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VSS looks to broker a faster network with line of optimization gear

A lineup of "network packet brokering" gear from VSS Monitoring could provide a new way to consolidate and manage the growing number of network appliances used by modern businesses.

THE NEED FOR IT INVESTMENT: Gartner survey says IT spending is top board-level priority

The idea behind this equipment, according to the company's statement, is to create a link layer across a large network - helping to prevent issues with visibility and address provisioning challenges spawned by the profusion of security, monitoring and analysis tools in place.

The appliances -- which take the form of 1U or 2U devices with Ethernet ports -- are available in either the 200 or 300 series, and will be for sale "later in the quarter," according to VSS. The latter can be purchased -- for $57,500 -- with a configuration either of 56 10G ports or 8 40G and 24 10G ports. The smaller 200 series boasts smaller numbers of 10G ports, and will be available for $27,500.

The key, however, is the vMesh architecture that allows the devices to aggregate information from across a large network into a single layer -- and present it to the user via a single-pane-of-glass portal.

"We provide a fabric that we can connect into these network segments, groom the data, filter the data ... and then reduce the amount of data that goes up to the tools layer," says Andy Huckridge, VSS's director of telecom strategy.

According to Huckridge, vMesh is powered by the company's proprietary vStack protocol, providing for total visibility and link-layer data access throughout the network.

"It allows us to put together a very, very large system over a distributed area -- up to 10,000 ports or so," he says. "So we can connect all of these different appliances together, in a mesh, and address very, very large-scale networks, whether those are satellite sites or telecom networks ... and then bring the statistics for all of that traffic back into a network-wide, single-pane-of-glass management console."

A recent study from Gartner suggests that more robust investments in IT are beginning to be seen as a priority for corporate boards, and could well mean that stronger management of increasingly business-critical networks is a common goal.

Email Jon Gold at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

Read more about lan and wan in Network World's LAN & WAN section.

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