Napatech introduces IP fragmentation support

8th June 2012
ES Admin
Napatech today announced the introduction of new functionality to intelligently identify fragmented IP packets. Available on the latest Napatech network adapters, it provides OEM vendors with a powerful off-load tool to increase performance in networks with many fragmented packets.
The IP fragmentation feature is the latest addition to the comprehensive, common feature set provided by Napatech on all 1 Gbps, 10 Gbps and 40 Gbps network adapters.

“Up to 33% of network traffic can be fragmented and this creates an extra workload for network appliance vendors as fragments must be identified and reassembled before data can be analyzed”, stated Henrik Brill Jensen, CEO, Napatech. “By identifying IP fragments and collecting them for reassembly and analysis, Napatech intelligent network adapters can help relieve this work load.”

It is the latest addition to an extensive range of intelligent frame processing, flow identification and distribution features that help OEM vendors of network appliances to off-load data processing and focus on data analysis.

“IP reassembly is often the first step required before any IP data analysis can be performed”, added Jensen. “With this feature enhancement, we can help increase performance and enable new features to be implemented as more processing power is freed up for the application”.

IP fragmentation occurs when large frames are split into a number of smaller frames to suit the transmission characteristics of the network. This means that a large IP/TCP/HTTP frame will be split into two frames where the first frame holds the IP, TCP and HTTP network headers together with the first part of the payload data, while the second frame will hold an IP header together with the remaining payload data. This presents a challenge to network analysis appliances as the second frame does not contain any high level protocol headers, which makes it impossible for simple hardware filters and hardware flow distribution solutions to handle the fragment frames in a meaningful way. The Napatech IP fragmentation solution solves this problem by identifying which fragments that belong to the same original IP frames allowing fragmented IP frames to be filtered and flow distributed in the same way as non-fragment IP frames.

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