Load Balancer for 10G networks

Automated Balancing Act At 480 Gbps

xBlancer Logo, Network Packet Broker, NPB

10Gbps Network Monitoring Load Balancing

Load Balancing Optimizes Network Monitoring for Increased Network Security and Performance

The growing momentum toward 10G networks brings major challenges with it —in particular, monitoring critical traffic in a high-speed, high-volume landscape. In most organizations, recording and inspecting all network traffic for threats and data leaks is vital to compliance and security. But such intensive pressures threaten to overwhelm and limit the effectiveness of the very devices that carry out the monitoring: traffic recorders and intrusion prevention and detection systems (IPSs and IDSs). Unable to keep up with increasing loads, these overburdened tools can put service-level agreements at risk and expose the network to threats. To deal with this problem, a company may have to invest in costly new tools that are engineered for the 10G environment.

In response to customer needs for a cost-effective solution to this challenge, Net Optics developed xBalancer™—the first appliance in the industry built specifically to prevent tool overburdening by distributing the traffic load to multiple monitoring tools. xBalancer’s 24 SFP+ ports and integrated data rate conversion makes it ideal for balancing traffic from 10G links to multiple 1G tools. It can also aggregate traffic from multiple 1G and 10G links and distribute it to 1G or 10G tools.

Load Balancing for Control and Management of Network Monitoring Traffic Flows

xBalancer’s load-balancing capability splits traffic into multiple streams so that two or more tools working in parallel can process data. It takes traffic from any network port or aggregated set of network ports and distributes it to monitor ports for balancing according to IP address, port, protocol, VLAN, and MAC address, or other parameters.

By enabling already-integrated 1G tools to fill an expanded role, xBalancer helps organizations handle increasing traffic volumes without investing in new 10G equipment. Not only does this minimize CAPEX, it also eliminates the operational expense of implementing the new tools and training users. Best of all, xBalancer dramatically raises the efficiency, security and availability of the network itself by reducing or bypassing IPS failures.

xStream Web UIPurpose-Built to Share Devices Across Multiple Links and Solve Oversubscription

The innovative xBalancer is engineered to distribute traffic to multiple monitoring tools and relieve oversubscribed resources, including:

  • Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) / Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS)
  • Firewalls
  • Traffic recorders
  • Web accelerators
  • Application performance management devices
  • Network Management and Analysis Tools
  • —and other inline appliances

With its 24 SFP+ 10g ports and integrated data rate conversion in a 1U form-factor, xBalancer enables two or more appliances to be deployed in parallel with traffic balanced between them—from 10G links to multiple 1G tools—as well as aggregating traffic from multiple 1G and 10G links and distributing it to 1G or 10G tools.

Load Balancing Features Capable of Scaling 1G Network Monitoring Tools in 10G Environments

xBalancer supports a variety of traffic monitoring requirements, such as any-to-any and many-to many port mapping. Additionally, it allows any port to be used as a monitor or tool port with ingress and egress traffic. Its unique load balancing capabilities include distributing the same aggregated traffic to multiple tool groups, integrated filtering, and packet slicing create an extremely versatile solution. xBalancer’s 480Gbps backplane provides sufficient hardware throughput and capacity for your peak network traffic.

High Availability with State Synchronization Ensures Network Monitoring Uptime

As the Network becomes critical for achieving business success, SLAs continue to demand near 100% uptime. xBalancer—like all three products in the xStream Family—delivers High Availability (HA) features to provide continuous monitoring visibility to your tools. State synchronization allows for two units to be deployed in a HA configuration to mirror all configuration changes. A configuration change (e.g., adding a filter) made on one xBalancer is immediately mirrored to the other xBalancer, making sure that the two xBalancers remain in sync all the time.
Customers can deploy fully redundant security and monitoring tools in both in-line and out-of-band configurations—even if those tools were not designed with high availability features of their own.

