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Cisco Unveils New Netflow Appliance for Faster Troubleshooting

May 10, 2012
at 1:38 pm PST
NGA 3140

Cisco's New Netflow Generation Appliance 3140

At Interop this week, Cisco unveiled its new Netflow Generation Appliance (NGA) 3140, which establishes a new standard for high-performance, cost-effective solutions for flow visibility. It empowers network operations, engineering, and security teams with actionable insight into network traffic for the purpose of resource optimization, application performance improvement, traffic accounting, and security needs.

Human KineticsCisco NGA customer, Human Kinetics conducts online certification courses and tests for health and fitness professionals, and offers print and multimedia content such as videos, ebooks, apps on tablets, and other downloadable material. “We needed comprehensive information about our network to keep our content protected, secure our site against disruption, and deliver excellent, reliable performance,” says Brad Trankina, director of network and information systems at Human Kinetics. “Comparing Cisco NGA to what we had just a few months ago is like comparing our network today to the 3Com hubs we had ten years ago. It’s like a night and day difference.”

NGA has dramatically improved the depth of analysis and the time to identify and troubleshoot problems on their data center network. Previously, troubleshooting was solely based on portable packet analysis tools, but with 170 virtual machines, IT staff tried to avoid it. “Getting to the bottom of an issue,” said Stuart Lyons, Security Engineer. “Once I spent almost a month trying to track down a problem. Cisco NGA pinpointed a similar problem in less than an hour. Recently I was looking at NGA data and noticed some statistics for an education and testing server were way off, so I investigated and found a university was trying to screen-scrape all our test questions. We were able to put a stop to that right away. Before Cisco NGA, I doubt we would have even noticed.”

NGA DeploymentThe appliances can be deployed at key observation places such as the server access layer, fabric path domains, and Internet exchange points. The power of visibility is dramatically amplified when NGA is connected to multiple network devices to analyze flows hop by hop, essential for security, capacity planning, and troubleshooting.

Adds  Brad Trankina, “Cisco NGA is hugely valuable to us now and will only get more so over time, as it provides data that can be used to plot historical trends. These days, we don’t have to worry about which interface to enable or how to move data from point A to point B. NGA has the power and flexibility to give us all the information we need to make the right decisions. It just blew us away.”

Want to know more? Check out our demo on TechWise TV and find out why NetFlow is Jimmy Ray’s favorite Cisco technology:

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