Geo-Distributed Packet Broker Services with Pluribus Adaptive Monitoring Fabric

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Any Tap, Any Tool, Anywhere

Introduction

As applications and workloads become more distributed across data centers, edge locations and public clouds, a well constructed, highly available network to connect those locations are becoming the lifeline of digital business. To ensure that this network lifeline performs consistently and securely, IT teams need a cost-effective way to plan, monitor, and troubleshoot the physical and virtual network infrastructure across geographically distributed sites, a new architectural approach to network packet broker services is the answer.

 

Challenges

To ensure smooth functioning of their IT infrastructure, networking, security, and operations teams typically need a Network Packet Broker whose role is to intelligently “broker” (replicate, filter and route) traffic from the production network to various monitoring and analysis tools.

There are a number of Network Packet Broker solutions in the market, each with its own unique approach, but most of them have drawbacks for the emerging application environment of compute resources distributed across primary and secondary data centers, public cloud, and edge locations. At Pluribus, we believe that IT teams need a new architectural approach to packet broker services in order to effectively monitor this distributed infrastructure, one which is dynamic, distributed, highly-available, and cost-efficient.

 

Architectural Approach to Distributed Packet Broker Services

What is the Pluribus Adaptive Monitoring Fabric (AMF)? It is the industry’s first dynamic network packet broker fabric solution that is simple to deploy, scales out to seamlessly monitor geographically distributed data center networks, and can rapidly adapt to changing network conditions, all implemented on cost-effective open networking Ethernet switches.  Because the Adaptive Monitoring Fabric is built on the architectural foundation of the Adaptive Cloud Fabric, it inherits many advantages that are valuable for network monitoring and packet broker applications.

Out-of-band Monitoring Fabric driagram
Figure 1: Out-of-band Monitoring Fabric

The solution can be deployed out-of-band like any legacy monitoring fabric, operating as a dedicated monitoring fabric separate from the production network. The out-of-band monitoring solution (as shown in Fig.1.) can be deployed on white box switches and scale out to thousands of ports. Any physical topology is supported: leaf-spine, ring, hub-and-spoke, tree, full mesh, partial mesh, and any combination of these. The solution can dynamically load balance traffic across multiple links for efficient resource utilization and multiple resilient connections inbound from TAP/SPAN sources and outbound to multiple tools. 

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Multi-site, Geo-distributed Monitoring Fabric diagram
Figure 2: Multi-site, Geo-distributed Monitoring Fabric

An Adaptive Monitoring Fabric can seamlessly span multiple sites, allowing tools to be placed either in a centralized pool or distributed without restriction across multiple locations (as shown in Fig.2), and deliver completely automated and rapid sub-second re-convergence. Even across an existing IP Core / WAN distributed network the Adaptive Monitoring Fabric will seamlessly automate the deployment of packet broker policies across multiple locations with a single operation. And of course, path computation, replication, and load balancing are all operations automated in hardware while interoperating with the IP network.

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Why Pluribus Adaptive Monitoring Fabric?

The figure below highlights three categories of differentiation that make the Pluribus Adaptive Monitoring Fabric a great choice for emerging distributed packet broker infrastructures.

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Where Do I Learn More?

If you want to learn more about Pluribus Networks’ approach to modern network packet broker architectures check out our Solution Brief or reach out to us for a demo.

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About the Author

Jayesh Chokshi

Jay has over 15+ years of engineering, technical marketing and product management experience in the networking industry. Prior to joining Pluribus, Jay served as the Director of Product Management for several of Cisco’s Enterprise networking product lines, including the launch of the market leading and latest generation of ISRs - ISR4000 series and the virtualization platform ENCS5000 Series. His specialties include Enterprise and Managed Service Provider Networking solutions including SD-WAN, NFV, Data Center switching and Converged Infrastructure solutions. Jay is responsible for driving the Pluribus product/solutions portfolio and technical marketing and partner activities.