Heartbeat Packets Reinforce Network Health and Maintain Network Optimization

xBalancer’s advanced availability features encompass link-state awareness and Heartbeat packet assessment for mission-critical monitoring. Heartbeat packets allow monitoring of attached appliances and reallocation of traffic: If one tool fails, traffic is automatically distributed to remaining tools until the failed tool is repaired and back online. This minimizes loss of monitoring capability in most failure scenarios.

TapFlow™ Multi-Layer Filtering Engine Improves Network Monitoring Tool Efficiency

xBalancer offers TapFlow™ filtering technology—a unique capability that raises the efficiency of your monitoring tools and empowers them to handle more traffic, more links, and more protocols. TapFlow filtering sends to each tool only the traffic that addresses its particular purpose. With its ability to filter traffic at full 10 Gbps line speeds, TapFlow technology enables traffic to be selected according to IP source address, IP destination address, MAC source address, MAC destination address, source port, destination port, protocol, network port or port group, VLAN protocol, IP address, TCP/UDP port, VLAN, and others.

Delivering Reliability and Economy

Net Optics supports xBalancer users with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty and a service plan with up to seven years coverage, with an available advanced replacement option.

Doing Our Part

Net Optics is dedicated to ensuring user safety, and developing products that are environmentally friendly. xBalancer adheres to UL and CE safety certifications; FCC, VCCI, and C-Tick EMC certifications; and RoHS and WEEE environmental certifications.

xBlancer, App Diagram, Network Packet Broker, NPB

Hardware throughput
480 Gbps; no packets dropped as long as monitor traffic does not exceed monitor port bandwidth
Cut Through Architecture
Ultra low latency of 600 to 650 nanoseconds, any packet size, any port to any port, any amount of regeneration and filtering (excluding aggregation head-of-line blocking delays)
Load balancing
Flow coherent, hash-based, 5-tuple (SIP, DIP, SPORT, DPORT, protocol), 2-tuple (SIP+DIP), or other combinations of L2-L4 header fields including SMAC, DMAC, ethertype, and VLAN; out-of-band, inline, tool sharing; 10G-to-1G data rate conversion; link state awareness; Heartbeat monitoring of inline tool health; 1 to 8 independent load balance groups with up to 16 load-balanced outputs per group; Load balancing multicast
Port mapping
Aggregation, any number of ports; regeneration, any number of ports; any-to-any, any-to-many, many-to-any, and many-to-many; any port can be used as an input, an output, or both simultaneously
Filter by IP source address, IP destination address, MAC source address, MAC destination address, source port, destination port, protocol, network port or port group, VLAN
Network Intelligence
Current utilization, total packets, total bytes, CRC errors. More than 100 detailed  traffic statistics and counters including RMON, All counters can be exported as CSV files
Packet slicing
Truncate size is configurable by the user
Server allows authentication of users from external AAA servers using either RADIUS or TACACS+ protocols
Device management
Web UI, Serial console, SSH, SNMPv3, SNMPv2, SNMPv1, Remote software upgrades, Back up and restore configuration, Role Based Access Control Management
Operating Temperature: 0˚C to 40˚C
Storage Temperature: -10˚C to 70˚C
Relative Humidity: 10% min, 95% max, non-condensing
Dimensions: 1.75” high x 19.7” deep x 19.0” wide
Mounting: Surface or 19” rack mount (1U)
Weight: 13.5 lbs
Fiber Optic Interfaces: (24) SFP/SFP+
Management Port: (1) RJ45 10/100/1000 Copper
Configuration (CLI) Port: (1) Cisco DB9 to RJ45
DC Receptacle: Terminal peak, 12-14 gauge wire
Hot-swappable modules
Power: (2) AC universal or (2) -48VDC, redundant
Fans: (4) hot-swappable modules
Electrical interface
AC Input: 100-240VAC, 5.29-2.2A, 50/60Hz
DC Input: -40VDC nominal -40 to -72VDC, 13.9A
(All ports) Link LEDs
(All ports) Activity LEDs
(2) Power LEDs
Safety: MET, CE  
Environmental: RoHS, WEEE
Protocol: Fully IEEE 802.3 compliant
All products include a 1 year manufacturer’s warranty. Service plans offering additional years of coverage including an advanced replacement option are available.

