Network Associates has released a hardware appliance and updated software that will extend the reach of that company's Sniffer network traffic management technology from remote users into data centres at the network core.
The s6040 appliance is a 4u rack-mounted device that accommodates the addition of up to four full-duplex Gigabit mounted "blades", or circuit boards, for specialised applications, according to Chris Thompson, vice-president of product marketing at Network Associates.
Those expansion slots will allow s6040 customers to add functionality such as antivirus and intrusion detection as their needs change, Thompson said.
The s6040 is part of Network Associates' 6000 line of appliances, and uses the network fault detection and reporting capabilities of the Sniffer Distributed Expert software, but is packaged for high-performance network environments.
The s6040 is capable of performing traffic capture and analysis at line speed, providing information on traffic patterns and network performance in real time.
The device can also diagnose problems in networks using asymmetric routing, load balancing and other high-performance features. Such features often confuse network intrusion detection and traffic management products, Thompson said.
Network Associates also announced versions of the Sniffer Distributed software, as well as the Network Performance Orchestrator (nPO) Manager and nPO Visualizer software products.
Sniffer Distributed version 4.3 features improved reporting and analysis as well as a software-key licensing feature that enables customers to turn on or off features to suit specific deployment needs.
The latest release includes a version of Sniffer Distributed Expert software for network management and Sniffer Distributed RMON+, a base model appliance with traffic capture and decoding capabilities specially suited for deployment in branch offices and remote sites.
In addition to companies with large networks such as financial services organisations and internet service providers, the s6040 appliance and RMON+ appliance also make the Sniffer technology more attractive to customers with large, but distributed networks, such as retail stores.
Network Associates' nPO Manager 2.0, includes support for multi-trace analysis, which organises and filters network traffic, allowing administrators to quickly pinpoint the source of problems on a network as well as improved alarm management capabilities.
The hardware and software is part of what Network Associates described as an end-to-end network management solution called the "Sniffer Network Protection Platform".
The platform is designed to detect, monitor and manage traffic at all points in a network, from edge to core, tying together the company's performance management and fault detection products with its management software such as nPO Manager and nPO Visualizer.