NetQuest’s 100G Load Balancing Act

Network Evolution from 10G to 100G

As regional and longhaul networks rapidly transition from 10G to 100G transport speeds, cyber surveillance solutions are being challenged to adapt without requiring costly forklift overhauls.  Those responsible for managing these monitoring solutions are searching for ways to leverage the legacy monitoring infrastructure in order to avoid replacement of processing-intensive network analytic tool farms that typically require 10GbE access.  Over time, more analytic equipment will transition to support higher speed interfaces including direct access to 100GbE but without this support, the monitoring market requires a device that can efficiently convert 100GbE networks to multiple 10GbE segments.

100G Load Balancing with Configurable Hash Algorithm

The NetQuest I-9100 Interceptor supports direct monitoring access to 2 x 100G input interfaces and handles monitoring 100GbE networks natively or carried over an OTN 100G OTU4 interface.  The I-9100 provides user control over an extensive load balancing hash algorithm that will optimize the spread of monitored traffic across 20 x 10GigE output interfaces.

Allowing the user direct access to the load balancing hash algorithm enables the inclusion / exclusion of a wide range of packet parameters including:

  • 5-tuple data
  • VLAN tags
  • MPLS labels
  • Ethertype
  • MAC address

The I-9100 also provides detailed traffic statistics allowing real-time analysis of how the load balance function is performing so that the user can adjust the hash configuration based on the unique traffic profile to ensure optimal distribution.

100G Advanced Traffic Steering

The I-9100 supports user-defined filtering/forwarding rules as another mechanism for spreading 100GbE traffic across its multiple 10GbE output ports.  The I-9100’s filter/forward function will allow the user to create custom-defined filter/forward rules based on a very similar set of network traffic packet parameters used in the load balancing hash function.  Once a filter/forward rule has been defined, the I-9100 will inspect each packet as they are received and either discard or steer the packet to a specific downstream destination based on the criteria of the applied filter/forward rules.  The filter/forward function will also support the ability to steer the traffic to a load balancing pool of outputs.

Intelligent 100G Intercept Solution

The evolution of transport networks from 10G to 100G presents a difficult challenge to those tasked with cyber surveillance.  The vast majority of costly analytic tools used for critical cyber applications require 10GbE access.  The NetQuest I-9100 Interceptor’s intelligent intercept capabilities, including real-time 100G load balancing and filter/forward functions, provide a cost-effective transition for modern cyber intelligence solutions requiring direct access to 100GbE networks.