The Research and Education Advanced Network New Zealand (REANNZ) has deployed an Emulex system to boost its network and security monitoring.
It is now using EndaceProbe Intelligent Network Recorder (INR) and EndaceVision Network Visibility Software to improve network and security monitoring of its 10Gb Ethernet (10GbE)-based network.
REANNZ’s high-speed network connects nearly 170 institutions, including universities, Crown Research Institutes and polytechnics.
REANNZ has 23 national and two international PoPs (points of presence) and required a system that would quickly determine when and why a performance issue occurred, ensuring the correct response to restore performance and help reduce bottlenecks as large flows of data
pass over the network.
It is critical that our network is highly secure and available 24×7 in order to provide our members with confidence that they can collaborate with their partners in New Zealand and abroad without their data being compromised. Steve Cotter, REANNZ
Additionally, REANNZ faced legal and customer requirements to monitor and protect the network from security breaches because these PoPs are in the public domain.
“The REANNZ network is designed to capture and share huge international datasets, enabling data intensive, complex research experiments,” says Steve Cotter, chief executive officer, REANNZ. “It is critical that our network is highly secure and available 24×7 in order to provide our members with confidence that they can collaborate with their partners in New Zealand and abroad without their data being compromised.”
Sam Sargeant, CIO at REANNZ, says there were multiple drivers for the project, but security of the intellectual property for the data deployed by the members through their networks was high on the list.
REANNZ deployed the EndaceProbe INR to monitor its Los Angeles and Sydney international circuits to deliver continuous packet capture and network recording, while providing nanosecond accurate timestamps for every packet.
With the ability to monitor all of the data passing through the PoPs, REANNZ leverages the EndaceProbe INR to detect anomalies on the network and take corrective action when an issue occurs, ensuring the best possible performance of the network for its members.
“Before we had no direct ability to capture traffic on demand if we knew something was underway that was questionable,” says Sargeant. “We would make engineering changes to the network.”
Since deploying the EndaceProbe INR, REANNZ has already realised an immediate return on investment with the discovery that their international carrier was not operating the link properly, allowing REANNZ to recoup thousands of dollars.
Sargeant says this happened some months ago with the previous provider for internal capacity. REANNZ followed up reports that some of their international bandwidth data was not living to its expectations.
It has been a two-fold benefit for us, with the delivery of the products we need and supporting the innovation community and local organisations competing in the global market. Sam Sargeant, REANNZ
He says it used EndaceProble to do the traffic analysis and used that information to reveal to the provider the exact nature of the fault. He says the deployment cut short to a large degree the back and forth communication with the vendor as they could show the raw data where the link was dropping.
REANNZ, meanwhile, has been asked to be involved in some of the beta work on the products Emulex has been developing.
Sergeant says this means their engineers can talk about specific features they need. “It has been a two-fold benefit for us,” he says, “with the delivery of the products we need and supporting the innovation community and local organisations competing in the global market.”
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