Technical Insights > Network Visibility + Security

Vision X KOs Gigamon GigaVUE-HC3 in Tolly Tests

2020-10-08  |  5 min read 

“It ain’t bragging if you can back it up.” – Muhammad Ali

Keysight Vision X vs Gigamon GigaVUE-HC3
Tolly Labs test results showing the Gigamon GigaVUE-HC3 dropping packets while the Vision X faithfully forwards at line rate.

One of my favorite fighters is the incomparable Muhammad Ali. Not only was he a man of great wit, but he was literally untouchable in the ring (or nearly so with amazing speed and defense for a heavyweight).

“It’s hard to be humble when you’re as pretty as I am.” – Muhammad Ali

They called him The Greatest, for good reason. With a record of 56 wins and 5 losses, with 37 of the wins being by knockout, his record speaks for itself.

Same for our Vision X network packet broker. When we released Vision X last year we knew we had something special. While we knew we had a winner, but what we didn’t have was the ability to do a head to head comparison with Gigamon’s GigaVUE-HC3. Recently that changed.

Tale of the Tape

Just like Ali’s legendary match with Joe Foreman, we figured we had a fight on our hands taking on Gigamon’s flagship GigaVUE-HC3. Both systems have a 3U formfactor and run Broadcom Tomahawk II chipsets with 6.4Tbps backplanes, so we expected a good, close fight. What we didn’t count on was how comprehensive a beat down that Vision X was about to deliver.

Rumble in the Jungle

With a total system advanced packet processing capacity of 2 Tbps, the unique hardware architecture of the Vision X scores early hits on the GigaVUE-HC3, supporting only 800 Gbps per system – a 2.5x advantage for Keysight.

However, when we looked at deduplication performance, the differences were even more surprising. First, consider the fact that one of the most fundamental and basic applications of a network packet broker is to be able to take traffic from any tap or SPAN port and deliver it to any security or analytics tool on the network. Due to architectures like leaf-spine, you can end up with a lot of duplicate packets, which is where deduplication comes in. With deduplication, you end up getting more out of your network tools and appliances as they have less traffic to process.

Packet Brokers Should Remove Blind Spots, Not Create Them

Because of a carefully thought out hardware architecture and the inclusion of expensive but high performance FPGAs, Vision X did NOT drop any packets. By plan and by design. What surprised us, however, was the extent to which Gigamon dropped traffic.

At a 50/50 mix of unique and duplicate traffic on 100GbE ports, Gigamon dropped up to 83.2% of the traffic it saw and deduped and forwarded as little as 16.8%. We dropped zero.

Remember, the whole idea behind deploying network packet brokers as part of a visibility fabric is to close blind spots, not create them. If you are dropping traffic, particularly if you are dropping significant amounts of traffic, you are creating blind spots and there are things impacting security and performance happening on your network that you simply are not seeing.

We invite you to check out the Tolly report on how the Vision X outperforms the Gigamon GigaVUE-HC3. We also invite you to check out the Vision X network packet broker as well as the rest of our network packet broker lineup.

Thanks for reading.

Stay safe.