Enhances Visibility, Clarity and Flexibility of Network Traffic Monitoring

by Ray Horak, Technology Editor

Gigamon, a leading provider of intelligent data access networking products, develops and manufactures purpose-built network appliances that provide extreme, real-time visibility into critical packet flows across data, voice and video networks. Gigamon is perhaps best known for its GigaVUE intelligent data access switches, highly effective passive monitoring solutions for network security, troubleshooting, application analysis, forensics recording and SOX (Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002) compliance. Notably, GigaVUE switches operate out-of-band rather than inline, thereby eliminating any potential for impacting production networks.

As Telecom Reseller reported in May, Gigamon made real news by breaking the Tbps barrier with the release of GigaVUE-HD8 appliance. This High Density (HD) data access switch accommodates 2 central control cards (providing management redundancy) and up to 8 additional blades that interconnect through a fully non-blocking backplane switching at an incredible rate of 1.024 Tbps. GigaVUE-HD8 incorporates Gigamon’s patented Flow Mapping technology, which is a key differentiator of their products. Flow Mapping overcomes the limitations of ingress/egress filtering through rules-based logic applied at the network ports. Inbound traffic is mapped, flow-by-flow, at full line rate, through the non-blocking GigaVUE backplane to post-filters applied at the tool ports, to each of which is connected a traffic analyzer, monitor or security system with a specific mission. Flow Mapping also can replicate all inbound traffic and route it, unfiltered, to new tool sets in the evolving tool farm.

More recently, Gigamon announced GigaVUE v8.0, the latest release of G Series software. Version 8.0 expands support for a number of key features, including extended hashing options, allowing up to seven user selectable algorithms to provide optimal load balancing in trunked configurations. Additional expanded features include SNMPv3 security protocols and cross-box mapping capabilities. The Gigamon Citrus graphical user interface (GUI) has also been enhanced and improved. Version 8.0 combines a new graphical interface design with a command line interface (CLI), both of which are fully integrated, thereby allowing the user to switch between the GUI and CLI while performing configuration and management tasks. Version 8.0 applies to all models in the GigaVUE G Series, (the GigaVUE-212, GigaVUE-420, and GigaVUE-2404). “Critical to v8.0 development was customer input. We thought it absolutely essential to consider our customers wants and needs in terms of how to control, manage and configure network visibility”, said Mike Valladao, Senior Product Manager. “By adding a range of viewing options and expanded features, we are confident customers will find the perfect balance between simplicity, capability and performance.”

Gigamon has further enhanced its solutions suite with the addition of the GigaSECURE blade, and the expansion of the award winning GigaSMART module. The GigaBPS intelligent bypass switch represents the first product in the GigaSECURE family. This module provides intelligent visibility for both Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) and Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS). In doing so, GigaSECURE enables a broader reach of information security, extends monitoring capability, and allows organizations to further centralize their network management, saving time and expense.

GigaSMART technology significantly enhances the capabilities of the Gigamon GigaVUE-2404 device, enabling the modification of packets, and adding valuable information including network port labeling and time stamping. The expanded GigaSMART functionality includes packet slicing; masking; IP Tunneling, which allows centralized secure monitoring of remote locations; De-Duplication, which eliminates duplicate data traffic in complex asymmetrical network environments; and Header Stripping, which improves network monitoring of VLAN and MPLS traffic through the stripping of stacked MPLS labels and VLAN headers.

Gigamon holds the patents upon which their products are designed and built in Silicon Valley, so everything is organic and home grown in the USA, all of which I think is very important. A channel-focused organization, Gigamon relies on its partners’ distribution channels and maintains direct relationships with select VARs. There are thousands of units installed at Fortune-1000 companies in 40+ countries. In June 2011, Gigamon was selected as a Red Herring Top 100 North America Award recipient. The award recognizes private companies across North America that have introduced innovative technologies and ideas in their respective industries. More at

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