Insights > Network Visibility + Security

Cutting Network Costs Without Cutting Corners

2021-05-20  |  5 min read 

Full Network Visibility Without Compromising performance or security

IT professionals understand that a network architecture is the complete framework and topology of an organization’s network. It includes hardware, software, cabling, security and monitoring tools, a plethora of wired and wireless physical and virtual devices as well as cloud applications.

However, mention a network visibility architecture, and it often draws questioning stares or hesitant nods. But a network is not complete without a visibility architecture tagging along as a trusted partner. Think of a visibility architecture as an extra insurance policy – providing a valuable added layer of security and peace of mind while improving your network’s performance at the same time.

A network visibility architecture includes an access layer utilizing devices like network taps and SPAN ports to capture raw data flowing into the network. Network packet brokers (NPBs) sit at the control layer providing intelligent data filtering and software capabilities like load balancing, SSL decryption, data masking, deduplication and packet trimming. NPBs are like a traffic cop in some respects, making sure that the right data is sent to the right tool at the right time. The monitoring layer includes network monitoring and security tools – companies typically have several tools performing a variety of functions. But, tools are only as good as the data they receive.

A network visibility architecture will:

  • Uncover and prevent blind spots
  • Contain costs while maximizing ROI
  • Simplify network management

One-size doesn’t fit all in terms of a visibility architecture and each design must fit the specific requirements of an enterprise’s network and their overall business strategy. But, one thing all visibility architecture designs do is reduce network costs without compromising on performance or security.

Let’s face it - network monitoring and security tools are expensive and budgets are tight. A significant way that a visibility architecture reduces network costs is by extending the life of your existing tools and improving their efficiency and performance. Here’s a quick look at a few ways of doing this:

Intelligent data filtering performed by an NPB and accompanying software like Keysight’s NetStack, PacketStack, SecureStack and AppStack significantly reduces the amount of unnecessary data sent to tools, increasing tool efficiency, and allowing for greater scaling.

Deduplication increases tool efficiency and accuracy - according to Keysight customer feedback, deduplication increases their tool efficiency by 30% to 50%.   

Example of data deduplication 

Load Balancing allows you to spread 40/100 Gigabit Ethernet (GE) loads across multiple lower-rate tools to extend the life of tools that don’t support higher speeds. Tools are often underutilized anyway, so do more with fewer tools.  

Load balancing traffic to multiple tools 

Header stripping allows an NPB to easily remove unnecessary IP packet headers which helps your tools from becoming overloaded and negatively impacting performance and security.

Extended burst protection uses buffering to overcome packet delays so NPBs see ALL packets even under microburst conditions which protects and secures monitoring data at all times.

Centralized management using a single pane of glass and an easy to use drag-and-drop graphical user interface (GUI) greatly reduces troubleshooting time and mean time to repair (MTTR). Having this unified view of all network traffic also simplifies monitoring.

By creating a visibility architecture, you will clearly see all traffic and any inefficiencies or blind spots that exist in your network. Because partial visibility is not good enough.

To learn more, download the “Guide to Visibility Use Cases: Reducing Network Costs” whitepaper.

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