Feeds

Virtual Instruments plans probe 'n' sniff tools for Ethernet networks

But Arista bloodhounds are hot on its heels - analyst

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Fibre Channel networking probester Virtual Instruments is going to expand into Ethernet-based file network probing and analysis, according to the 451 analysis group. The analysts also reckon an IPO is coming but said that Ethernet switching speed freak Arista is set on entering Ethernet network analysis too, giving VI real competition in the Ethernet space.

Virtual Instruments (VI) technology sticks a probe into Fibre Channel networks, sniffs all the traffic, from end to end, and works out what's going on. We've seen a report from the 451 Research group which says VI is looking forward to reaching a $100m annual revenue run rate by the end of the year, expanding its probe's reach and thinking about going for an IPO in 2014.

VI developments are said to include adding Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) top-of-rack-switch support to its software SAN Availability Probe product for SNMP analysis type work. A new hardware and software technology is being developed for VI's mainstream probe with NAS (network-attached storage) support added to it. This expands VI's relevance to file-based networks and also means it can cover both file and block access in unified storage networks. This platform would be extensible. 451 expects the first release to occur possibly by December this year when VI might attain a $25m quarter and hence a $100m annual run rate.

There might be an IPO some time in 2014 and then, in 2015, an update to VI's technology with 10Gbit Ethernet support, better FCoE support and, if enough customers need it, 16Gbit/s Fibre Channel support. With Brocade selling 16Gbit/s FC switches now, and Emulex and QLogic having 16Gbit/s FC host bus adapters available, this VI schedule looks a tad slow, especially as more players - like Arista - aim to enter the Ethernet traffic analysis market.

Arista doesn't need a probe: it has Ethernet switches and they see all the traffic coming through them as a matter of course. It's allocating some of its switch ports as network taps and feeding traffic data to analytics software. Emulex's hoped-for Endace acquisition could tie in here, adding its network analysis skills via an API link to the Arista switch.

The Ethernet network tap-dancing class is getting more members by the day. No doubt VI will play the independent vendor card but its technology will have to be ace to win out over Arista and any other Ethernet switch vendor that pulls the same technology trick as Bechtolsheim's baby. There's also a distant prospect that Brocade, evaluating its strategy under new CEO Lloyd Carney, could think its Fibre Channel switches could provide taps as well, and so feed an expanded Endace traffic analysis product set. VI might not retain its effective monopoly in deep Fibre Channel probesterdom for that much longer. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
IBM storage revenues sink: 'We are disappointed,' says CEO
Time to put the storage biz up for sale?
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster
6TB of DRAM, 38TB of SSD flash and 120TB of disk storage
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.