Year-End Network Monitoring Assessment

Planning for the Future

Net Optics Network Assessment As we approach the New Year, many organizations’ data centers and network configurations are in lockdown mode. Whether this is due to assuming a defensive posture against the onslaught of holiday ecommerce traffic, or an accommodation to vacationing staff, the situation provides network managers an opportunity to perform a year-end network monitoring assessment

Establish Future Goals, Identify Current Weaknesses and Make Sure Core Tasks and Goals Are Achieved

Q. How many locations will you need to monitor in the New Year?

If there are new server clusters or even new data centers in the works, be sure to plan accordingly, and ensure that your network monitoring tools will have visibility into those areas. Net Optics’ own Aggregation and Regeneration Taps can be used to incorporate more points of visibility for your existing monitoring tools within your growing network. Advanced appliances such as Network Packet Brokers (NPBs) can perform more sophisticated switching and filtering to optimize visibility within that network sprawl.

Q. What traffic will you be responsible for monitoring?

If you are providing network support, you need to understand immediately the nature, volume and security of the traffic flowing over your network. Is your organization planning to implement new applications or services on the network? Even the introduction or expansion of virtualization will require a monitoring plan that incorporates virtualization taps. For organizations looking to simplify their network performance monitoring, Net Optics’ Spyke appliance provides plug-and-play performance monitoring. Additionally, load balancers designed specifically for distributing network monitoring data to multiple tools can extend the useful life of 1G tools by sharing 10G traffic across a pool of devices.

Q. What new threats will the network face, and what preventative measures will you add?

The growing phenomena of advanced persistent threats (APTs) and directed attacks against network vulnerabilities demand a stronger response from security personnel. Dimension Data’s recent 2012 Network Barometer Report indicates that 75 percent of devices within an organization’s network contain a known security vulnerability. Many organizations deploy a defense-in-depth strategy with overlapping security tools to provide more robust security coverage. Be sure to schedule software updates for all of your network security tools, and make sure those security tools have total visibility of the traffic they are monitoring.

Q. What is your replacement plan for older equipment?

Also included in Dimension Data’s Network Barometer Report is that many organizations are utilizing equipment that has reached an end-of-life, end-of-sale or end-of-support stage. Budgeting for, and planning ahead for the obsolescence or re-tasking of these devices should be included in your plan for the coming year.

Q. What are your redundancy and failover plans?

One option for extending the useful life of your legacy monitoring tools is to utilize them as redundant tools in case of failover. Utilizing bypass switches or high-availability modes in NPBs can make use of these tools in the event a primary device is put in maintenance mode, taken offline, or experiences a hardware failure. Consider assessing your older equipment on the basis of discarding the equipment entirely OR re-purposing it as a hot-standby.

Q. Have you included hardware/software maintenance in your annual budget?

Most hardware vendors offer annual maintenance and service plans for their devices. Renewing and maintaining these plans is critical to ensuring that you have access to the latest software updates. Additionally, should any of your devices experience hardware failure, advance replacement plans can get replacement equipment into your network as soon as possible.

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Telus expands LTE network

Telus has announced that it has expanded its LTE coverage to Hinton and Jasper in Alberta, along with Moncton in New Brunswick. The company says those connecting to the new network will achieve average download speeds of between 12Mbps and 25Mbps. Telus’s LTE network now covers 65% of the population, with the operator targeting 75% coverage by the end of 2012.

Thanks to TeleGeography for this Article

Telus’ sales climb 6%, wireless data revenue jumps 23

Canadian telco Telus Corporation’s third quarter 2012 revenue increased by 6% year-on-year to CAD2.8 billion (USD2.8 billion), while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) grew by 5% to CAD1.0 billion. Growth was primarily generated by a 7% increase in wireless revenue and a 12% rise in wireless EBITDA, resulting from data revenue jumping by 23% due to continued smartphone adoption. Wireline revenue growth of 4% was driven by a 14% increase in data revenue supported by strong TV and high speed internet growth. In the three months ended 30 September Telus added a net 116,000 new post-paid wireless customers, 42,000 new pay-TV subscribers and 26,000 broadband internet customers, partially offset by a fixed line net loss of 39,000. Its total wireless subscriber base of 7.56 million was up 5% year-on-year, while ARPU increased by 1.5% to CAD61.42. The Telus TV subscriber base of 637,000 rose 41% y-o-y and broadband customers grew 7% to surpass 1.3 million.

Thanks to TeleGeography for this Article

CRTC releases market growth data

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has released its annual report on the communications industry, in which it says that the overall revenues for the telecoms/broadcasting sector rose by 3.3% in 2011 to CAD59.3 billion (USD60.1 billion), including CAD42.7 billion from telecoms services, an increase of 2.5%. Broadcasting turnover grew by 5.5% to CAD16.6 billion. The number of residential subscribers to fixed telephone services fell in 2011 by 2.7% to 12.2 million, the report said, adding that by the end of the year 78% of 13.4 million households in Canada had an internet subscription, while the percentage of households with download speeds of at least 5Mbps rose from 51% in 2010 to 54% in 2011. The CRTC said that there were 9.4 million subscribers in 2011 who took a bundle of two or more telecoms services from a single provider, a figure which near-doubled in four years.

Thanks to TeleGeography for this article

Net Optics Finalizing Integration of Phantom Virtualization Tap

Net Optics Phantom Virtual Tap

Interoperation of Phantom Tap’s Management Server with vSphere vCenter 5.0 will deliver enhanced accuracy and time-efficiency while saving operations costs.

