Another entrant here is cPacket, who has briefed me a couple of times. They make a fancy box you can put inline or hang off of a span. It ingests all the packets. It analyzes them on box. It sends metadata of the results to a data aggregation server, where you get reports. You don’t need a Gigamon when using cPacket. cPacket can take care of the packet broker functionality, while ALSO doing packet analysis.
My point? There’s enough compute & storage power available to mere mortals that you don’t have to settle for SNMP polling with data rollups. You can monitor it all and mine it all with a numbers of different solutions. That has operational application (make your infrastructure better) and business application (make more money through better customer service or efficiency).
Just watch your wallet out there. With great power comes potentially great purchase orders. Shop smart.
-Ethan Banks, Packet Pushers