Passive, Secure Technology
  • High Availability (HA)
  • Graphical “Drag & Draw” Filters
  • MPLS label filtering
  • Port rate limiting
  • Packet Slicing
  • Purpose-built for monitoring load balancing
  • Supports out-of-band, inline, and tool-sharing load balancing applications
  • Load balances, switches, aggregates, and regenerates traffic from 24 10G/1G SFP+ ports
  • Checks the health of attached inline devices with Heartbeat packets and link-state awareness for high availability
  • Includes low-latency, hardware-based TapFlow™ filtering engine to send tools only traffic of interest
  • Allows password-protected console and SSH locking
  • Provides RMON statistics such as packet counts, bandwidth utilization, and threshold alarms to increase monitoring efficiency
  • Security options control user access
  • Redundant power ensures uptime
  • Compatible with all Net Optics Taps and Bypass Switches
  • 19-inch rack frame, 1U high
  • IEEE 802.3 compliant
  • Fully RoHS compliant
Ease of Use
  • Modular design for configuration flexibility
  • Text-based command-line interface (CLI) available through RS232 serial port
  • CLI also available remotely over secure SSH connection
  • Secure Web based management
  • Advanced SNMPv3 integrates with all major NMS and Indigo Pro
  • TACACS+/RADIUS support
  • Field-upgradeable software
  • Compatible with all major manufacturers' monitoring devices, including protocol analyzers, probes, data loss prevention, database activity monitoring, Web application firewall, and intrusion detection and prevention systems

- XF-2XB xBalancer 24 SFP+ Ports
- XF-2XB-DC xBalancer 24 SFP+ Ports, -48VDC
- XF-2PWRAC 1 AC power supply module
- XF-2PWRDC 1 DC power supply module
- XF-2FAN 1 Replacement fan module

SFP and SFP+ Kits

SFP+ or SFP modules are required for operation 
and are sold separately


SFP kits – 1 Gbps

- SFPKT-SX 1G Fiber SX SFP Transceiver
- SFPKT-50SX 1G Fiber SX 50µm SFP Transceiver
- SFPKT-LX 1G Fiber LX SFP Transceiver
- SFPKT-GCU 1G Copper SFP Transceiver

- SFPKT-CU3* 10/100/1000 Copper SFP Transceiver

SFP+ kits – 10 Gbps

- SFP+KT-SR 10G Fiber SR SFP+ Transceiver
- SFP+KT-50SR 10G Fiber SR 50µm SFP+ Transceiver
- SFP+KT-LR 10G Fiber LR SFP+ Transceiver


All SFP+ and SFP kits include a 3-meter cable.
* The SFPKT-CU3 transceiver may be used in this device but requires that the remote device be set to “auto-negotiation off/disable” and speed set to 1Gig (1000 Mbps) with full duplex.


xBalancer can be managed via the CLI, SNMP and Web.

Both CLI and Web UI provide various commands for configuring and monitoring software, hardware, and network connectivity of target device. The CLI and Web UI supports two modes: operational mode, for monitoring the state of the device; and configure mode, for changing the state of the device.

xBalancer Web UI, Network Packet Broker, NPB


  • Embedded in xBalancer device
  • Familiar switch-management CLI syntax
  • Easy to use and intuitive web based UI
  • Advanced SNMP
  • View device link status and health
  • Configure xBalancer hardware and load balancers
  • Define port names and aliases, VLAN tagging and other advanced options
  • Role-based privileges
  • Password-secured, integrated with AAA servers or local user database