The Future of Network Security: 100Gbps and Beyond

Every day, network operators (NetOps) and security operators (SecOps) are faced with new network challenges. Networks have become more complex and choosing the right security tools to manage these complexities is not an easy task. As network traffic continues to increase, today’s enterprises need high-speed networks. As a result, data centers are now deploying 100Gbps links to keep up with the growing demand of users and traffic. Consequently, NetOps need the right tools to support the networks at this speed but with so many different monitoring and security tools on the market today, how do we choose the best one?  Let’s discuss some of the common challenges facing NetOps and SecOps today and how cPacket is overcoming these challenges.

Network speeds are getting faster, but the tools aren’t:

The trend towards higher speed networks brings new applications and tools that transform the way today’s networks are designed and operated. As a result, new architectures are necessary to support the growing number of users, applications, devices, and of course, data.  Many of today’s monitoring and security tools offer many features but unfortunately are unable to accurately collect, process and analyze the sheer volume of data at increasingly higher speeds. Furthermore, most analysis tools attempt to overcome this by relying on traffic samples and general data. This is problematic since IT teams rely on accurate data to troubleshoot and resolve any issues and/or security attacks in the network.

Microbursts in the network

Microbursts can occur sporadically over all types of networks, and affect a wide range of applications. We just don’t notice them because of their highly transient nature. When networks transition to higher speeds, what happens to all the important components that make up the network (routers, switches, etc.)? All of these systems try to communicate with one another in the network at the highest speed possible, but in the process, huge volumes of data are being produced within thousandths of a second. Let’s take file transfers for example. If we were transferring files at 10G, but now these files are being transferred at 100G, what happens? The answer is spikes and microbursts. These bursts only last for a fraction of a second, but often go undetected. In fact, they are a root cause of poor application performances such as slow file transfers and video buffering.

The trend towards higher network speeds and higher network connections in today’s datacenters means NetOps and SecOps need high performing tools to effectively troubleshoot network issues. Companies are under pressure to safeguard their assets as well as customer data. We know the financial and legal repercussions of a security breach so it’s critical to have the right tools in place to avoid any attacks from occurring.

cPacket’s solution: always on monitoring

At cPacket, we believe that special hardware is needed to overcome the limitations of software-based architectures. For this reason, we built a custom application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) technology and sophisticated hardware architecture to capture and process data in real-time for 100% accuracy. Our architecture is uniquely designed to support networks running at 10G, 40G, and 100G speeds. cPacket’s devices will intelligently inspect all incoming traffic and only send relevant data to other tools for further analysis. This reduces the risk of overwhelming other network tools.

To achieve full network visibility, NetOps and SecOps must have complete situational awareness of their networks. cPacket provides a combination of monitoring and security tools for real-time analysis, always on monitoring, and the ability to see “the big picture”. Network operators can’t rely on simple notifications that alerts them when a security issue has been averted. They need all the necessary details about the event in question to prevent this and other issues from happening in the future. As networks move towards higher speeds, capturing this real-time data becomes increasingly important and the best way to achieve a high performing network is to invest in the right combination of network monitoring tools that add value, deliver accurate results and are cost efficient.