Monday, February 22, 2010

Gigamon Adds Packet Modification to its Data Tap Switch

Gigamon, a start-up based in Milpitas, California, has added unique 10 Gbps packet modification technology to its GigaVUE-2404 data access switch. The Gigamon switch platform provides data access span ports for monitoring complex and remote networks. The switch aggregates, filters and replicates customized data streams to all monitoring tools.

New software "GigaSMART" software leverages 10 Gbps, full line-rate packet modification technology to offer time stamping, network port labeling, slicing and masking capabilities. These capabilities provide flexibility and security in front of the range of monitoring tools that a network operator might deploy. Existing filters within the GigaVUE-2404 also allow GigaSMART to pin down a subset of traffic for advanced modification.

"Up to now, GigaVUE faithfully transferred packets from the network to the monitoring tools exactly as they appeared on the network," explained Gigamon Co-founder Tom Gallatin. "But in some cases, the monitoring tools will perform more efficiently by eliminating unwanted content, or by adding source or timing information only available at the point of collection, or by hiding confidential information like passwords, financial accounts, or medical data, keeping it away from users who 'don't really need-to-know.' GigaSMART can deliver all this - and more - at 10-Gig full line-rate."

  • Time Stamping of packets provides effective way to troubleshoot and measure application response times, jitter or latency. As the packets flow into GigaVUE, they are time stamped at line-rate, taking place as close to the network as possible, resulting in a permanent time record that remains with the packet for subsequent analysis, such as jitter or latency measurements, at a more convenient time.

  • Packet Slicing can reduce packet size to increase processing and monitoring throughput, optimizing the tools' ability to crunch data. The reduction in packet size can enable more data storage in a recorder application, leaving only the most vital part of the payload.

  • Packet Masking -- even when encrypted, a packet can often still carry private information that can be seen by the tools connected to the network, leading to security vulnerability and compliance threats. A simple mask over this private information increases security and compliance without impact to the monitoring tasks. GigaSMART's customizable masking feature allows any private information within the packet to be masked, keeping the information private while the network tools and the network engineers do their jobs. Gigamon said masking is an especially desirable feature for the financial, insurance and healthcare verticals, because every network has private or sensitive information on it; as packets travel through tools, masking will keep private information private.
  • Earlier this month, Gigamon announced that it had raised $22.8 million from Highland Capital Partners in its first institutional financing to support its data access switching product line.