Fibre Channel tools beef up SAN analyser

Fibre Channel tools beef up SAN analyser

Network analysis firm Network Instruments boosts integrated Fibre Channel support in its Observer software

Network analysis vendor Network Instruments has announced integrated Fibre Channel (FC) support in its Network Observer software and its packet-analyser appliances.

Network Instruments sales director Ian Cummins said, “This gives corporates the ability to extend Observer into FC networks. If they need to monitor, diagnose and troubleshoot SAN connectivity, they can do so more cost-effectively than before because [in the past] the only FC analysers were specialised and [relatively] expensive.”

The new FC analysis features include over 30 real-time statistics, FC protocol decoding, and aggregate summaries of overall SAN health, the vendor said.

“FC support will be available with our rack-mounted probe, our portable analyser and our high-capacity GigaStor appliance,” added Cummins. “With our DNA [Distributed Network Analysis] architecture, these will all be reporting back to the same Observer console as our other software or hardware probes. We’re supporting the FC 2Gbit/s and 4Gbit/s standards.”

Network Instruments also announced integrated support for NetFlow and sFlow. NetFlow is a protocol developed by Cisco to collect IP traffic information by monitoring router and switch backplanes, while sFlow is an industry standard technology for sampling Layer 2 and Layer 3 data, and is used by network hardware vendors such as Foundry, Extreme, Force10 and HP.

Cummins said, “In the past we’ve got data by analysing packets, but processing NetFlow and sFlow data gives us an alternative way of network analysis.”