380 network inputs PLUS 380 tool outputs in 10U
Suppose you need to tap hundreds of links? How do you meet that challenge? I would suggest you use the highest port-density data monitoring switches in the industry, the Director families from Net Optics.
For example, you can get 380 ports in 10U of rack space using Director DIR-7400s — 340 1-Gigabit ports plus 40 10-Gigabit ports. Need to pass data from any port on any unit to any other port on any unit? Simply daisy-chain the chassis using the 10G ports on the rear of the chassis, and Director automatically routes the traffic among the chassis as specified in your filter set. For example, type
filter add in_ports=u1.n1.1 action=redir redir_ports=u10.m.10 ip_protocol=6
to send all of the TCP traffic received at the first network port on the device at the head of the daisy-chain to the last monitoring port of the device at the tail of the daisy-chain, traversing all 10 chassis, as shown here:
Traffic is routed through the daisy-chain automatically
Are you working with a lot of 10 Gigabit links? How many 10 Gigabit ports can you fit into, say for example, 14U of rack space? Answer: 336 10-Gigabit ports if you use 14 Director xStream devices.
336 10G/1G network inputs PLUS 336 10G/1G tool outputs in 14U
Need to run traffic from a port on one unit to a port on another unit? You can interconnect chassis in any topology your like—daisy-chain, star, mesh, and so on—and construct filters to send the traffic anywhere you want. Don’t want to dedicate an entire 10G link to a single stream of traffic moving between units? You can use the port tagging feature of xBalancer (and coming soon to Director xStream and iLink Agg xStream) to create trunks with multiple independent monitoring traffic streams traveling over a single physical link. For example, let’s send the traffic from port 1 on unit 1 to port 1 on unit 2, and traffic from port 2 on unit one to port 2 on unit 2, using a trunk cable between port 3 on both units:
# commands to enter on unit 1
# tag traffic arriving on port 1 as 4001, and port 2 as 4002
port set ports=1,2 tags=40001,4002
# send tagged port 1 and 2 traffic into the trunk link
filter add in_ports=1 action=redir redir_ports=3
filter add in_ports=2 action=redir redir_ports=3
# commands to enter on unit 2
# turn on tagging so that on the way out, ports 1 and 2 will strip the tags that were added in unit 1
port set ports=1,2 tags=40001,4002
# disaggregate traffic by filtering on the port tags
filter add in_ports=3 action=redir redir_ports=1 vlan=4001
filter add in_ports=3 action=redir redir_ports=2 vlan=4002
Using a trunk link to pass two traffic streams between chassis
Another consideration for very high port-count deployments is where you physically locate the equipment. Director and Director xStream systems expand using standard 10 Gigabit optical links, so your 10 or 14 chassis can be stacked in a single rack; or, you can distribute them around a data center, building, or campus. You don’t need to bring your hundreds of monitored links into a single crowded location.
How about more than a few hundred ports? With Net Optics Director and Director xStream families, each port can be used as a network traffic input (on the receive side of the transceiver) and a monitoring tool output (on the transmit side of the transceiver) simultaneously, potentially doubling your connectivity. So you get an effective 760 ports in 10U with Director, 380 network inputs PLUS 380 monitoring tool outputs. And you get effectively 672 10G ports in 14U with Director xStream, 336 network inputs PLUS 336 monitoring tool outputs. Other solutions that require you to assign a port as an input OR as an output throw half of port bandwidth (which you still pay for) into the bit bucket.
The bottom line is that you don’t need to restrict your vision of your data monitoring solutions to a few dozens of ports. Applications with hundreds of monitoring ports are being deployed today. And if you do need a large number of ports and you have 14U of rack space to spare, you should definitely think about filling it with an effective 760 10G ports with Director xStream, or even larger number of 1G and 10G ports (effectively 1,064 ports!) with Director.