNA-PortPlus HyperCore™ Network Packet Broker.
SmartNA-PortPlus HyperCore™ Network Packet Broker
The powerful HyperCore unit provides 32 non-blocking ports that can be utilized at up to 400Gbps each. As would be expected, the product also includes a full suite of sophisticated packet broker features including aggregation, port mapping, filtering and load balancing of core traffic across legacy tools.
There are other big boxes on the market that can provide 400Gbps and lots of features. Here is where the HyperCore stands alone. Each port can be utilized as a single hyper-speed port or can be broken out at up to a 1:8 ratio for slower traffic. This allows network managers to purchase a high-speed packet broker for future needs but utilize it at speeds and feeds that make sense today. There will be no need to forklift upgrade in the future. Simply re-deploy the port breakouts for the speed required. This innovation provides blazing speeds for future needs plus not-so-blazing speeds for smaller and mid-size network requirements right now. The key for scaling in today’s network market is having ultimate flexibility to scale up or down as needed.
The cellular providers, cloud providers, governments and mega-networks love this compact yet super-fast packet broker. However, small and mid-size networks also love it because it gives them a future-proof solution for network visibility upgrades without changing boxes or stacking boxes. This revolutionary solution saves expensive rack real estate, eliminates the dreaded forklift upgrade and allows maximum utilization of existing tools. For more technical detail on the future-proof SmartNA-PortPlus HyperCore™ go to www.networkcritical.com/contact-us. The Network Critical experts will be happy to walk you through the ports, speeds, connectors and deployment solutions.