NETSCOUT recently announced new nGenius PFS 5000 network packet brokers based on off-the-shelf Open Compute platforms. While Big Switch Networks blazed this trail back in 2013 with the launch of its Big Monitoring Fabric, NETSCOUT, which sells a family of purpose-built network packet broker platforms, is embracing disruption by porting its packet flow visibility software to white box switches, providing customers with a more cost-effective, easily scalable solution for network-wide visibility.
The benefits of this approach are described in the ACG white paper I authored: “Open Compute Platforms Power Software-Driven Packet Flow Visibility”.
Note that while Big Switch’s BMF is based on the classic SDN architecture using a central controller and the OpenFlow protocol, NETSCOUT has taken a different approach with the PFS 5000, which is based on a fully distributed, mesh architecture that is self-organizing and self-healing.
It will be interesting to watch this market segment evolve as the power of switching platforms based on merchant silicon continues to increase and other network packet broker vendors embrace the disruption of Open Compute.
~ Stephen Collins, Principal Analyst, ACG Research