Rise of Software-driven Packet Broker Solutions

NETSCOUT Proactively Addresses Network Packet Broker Evolution, Delivering Disruptive Solutions Based on Architectural Disaggregation of Hardware and Software

pfs packet flow switch
Jessy Cavazos, Frost & SullivanWritten by Jessy Cavazos
Jessy Cavazos, Industry Director for Measurement and Instrumentation is a 15 year veteran of Frost & Sullivan. In her practice, she tracks Test & Measurement (Electronic Test Equipment, Communications Test, Mechanical Test, Analytical Instrumentation, Dimensional Metrology), Semiconductors and Sensors.

By enabling customers to smoothly transition to software-driven packet broker solutions, NETSCOUT has demonstrated visionary excellence with the nGenius® 5000 Series Packet Flow Switch (PFS) and earned Frost & Sullivan’s 2017 Visionary Innovation Leadership Award. This award recognizes companies that deliver highly competitive solutions that transform the way businesses perform daily activities, set new, long-lasting trends in how technologies are deployed, and deliver unique and differentiated benefits that greatly improve business performance.

Frost & Sullivan believes NETSCOUT’s new solutions will have a profound impact on the network packet brokers industry, providing customers with tight budgets the flexibility to purchase the software and run it on any open compute project (OCP) platform, and sustainably scale and manage their packet broker network through software. Organizations can keep up with changing infrastructure needs without having to repeatedly make hardware investments. This revolutionary approach also eliminates hours wasted looking for components that integrate with proprietary hardware and dependency on vendors’ product roadmaps.

With the nGenius® 5000 Series PFS, NETSCOUT fundamentally changed the architectural framework in the packet broker solutions industry: customers can seamlessly filter, load balance, aggregate, and replicate using a software-driven architecture. The series supports high density deployments running on OCP network switches. Customers can also use the software with the nGenius 6000 Series PFS to easily scale and perform advanced processing.

Most suppliers sell either test access points (TAPs), monitoring tools, or just packet broker software making problem source identification time-consuming and end-to-end visibility impossible. New entrants have aspired to address this unmet need with software-driven solutions but they feature a complex-to-operate controller framework. In contrast, NETSCOUT has adopted a controller-less architecture and is the only packet broker solutions vendor that offers end-to-end network and application performance monitoring solutions. Through integration into the NETSCOUT nGeniusONE dashboard, customers can monitor the health of their entire visibility framework.

With support also a major concern, NETSCOUT developed a continuum of price-performance points for customers to choose from. The most innovative model is the commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) NETSCOUT Certified COTS model that enables customers to acquire hardware that bundles NETSCOUT PFOS software directly from select resellers in the OCP ecosystem and receive support from NETSCOUT for both hardware and software. Alternatively, customers can opt for the NETSCOUT Qualified COTS model and receive support from each vendor, or the Appliance model with support for the whole solution from NETSCOUT.

With the nGenius 5000 Series PFS, NETSCOUT scores high in the packet broker solutions market by addressing the industry shift to disaggregated hardware and software functionality. Despite increasing network complexity, customers are able to scale their infrastructure cost-effectively and even leverage existing hardware. NETSCOUT’s low dependence on hardware has positioned it well to bring to market drastically different solutions to customers. Recently, NETSCOUT also introduced Packet Flow eXtender (PFX) software, running over X86 platforms, for advanced packet processing, plus PFS Fabric Manager to simplify packet broker lifecycle management. NETSCOUT continues to demonstrate commitment to support customers in their efforts to address ever-changing infrastructure requirements, smoothly scale their networks, and replicate them on demand—all in a cost-efficient manner.

Network Packet Broker Solutions Market: Decision Support Matrix for Visionary Innovation, Global, 2017

Decision Support Matrix


For insights into industry challenges and NETSCOUT’s competitive differentiators, read Frost & Sullivan’s Best Practices Research on the packet broker solutions industry.

~Jessy Cavazos, Industry Director for Measurement and Instrumentation, Frost & Sullivan.