July 06, 2020

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Tips for Choosing a Network Packet Broker

A network packet broker refers to a gadget that helps one to send data from switches and more networking gadgets to monitoring, performance, and monitoring tools. Network packet brokers are staples in several large business networks. However, one may not be sure whether he/she needs one. Even after deciding that you need one, you may find it hard choosing. To choose the best network packet broker, you should use these guidelines.

Choose between fixed and modular networks. Fixed networks have a particular interface that it utilizes for all traffic. For instance, you may need to monitor 10Gbs links; a relatively simple setup, unlike modular networks that have many interfaces and might come with changing configurations based on needs. A modular network packet broker can let one to swap between modules as well as avoid outages as adjustments apply. On the contrary, a fixed generally helps one to optimize costs if their needs are lower. Many companies ought to choose a fixed network unless they require utilizing a modular configuration.

Factor intolerance for faults. Check your network tolerances’ problems like hardware fault and power failure. In case your network primarily serves your business team’s operational needs, your level of tolerance may be non-trivial. Although a fault can be disruptive, it can’t necessarily result in major business damage. On the other hand, if your network enables your company’s product to connect to clients, an outage can result in serious problems. The same applies to those running mission-critical services on their networks as they may not be able to afford any weighty outage. Knowing your fault tolerance is going to ensure you select the correct network packet broker. More advanced alternatives can offer protective technologies and load balancing that minimizes faults.

Consider traffic management. To keep up with demands, some networks especially very high-volume ones need to have effective traffic management. However, this may be unnecessary for less complex setups. Traffic grooming tools include traffic generation and hardware-based packet filtering. Your network packet broker can enable you to store these technologies under control, bringing value to your network. Nevertheless, as with the above considerations, you may not require their level of monitoring and control as they may be cost-ineffective and destructive to the maintenance processes of your network.

Make sure you put security into consideration. Among the major roles a network packet broker plays is that they help in monitoring and controlling network security. However, most network packet brokers help with this only by the virtue of forwarding packets. Advanced network packet brokers can take a more streamlined and active role in the detection and prevention of a threat. The capability to respond quickly to threats is crucial for lasting security. Some network packet brokers can inspect encrypted network packets by real-time decryption of packets moving through a network. Encrypted packets with an unfamiliar key or algorithm get flagged and monitored as needed, meaning you can ensure that your encrypted data streams get only used for the right purpose. To monitor this, the right equipment is needed, ensure your network packet broker has it.

Check performance needs. Just like with every network tool, performance is crucial with network packet brokers. Monitoring must not hinder your network from operating smoothly but this will happen if you choose the wrong network packet broker. Businesses and networks vary in performance needs and you may need your product to have a better performance compared to your daily operations. Evaluate what you need from a network packet broker then compare it against implementation and operation costs.

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