Design

Instrumentation software sets new network analytics standard

11th November 2015
Nat Bowers

Hailed as the industry's first and most scalable instrumentation suite for monitoring switch performance, BroadView software has been introduced by Broadcom. Designed to take advantage of advanced features in the Broadcom StrataXGS Trident and Tomahawk network switch platforms, BroadView instrumentation software delivers smarter network analytics, enabling operators to optimise network performance across diverse hardware platforms and network operating systems.

In modern mega-scale data centre networks, operators monitor large arrays of switch devices to generate a unified view of network performance. With BroadView software, network operators can now leverage an open standard software interface to extract network instrumentation and telemetry data in a consistent manner across multiple vendor platforms. By using a platform-agnostic Application Programming Interface (API) and leveraging open-source reference controller implementations, operators gain deeper visibility into their cloud networks while protecting their investment in existing applications and speeding time-to-market.

Nick Kucharewski, Vice President, Network Switch Marketing, Broadcom, commented: "The rapid innovations in Software-Defined Networking (SDN) instrumentation call for a standardised interface to the switches that comprise the network. With an open standard API supported on the most pervasive switch silicon portfolio, Broadcom has established a platform that will enable an open ecosystem of network visibility applications running on a wide range of network equipment."

Broadcom's BroadView instrumentation software has gained broad industry support. Broadcom is working with service providers, enterprises and cloud providers to support a wider set of use cases and technologies including SDN controllers and orchestrations platforms such as OpenStack.

"ALE, operating under the Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise brand, is leveraging Broadcom's BroadView advanced analytics engine to deliver critical functionality for our Application Fluent Network (AFN) strategy," said Stephane Robineau, General Manager and Executive Vice President, ALE Networks. "BroadView software will enable our Intelligent Fabric technology to provide advanced application visibility, troubleshooting and control on the entire network. BroadView software and our AOS (Alcatel-Lucent Operating System) offer a universal and open API in our end-to-end product portfolio accelerating the adoption of SDN in enterprises."

"BroadView software represents a significant advancement in providing network administrators with granular information about performance, resource optimisation and other useful diagnostic analytics. As part of our partnership, we have collaborated with Broadcom to integrate BroadView software into the new OpenSwitch open source network operating system to allow dev/ops teams supporting hyper-scale data centres and hybrid cloud service providers with leading-edge tools to better customise their deployments," added Mark Carroll, Chief Technology Officer, HP Networking.

Key features and benefits:

  • Leverages unique silicon instrumentation capabilities supported by Trident2 and Tomahawk silicon families;
  • Threshold based monitoring, buffer statistics tracking and triggers for proactive monitoring and scalability;
  • Advanced packet tracing tools to improve visibility into traffic flows;
  • Innovative trouble shooting tools to facilitate easier mapping of overlay flows with underlay links;
  • Aggregation group resolution to ensure optimal utilisation of group members and avoid hash polarisation;
  • Aggregated and abstracted counters as needed by the application; and
  • Open source modular agent with easier customisation for adoption in various products and platforms.

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