Keith Bromley
Sr. Manager, Product Marketing at Ixia

Ixia Releases New Ebook – The ABCs of Network Visibility (Vol. 2)

July 17, 2019 by Keith Bromley

Ixia announces a new ebook – ABCs of Network Visibility - Volume 2. This book is a reference guide for individuals who want to learn about network visibility and monitoring. It is a compilation of blog posts from the Ixia website written by subject matter experts on network monitoring and visibility topics. It is also a companion to another ebook ABCs of Network Visibility - Volume 1, which contains additional topics.

The definitions contained within this book provide a starting point to understand network monitoring and network visibility. This includes a common set of components that are part of a network visibility architecture. While some of the terms can be intimidating at first, hopefully these straightforward definitions will make those terms easier to understand.

Definitions are arranged alphabetically for easy lookup. A simple "Definition, Use Case, Considerations" format allows you to quickly understand what the item is, how to use it, and then provides some items to consider when making a purchase for this type of functionality.

For the purposes of this book, some basic background information about network visibility may be useful. Most people think of visibility as the security and monitoring tools that perform application performance monitoring, or network performance monitoring, or big data analytics. It is more fundamental than any of that. Network visibility refers to the collection, aggregation, and distribution of data to those monitoring and analytics tools. Network visibility is also about creating a stable foundation for your security infrastructure.

For the context of this book, we use the following visibility architecture as a reference. There are three basic components to a visibility architecture:

  • Access layer
  • Control layer
  • Traditional monitoring tool layer

The following diagram illustrates how these three layers work together

Network Visibility Architecture

The first layer of the model is concerned with access to monitoring data. Access is provided by a network device, whether it's a physical tap, virtual tap, or mirrored port.

The second layer uses a network packet broker (NPB) which allows you to filter, aggregate, and load balance data. There are several high-level benefits that packet brokers provide which include:  connectivity, cost-effective tools, scaling, reliability, and longevity.

The third layer consists of the monitoring tools that receive filtered data from the NPB that is relevant and concise; rather than receiving the data directly from a tap. NPBs augment your monitoring tools to make the tools more efficient; they are not a replacement for those devices.

Volume 2 of the ABC’s of Network Visibility explains the following topics:

  • Aggregation
  • Application Performance Management (APM)
  • Burst Protection
  • Contextual Information
  • Deduplication
  • Dynamic Filtering
  • Firewall
  • GTP Sessions
  • Hybrid Cloud
  • Load Balancing
  • Mean Time to Repair
  • Network Performance Monitoring (NPM)
  • Packet Captures
  • Packet Trimming
  • Proactive Monitoring
  • Protocol Stripping
  • RESTful API
  • Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)
  • Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)
  • Software-Defined Networks (SDN)
  • SPAN Port

More free resources on network visibility are available and can be found here.