The importance of having complete network visibility today can’t be overstated. If an organization can’t see into its network infrastructure, the consequences can be detrimental. With comprehensive network visibility, enterprises and service providers can identify and address network outages, enhance security, and deal with potential regulatory compliance issues—before there’s any negative impact on the business.
But for enterprises and service providers that are looking to increase visibility, it’s not just a matter of gaining a better view of network activity at any cost. A network visibility solution should be affordable as well as effective in addressing today’s increasingly complex environments and threat vectors.
Indeed, enterprise networks and security threats are becoming more sophisticated than ever. With the rise in the use of cloud services, virtualization, and other emerging technologies, IT departments need to get a better handle on network access and monitoring to ensure that they have a sufficient level of network management and security.
One option is to continuously deploy new monitoring tools, but this leads to spending additional time on configuration and handling more management complexities. Enterprises typically deploy three or four network tools per link in their data center networks, for applications such as security, compliance, analytics, and performance management.
Another option is to rip out all the tools that run at a slower network speed and replace them with higher-speed tools. This option could also end up being costly, however.
A better alternative to those options is to implement a holistic network monitoring infrastructure that enables migration to a higher network speed and increases the effectiveness of existing security and monitoring tools.
A strong visibility architecture requires four key components: high efficiency and flexible access to the network; monitoring middleware functionality (e.g., filtering and packet grooming), advanced monitoring functions, including application intelligence; and connectivity of monitoring tools.
Furthermore, newer solutions such as network packet brokers (NPB) can help enterprises and service providers maximize their return on investment (ROI) in network security and monitoring tools. By deploying NPBs, companies can ensure better utilization of monitoring and security infrastructure, simplify operational complexity, and increase ROI through additional cost savings and service quality improvements.
NPBs address data center challenges, including improving visibility and data access for monitoring and security tools, and speeding up the time to diagnose performance problems and security incidents. At the same time, NPBs allow organizations to ensure that capital and operating expenditures remain stable as network sizes and speeds continue to rise.
These network visibility tools provide a range of features that make security infrastructure more efficient and cost-effective for companies. While security plans are often developed independently of the network visibility architecture enabled by NPBs, security can be enhanced and costs reduced further if the NPB connectivity and deployment are included in the early stages of strategic security planning.
Network Packet Brokers are intelligent security visibility devices that make network traffic visible and available to the wide variety of appliances used in enterprise and service provider security infrastructures. With tools such as these as part of a visibility architecture strategy, enterprises and service providers can better protect their valuable IT assets.