Software-driven open compute platform brings agility and scalability to packet broker market

June 26, 2017 //By Jean-Pierre Joosting
NETSCOUT has announced a software-driven addition to its nGenius Packet Flow System (PFS) product family that will help eliminate obstacles to scaling network monitoring infrastructure.

The nGenius PFS 5000 models deliver a new packet broker architecture in the visibility market, de-coupling packet broker functions from its underlying hardware and offering an industry-leading open compute platform option for network packet brokers. This allows Netscout’s software to be run on cost-effective white box switches.

“NETSCOUT is embracing disruption by porting its packet flow visibility software to cost-effective white box switches,” said Stephen Collins, principal analyst, Network Visibility and Analytics, ACG Research. “The value in networking is moving from specialized, purpose-built hardware to software-driven open compute platforms that scale easily while ensuring flexibility and agility for enterprise and service provider network operators, and NETSCOUT is helping its customers realize this value.”

The software-driven nGenius PFS 5000 models operate at speeds from 10 Gbps to 100 Gbps, providing aggregation, replication and filtering. Enabled with self-organizing mesh technology, pfsMesh, the nGenius PFS 5000 series scales on-demand for network monitoring needs of any size. pfsMesh automatically and dynamically interconnects multiple packet flow systems together, ensuring high availability of monitoring tools, whether they are in the same data center or separated by large distances, and reducing operational complexity.

“The new products are the first step toward a complete disaggregation of network packet broker functionality, where the NETSCOUT Packet Flow Operating System (PFOS) software is decoupled from the underlying hardware,” said Sanjay Munshi, vice president of products for PFS business unit, NETSCOUT. “The first controller-less open compute approach brings significant flexibility for our customers enabling them to cost-effectively evolve and further scale their monitoring infrastructures on demand. This customer-driven innovation reflects our long-standing focus on elevating our value proposition through software-centric solutions.”