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***For Immediate Release***
NASA Ames and cPacket Demonstrate Radical Network Performance Monitoring at SC09
Four 10-Gigabit Links to be Managed and Monitored with Distributed cTap Probes, Central Dashboard, Under Full Application Load
PORTLAND, OR – NOVEMBER 16, 2009 – NASA Ames and cPacket are collaborating here this week at the Supercomputing 2009 (SC09) Conference in a radical demonstration of high-speed, distributed network monitoring. The goal is to showcase the technical and strategic value of pervasively monitoring the performance of multiple high-speed links and Ethernet trunks efficiently and accurately, utilizing a new generation of ultra-high-speed distributed probes, and a centralized management and control dashboard.
The demonstration features an array of distributed, off-the-shelf cPacket cTap probes that simultaneously monitor four 10-Gigabit links, while reporting back to the centralized dashboard. The links – which will be monitored in real time at NASA’s booth on the show floor [Booth 1947] and at the NASA Advanced Supercomputing facility in Mountain View, California (NAS) – will be carrying a heavy application traffic load between the show floor in Portland, Oregon and the Mountain View data center.
cPacket’s high-speed passive cTap probes enable users to perform on-the-fly network performance monitoring and application behavior analysis. They also give users the capability to interactively drill down and analyze specific traffic profiles, which can be defined according to any combination of protocol header fields and payload content.
In addition, the probes can time stamp traffic “at the wire” and selectively forward specific traffic profiles to a remote, central dashboard for detailed protocol analysis and troubleshooting. The time stamps enable precise latency and jitter measurements, accurate to microseconds, using capabilities recently announced in the newest cTap latency monitoring probe, the cTapLP (see: cPacket Introduces First Product to Measure One-way Network Latency – and Jitter – at 10 Gbps in Real Time, November 6, 2009).
“NASA’s high-end computing applications are some of the most demanding in the world,” said Computer Science Corporation’s Dave Hartzell, network engineer at the advanced supercomputing facility. “cPacket’s distributed probes provide needed, on-the-fly network visibility and application performance analysis covering vast amounts of traffic, over trunks of multiple 10 gigabit links – anywhere in the network.”
Hartzell further explained that the distributed probes enable network engineers at Ames to maintain the highest performance levels throughout their network, and give them real-time insight into network performance and applications behavior. “The centralized web dashboard is used to interactively drill down on specific traffic, which can then be accessed over a Web interface for quick trouble shooting and debug,” said Hartzell. “Network engineers then can quickly narrow in on any application traffic anywhere in the network and conveniently analyze it on their laptop.”
According to Rony Kay, president and chief technology officer of cPacket, the challenges faced by NASA in monitoring, controlling, and managing such extreme traffic loads can be generalized into different realms of mission critical applications throughout the scientific and business universes.
For example, said Kay, financial institutions with high frequency trading platforms face identical performance challenges in their networks, where variations in network performance of a few milliseconds can mean millions of dollars lost. “For traders,” said Kay, “understanding and controlling distributed network performance – especially latency and jitter – is also mission critical.”
Kay said that until the introduction by cPacket of the cTap probes, the business and scientific community that relies upon ultra-high-speed networks had nowhere else to turn for real time visibility and troubleshooting. “There is simply no other way to achieve the granularity, accuracy, and pervasive visibility necessary in such applications,” he stated.
cPacket’s probes are based upon the company’s radical, “complete packet inspection” chip, and novel hardware and software architecture, that can accomplish analysis of every bit, in every packet and in every flow – at wire speeds of full duplex 10 Gigabits per second, and beyond.
Concluded Kay: “We are extremely pleased that NASA Ames is showing others the way, not only in the research community, but across the business world as well. 10 Gigabit networks are the new baseline for performance, and if you want to control them, you must be able to measure them.”
The cTap and cTap Latency probes used by NASA Ames at SC09 are standard, off-the-shelf units available from cPacket and from cPacket’s OEM partners.
cPacket Networks is an emerging leader in chips and technologies that offers breakthrough, Pervasive Network Intelligence™ at a fraction of the complexity, power, or cost of preexisting approaches. Based upon its powerful “complete packet inspection” architecture, cPacket provides manufacturers of routers, switches and other network appliances a low-impact means to easily drop game-changing, wire-speed active network traffic analysis and response directly into their existing or planned designs – whether targeted at the service providers, the enterprise, or the small office. The exploding use of 10 Gbps networks and beyond to support a relentless growth in media-centric applications makes the availability of truly pervasive network intelligence timely and critical.
cPacket was founded in 2003 and is located in Mountain View, CA. For more information, visit www.cpacket.com.