Scaling down complexity

Staff writer
19 Dec 2013

Business Analytics Innovation of the Year: Gigamon GigaVue H

Gigamon introduced a number of solutions and products this year to help carriers prepare for and manage Big Data. It brought 40Gb and 100Gb connectivity to the market in chassis form, which it says provides the volume, port density and the scale necessary to give visibility into these Big Data pipes.

Andy Huckridge, director of service provider solutions at Gigamon, says that true visibility into Big Data, however, requires even bigger, denser and faster connectivity, so the problem will become worse tomorrow than it is today and as such requires a new paradigm to fully solve it. Without some level of traffic intelligence, the amount of data coming through simply overwhelms the existing tools.

"So we announced the FlowVUE application to turn Big Data into manageable data by using active subscriber-aware sampling to faithfully reproduce the traffic, but on a smaller scale which the tools can handle," Huckridge explains.

Any organization adopting automation technologies and new offerings like SDN or NFV, first need visibility into their networks. The automation and orchestration of the underlying infrastructure will not happen without an accurate understanding of the activities and events occurring within the foundation of data transport nor a view to managing cost structures, so telcos can make the necessary corrections and adjustments to the infrastructure to meet business needs.

He says Gigamon is helping carriers to find problems with their traffic and on their networks faster and in a more predictable way, thereby helping to keep networks running all the time.

It's important to not overlook the importance of a solid visibility fabric foundation based on scalable chassis-based platforms, with high-speed connectivity and high port density, he noted.

"However, the exciting advancements have come in the form of distributed monitoring nodes like the new GigaVUE-HB1 and applications like FlowVUE that provide traffic intelligence to manage Big Data. This combination of heavy-duty centralized monitoring complemented with ‘at the edge' monitoring allows carriers to filter traffic at ingress as well as greater flexibility for where tools are located."

Looking ahead, Huckridge say, the company will continue to invest in applications that help telcos manage Big Data as well as showing support for various industry initiatives such as NFV. By harnessing Big Data, service providers can better understand their subscribers and associated experiences on the network. Through visibility, they can turn Big Data into an advantage while increasing ARPU and reducing customer churn.

It is the transactional-level visibility that provides the ultimate view to what has happened, he says. "The ability to exploit Big Data enabled by pervasive visibility combined with subscriber-aware traffic intelligence can represent a significant competitive advantage and help them to extend their business run-rates as the adoption of new business transforming technologies develop and are deployed. Network and traffic visibility will be a core component in helping carriers overcome the hurdles."

Why they won

Gigamon's analytics tool provides the necessary volume, port density and scale for developing visibility fabric applications that can deliver traffic intelligence to monitor and monetize Big Data.

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