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Packet Design tackles traffic flows

Mar 30, 20062 mins
Enterprise Applications

* Packet Design Traffic Explorer shows traffic flows traversing the net

Route analytics vendor Packet Design, whose technology has won the company partnerships with HP and Cisco, is set to unveil a set of appliances designed to augment the routing data collected by its Route Explorer devices.

Traffic Explorer is the company’s new product-set that works in concert with Route Explorer to show the traffic flows traversing the network on top of the routing infrastructure information. Packet Design representatives say that often network engineers need real-time traffic flow data coupled with a network topology to understand the cause of performance slowdowns or plan for capacity going forward.

“Most techniques available for traffic analysis provide a link-by-link view,” says Jeff Raice, executive vice president of marketing and business development for Packet Design. “The network’s goal is to move packets and traffic and data from one point to another and typically a network engineer has to paint a picture in their head of how the network is doing that.”

But now, he argues, Traffic Explorer can deliver that real-time view of traffic flows on top of the IP network layer, on which route analytics reports. The new product can show how routing changes impact traffic and provide historical data for forensic analysis or capacity planning the company says. The product can show “traffic flows over every link across the network” by installed appliances at key points, Raice says.

The Route Explorer appliance can be located anywhere on a network – on a switch port or directly adjacent to a router. The appliance can then connect and establish adjacencies to other routers via software tunnels. Route Explorer would then feed the router information to the Traffic Explorer, which uses three layers of appliances to collect traffic data at key points in an enterprise network.

Flow Recorder appliances sit near export routers and collect NetFlow and router data. Those appliances then feed the data to the Flow Analyzer (which is also the appliance that receives data from Router Explorer). The Flow Analyzer sends all the topology, routing and NetFlow data to the main Modeling Engine appliance, which can be accessed via Windows or Web-based clients.

Traffic Explorer can be purchased as a bundle, which includes the Modeling Engine appliance, the Flow Analyzer appliance and two Flow Recorder 2500 appliance, for about $190,000.