Net Optics, Inc., the leading provider of Intelligent Access and Monitoring Architecture, today announced that its Phantom Virtualization Tap’s Management server is in the final stage of integration with VMware’s vCenter 5.0 Management

Compatibility with this latest version of the vSphere system is a major advance along Net Optics’ committed path to provide VM-level monitoring policies in its Phantom Virtualization Tap. The new functionality advances the virtual server level monitoring policies provided in previous releases of Phantom software. Full compatibility and interoperability with vCenter 5.0 not only upgrades the Phantom Virtualization Tap itself, but on a larger scale actualizes Net Optics’ twin goals for its customers: 1) providing total access capabilities in physical and virtual environments; and 2) enabling unrestricted monitoring at any tool of choice, whether virtual or physical.

Net Optics’ original 2011 release of the Phantom Virtualization Tap had offered full integration with vSphere 4.1. Since VMware’s early 2012 release of vSphere 5.0, Net Optics has worked to upgrade the Tap to deliver that same full interoperability with vSphere 5.0.

As VMware adds functionality, Net Optics will continue to engineer the Phantom Virtualization Tap to support seamless integration with VMware products. “At Net Optics, we make it a priority to provision the Phantom Virtualization Tap with VM lifecycle visibility and capabilities,” said Ran Nahmias, Net Optics Sr. Director of Virtualization and Cloud Solutions “This administrative compatibility enables correlation of monitoring data with essential system events, such as the population of new VMs.”

When a VM transitions, the Phantom Management Server can ensure that monitoring policies migrate automatically from the old server to the new one hosting the VM without operator intervention. Enabling continuous, undisturbed monitoring sessions—regardless of VM lifecycle events—makes for superior accuracy, time-efficiency, and savings on operations costs. The implemented integration pulls from vCenter to the Phantom Virtualization Tap any relevant information about all Virtual Machines, whether in a single data center deployment or in a deployment spanning multiple, global data centers. This information includes VM lifecycle events, starting with new VM creation. It also encompasses when a VM is started, stopped, paused, destroyed and live migrated to another physical Host. Additional relevant information would include the physical server on which a VM is assigned to run and the vSwitch that a VM is connected to.

Availability of this information is key in allowing the Phantom Virtualization Tap’s Management Server to deliver support for dynamic VM-level monitoring policies. A customer’s IT team can view a list of all VMs in the data center and identify which are currently being monitored. The team can then specify monitoring policies that apply only to specific VMs and not to the entire physical server. Soon, Net Optics we will be able to provide continuous monitoring regardless of machine transitions, and correlate system or resource issues with the underlying conditions that caused them for a total, holistic understanding of the network.

Network Instruments Unveils 40 Gb Data Center Monitoring Platform

New Interface First to Capture and Validate Full-Duplex 40 Gb Performance

Minneapolis, MN Network Instruments, a worldwide leader in network and application performance monitoring, announced today the release of its new hardware and software interface for capturing and analyzing full-duplex 40 Gb data center performance.

The platform is the first full-duplex analysis interface for 40 Gb networks. Coupled with the GigaStor™ retrospective network analysis appliance, IT teams can store up to 5 PB of traffic to validate and manage network and application performance on critical 40 Gb links.

“Our enterprise customers, as they build new data centers, are seriously investigating 40 Gb,” said Charles Thompson, director of product strategy for Network Instruments. “As the leader in optimizing performance in high-throughput environments, we have to have the right solutions ready when our clients migrate to 40 Gb. With the new platform, we guarantee the transition to higher-speed networks will be seamless and potential visibility gaps eliminated.”

40 Gb Capture Technology

Network Instruments released the new Gen2™ capture card, designed and developed in house to handle the significant data acquisition and analysis demands of 40 Gb network environments. The new card operates on both single and multimode 40 Gb links. With onboard hardware acceleration, filtering, and de-duplication, the Gen2 product line features the fastest capture cards available with the capacity to support full-duplex gigabit, 10 Gb, and 40 Gb environments.

Secure 40 Gb Access

Another key component of the company’s 40 Gb offering is the new 40 Gb multimode optical nTAP™. The full-duplex, optical nTAP is the first in the industry to provide permanent, passive access to full-duplex 40 Gb traffic. It will not introduce points of failure on the network, or impact the performance of other devices. Because it does not have an IP address or require power to function, the device is secure from hack attacks.

Net Optics Director – More Traffic with Fewer Tools

Net Optics Director - More Traffic with Fewer Tools

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Net Optics Updates the xStream Platform

Our powerful xStream chassis now delivers new convenience and reliability features!

Net Optics xStream Platform

xStream: The Springboard Platform for High-Value Solutions

Meet the enhanced Big Three xStream line: Director xStream, iLinkAgg xStream and xBalancer. New chassis improvements deliver ease of use and greater reliability:

  • Front-Facing Management and Console Interfaces – Streamlined convenience features
  • Three-Speed LED Indicator On the Management Port – What you need to know at-a-glance
  • Cisco-Compatible Console Interface – Up-to-the-minute Cisco relevance
  • Four Field-Replaceable Fan Modules – Nonstop availability (only 3 fans needed—the 4th provides redundancy)
  • High-Efficiency Power Supply Modules – All the power you need, all the time
  • Improved system MTBF – All these improvements total up to outstanding levels of reliability and high performance!