by Thor Olavsrud

Corvil Redefines Model for Network Data Analytics

Feb 24, 20154 mins
AnalyticsBig Data

To reduce costs and provide customers with investment protection, the network data analytics specialist announced that it will sell the hardware part of its appliances at cost and make licenses transferable to other hardware and virtual machines.

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Network data analytics platform specialist Corvil — whose platform is used by 18 out of the 20 top stock exchanges and global banks — is seeking to redefine the economics of the space by decoupling its analytics software from the underlying bare metal appliance hardware and selling the hardware at cost.

Corvil calls this a software-defined appliance model. Donal Byrne, CEO of Dublin, Ireland-based Corvil, says the model, together with a series of upgraded capabilities for the Corvil platform, create a 40 to 80 percent cost reduction in network data analytics compared with the approach used by traditional network probe vendors.

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Byrne says that customers can buy the analytics software in a modular fashion with a choice of perpetual and subscription licenses without fear of getting locked in to particular hardware. The licenses are fully transferable to new third-party white-box appliances or virtual machines in a private or public cloud without incurring additional costs.

“This is a new era for IT,” Byrne says. “We believe that analysis of packet data streaming through the network will become the primary source of real-time intelligence to operate the business. However, traditional approaches to working with this source of data have proven complex and costly to deploy at scale. At Corvil, we are re-imagining this problem by leveraging the latest innovations from big data analytics, network function virtualization and cloud infrastructure.”

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Byrne explains that Corvil decided upon this model because its customers wanted to deploy Corvil’s solution at a much greater scale than its old business model would allow. Because software licenses were “node locked” with a particular piece of hardware, they would have to repurchase the same product and solution every time a piece of hardware went end-of-life.

“The second thing we observed was that our customers are adamant that their future will involve leveraging software-defined technologies and cloud technologies, but they’re not certain about the timeline in which they will do that,” he says. “They required from us an investment protection model.”

Corvil is introducing the new model along with the new Giga+ release of its platform, which adds a number of new capabilities and benefits, including:

  • Automated data discovery and configuration. Giga+ can automatically recognize data flows in the network, allowing it to discover all active sessions on the network, inventory them and issue alerts on unexpected sessions. Byrne says this capability reduces the operating expense of managing a Corvil deployment by up to 80 percent through reduction in time required from IT operations and engineering personnel.
  • Deep data buffering. Giga+ smooths out bursts of network data traffic with no loss in fidelity in Corvil’s network data analytics, meaning that in typical customer environments, a single Corvil appliance can now handle the same peak data rates that previously required up to three Corvil appliances to process. Byrne says this capability offers up to 66 percent capital cost reduction for the customer.
  • Remote data analytics.Data flows from remote locations can be forwarded to Corvil installations in central datacenters for analysis while preserving sub microsecond accurate measurements, so you no longer need appliances at every remote location. Byrne notes the centralization of Corvil data analytics can save up to 80 percent of cost compared with instrumenting remote sites.
  • Legacy network packet capture and analysis. This feature allows network engineers to use proven workflows with PCAP files and legacy tools including WireShark, Tshark and Berkeley Packet Filtering are now supported. This allows customers to consolidate traditional network monitoring and packet capture use cases into the Corvil platform, which Byrne says can save customers up to 45 percent in capital expenditure.

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