Gigamon announces new vision for software-defined network monitoring

Gigamon announces its new vision for software-defined monitoring based on a four-layer architecture. Gigamon’s strategy is to develop a unified Visibility Fabric architecture that would ultimately deliver orchestrated visibility across physical, virtual and software-defined networks (SDN). This approach will build on Gigamon’s existing architecture and the principles of SDN to provide a centralized, programmable approach that aims to bridge the gap between the raw data passing through the network and optimally presenting that data to the tools that monitor, manage, secure and ensure application and network performance.

“As data networks evolve from physical to virtual to software-defined networks (SDN), the role of network visibility needs to evolve as well,” said Shehzad Merchant, Chief Strategy Officer at Gigamon. “The Gigamon Unified Visibility Fabric architecture has advanced the vision from providing intelligent traffic filtering and aggregation, to a centralized, policy driven fabric that serves multiple constituents, departments and tools, each with their own policy model. Going forward, we expect that the Unified Visibility Fabric architecture would enable customers to implement ‘Visibility as a Service’. And, as Gigamon continues to develop its offerings, our vision is that this ability will not just be for the physical network, but also across virtual and SDN ‘islands’ as well.”

The Gigamon Unified Visibility Fabric architecture will be comprised of four layers that Gigamon expects will be able to deliver a centralized, programmable and unified monitoring infrastructure: A Services Layer, a Management Layer, an Orchestration Layer and an Applications Layer. The Services Layer currently provides advanced Flow Mapping and intelligent packet optimization and normalization using GigaSMART technology across physical and virtual worlds and, and Gigamon expects to expand this layer to include software defined data networks with the GigaVUE-CV application which is currently being developed as a proof of concept. The Management Layer consists of the GigaVUE-FM (Fabric Manager), which provides centralized management and a common policy framework for multi-department and multi-tenant traffic monitoring and manipulation policies across the Visibility Fabric architecture. The Orchestration Layer will be developed by Gigamon to provide an open environment through a set of forthcoming APIs and SDKs to enable third party development of applications. The Applications Layer will consist of a set of visibility applications to be developed by Gigamon, as well as through independent software vendors to deliver optimal tool utilization and performance.

“The industry has seen a wave of interest in software-defined networks and one of the big questions has been how to intelligently monitor these networks while maintaining visibility for traditional architectures,” said Nick Lippis of Lippis Enterprises and author of the Lippis Report. “Gigamon’s unified Visibility Fabric architecture offers a comprehensive strategy for how Enterprise and Service Providers can extend network visibility into the coming world of SDN. The advanced packet and flow processing, normalization, correlation and de-duplication that are essential capabilities for pervasive network visibility as software defined networks emerge, simply cannot be accomplished with general-purpose Ethernet switches.”