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Brocade Virtual Packet Broker
Scalable Network Visibility for Virtualized Service Provider and Enterprise Networks


Overview:

The virtualization of networking functions across service provider, data center, and enterprise networks has grown significantly as network operators embrace next-generation architectures to improve service agility and operational efficiency. While providing valuable benefits, network virtualization also presents a new set of operational challenges. Networking functions residing on Virtual Machines (VMs) are vulnerable to malicious attacks that can spread to other functions and services. In addition, monitoring virtualized network functions for performance, service quality, and user impact can be extremely challenging.

Network performance monitoring, dynamic resource orchestration, and issue remediation are critical to maintaining network health and performance in virtualized environments. Most network visibility solutions, however, are designed for hardware-centric networks. Today’s network operators therefore need an effective, highly scalable network visibility and monitoring solution for virtual networks.

A Comprehensive Network Visibility Solution for Virtualized Networks

Brocade Virtual Packet Broker (Brocade vPacket Broker) delivers a full-featured network visibility solution for virtualized service provider and enterprise networks. It offers an end-toend set of capabilities—including traffic interception, filtering, load balancing, and optimization—to maximize the productivity of network monitoring and analytics tools.

Highlights

  • Provides comprehensive network visibility, helping to secure, monitor, optimize, and monetize virtualized networks
  • Scales dynamically to meet compute capacity requirements during surges in network traffic
  • Improves operational efficiency by automating resource provisioning and simplifying feature additions
  • Enhances monitoring productivity by allowing the dynamic modification of flow definitions and traffic optimization functions within the Brocade virtual network visibility infrastructure

Tap and Broker Deployment Alternatives

  • Deploy as a virtual tap in the application VM environment, or deploy as a virtual broker outside the application VM environment for advanced aggregation and optimization features.

Advanced Filtering and Load Balancing

  • Filter and load-balance traffic flows by port, IP address, and encapsulation header, or by matching content within specific byte offsets.

Timestamping

  • Attach timestamps to every packet to aid accurate latency and performance measurements as well as effective packet sequencing by monitoring and analytics tools.

Packet Truncation

  • Truncate packets at specified byte offsets to reduce compute load on monitoring and analytics tools.

Header Stripping

  • Remove protocol headers (such as MPLS and GTP) on IPv4 and IPv6 packets to improve tool efficiency.

Packet Deduplication

  • Identify and eliminate duplicate packets to enhance computational accuracy and improve the efficiency of monitoring tools.

Scalable Network Visibility for Virtualized Workloads

Gain real time visibility into east-west traffic between Virtual Network Functions (VNF) with the industry’s first full-featured, virtualized network visibility solution for service providers and enterprises. Deploy Brocade Virtual Packet Broker as a virtual tap for traffic interception and replication, or as a virtual broker for traffic aggregation, tool-specific filtering, and optimization.

Complete Virtual Visibility Solution

Complete Virtual Visibility Solution

Tap, replicate, optimize, and forward inter-VM traffic to monitoring and analytics tools with a single network visibility solution.

Maximize Tool ROI

Maximize Tool ROI

Extract maximum productivity from your tools and reduce their scaling costs with intelligent traffic filtering and optimization capabilities.

Scale On Demand

Scale On Demand

Scale your visibility infrastructure dynamically as traffic patterns change with open-standards based orchestration platforms.

Features:

Dual Deployment Options

Brocade vPacket Broker can be deployed as a virtual tap or as a virtual broker (see Figure 1). As a virtual tap, it resides as a lightweight VM within the monitored VM environment, interacting with the overlay network to receive replicated east-west traffic. It then forwards the replicated traffic to physical or virtual network packet brokers, or to network monitoring tools, through GRE or VXLAN tunnels. A virtual tap deployment also supports traffic optimization capabilities, such as filtering and timestamping, to enhance the productivity of recipient network visibility and analytics tools.

When deployed as a virtual broker, Brocade vPacket Broker resides outside the monitored VM environment, aggregating traffic flows from multiple Brocade or third-party virtual tap instances. A virtual broker deployment supports numerous traffic optimization features, such as packet slicing, header stripping, and traffic correlation.

Brocade vPacket Broker leverages Intel DPDK for user plane traffic processing at carrier-grade scale in both of these deployment architectures.

Improved Operational Efficiency and Scale

Brocade vPacket Broker eliminates the long purchase and deployment cycles associated with hardware via automated scale orchestration and simplified feature provisioning.

Enhanced Monitoring Productivity

Brocade vPacket Broker allows tools to dynamically modify flow definitions and traffic optimization functions in the network visibility infrastructure when changes occur in the production network (such as the addition or removal of VMs, variations in traffic volume, and new flow patterns). This capability increases monitoring productivity while delivering greater agility

Key Features for Optimal Network Visibility

Brocade vPacket Broker supports three feature sets for comprehensive network visibility: Basic, Advanced, and Expert (see Table 1 for details).

Depending on how an organization deploys Brocade vPacket Broker, all or some of these features are available. When deployed as a virtual broker, Brocade vPacket Broker supports all three feature sets. When deployed as a virtual tap, it supports Basic and Advanced features only

Basic Feature Set Advanced Feature Set Expert Feature Set
  • Flow replication
  • Flow aggregation
  • Filtering based on 5-tuple criteria
  • Load balancing based on 5-tuple criteria
Includes Basic features, plus:
  • Header stripping (VXLAN, MPLS)
  • Packet slicing
  • Timestamping
Includes Basic and Advanced features, plus:
  • GTP correlation
  • RTP correlation
  • Mobility-aware filtering and load balancing (IMSI, APN, RAT)
  • Regex match-based filtering and load balancing
  • URL-based filtering and load balancing

Brocade Network Visibility Solutions

Brocade Network Visibility solutions help network operators monitor, secure, analyze, and monetize their physical and virtual networks. With programmable hardware packet brokers and the industry’s first full-featured software packet broker, Brocade delivers a bestin-class network visibility solution built for the most demanding networks.

Brocade Global Services

Brocade Global Services has the expertise to help organizations build scalable, efficient cloud infrastructures. Leveraging 20 years of expertise in storage, networking, and virtualization, Brocade Global Services delivers worldclass professional services, technical support, and education services, enabling organizations to maximize their Brocade investments, accelerate new technology deployments, and optimize the performance of networking infrastructures.

Affordable Acquisition Options

Brocade Capital Solutions helps organizations easily address their IT requirements by offering flexible network acquisition and support alternatives. Organizations can select from purchase, lease, Brocade Network Subscription, and Brocade Subscription Plus options to align network acquisition with their unique capital requirements and risk profiles.

Maximizing Investments

To help optimize technology investments, Brocade and its partners offer complete solutions that include professional services, technical support, and education.

Deployment:

Brocade vPacket Broker Deployment Architectures
Brocade vPacket Broker Deployment Architectures

Specifications:


Brocade vPacket Broker Specifications
Recommended Minimum System Configuration
  • CPU: 4 vCPU
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • HDD: 128 GB
  • Ports: 2 x vNICs (1 RX+1 TX), 1 x vNIC for management
Hypervisor Support for stateful clustering of up to four Brocade Session Director instances with maximum aggregate throughput of 320 Gbps per cluster
Operating system CLI-based management interface

Documentation:

Download the Brocade Virtual Packet Broker Datasheet(PDF).