Network visibility is more important than it has ever been before. In order to ward off cyberattacks, you need full visibility to monitor, manage, and protect your environments. Unfortunately, there isn’t one single monitoring tool that gives you full visibility into both your local and wide area networks. However, by strategically combining the right tools like Cisco SD-WAN and Gigamon, you can get full visibility into the entirety of your data centers.
The Right Combination of Cisco SD-WAN and Gigamon
Cisco’s SD-WAN solution, formerly Viptela, can work in congruence with Gigamon’s monitoring capabilities to provide detailed insight into your physical and virtual environments. Between the two, you have access to analytics about everything you run in production. Quite literally.
How to Integrate
Admittedly, there is no direct advertised integration for these two offerings, but they can be configured to fully integrate together to provide full visibility into your networks. Gigamon provides real-time visibility and reports on your Local Area Network (LAN), while Cisco SD-WAN establishes a Software-Defined Wide-Area Network (SD-WAN) that connects your entire organization’s multiple facilities to improve network visibility, speed, security, and efficiency.
Gigamon enables you to view and control the LAN activity in your data center, helping you reduce security risks, expedite incident response time, and maximize network availability.
Gigamon uses two different strategies to directly extract data from your environments: Test Access Points (TAPs) and Switch Port Analyzer (SPAN).
- TAPs are monitoring hardware devices that deliver continuous access to bi-directional moderate-to-high traffic streams and provide perfect copies of all traffic at full bandwidth.
- A SPAN is the software built into a switch that copies the traffic passing through and then forwards the duplicated packet to a mirrored port.
Gigamon uses TAPs wherever possible to optimize full-fidelity network monitoring, analytics, and security, but a SPAN is sometimes used in more remote locations where traffic is reduced.
Most importantly, Gigamon is fully customizable, enabling you to configure toolsets to boost your team’s efficiency and reduce cost. By only capturing information that you have predetermined as important, none of your staff members will waste time monitoring and sifting through irrelevant or unnecessary data.
Another great feature is Gigamon’s SSL decryption. If your current firewall isn’t robust enough to support SSL decryption (and you’re not interested in paying for a larger standard firewall), Gigamon will handle the decryption and forward requests to your applications.
But That’s Just One Side of Your Network Activity
But it’s not enough to see inside your isolated data centers. If your business isn’t confined to a single facility, it stands to reason that your network security shouldn’t either. You also need to see (and protect) what’s being communicated between them.
Cisco SD-WAN Provides End-to-End Visibility Across Your WAN
With business-critical applications (especially VoIP apps) functioning across multiple clouds, you need visibility everywhere that your mobile business is operating. Cisco SD-WAN is extremely flexible and can either be implemented as an on-premises workload or a cloud-managed solution with the existing hardware.
Cisco SD-WAN looks at all traffic traveling between your data centers, including devices in your cloud and physical environments. Once you configure the setting policies, Cisco SD-WAN analytics identify connectivity issues and authenticate authorized devices. The platform then helps you determine the optimal path for each user, connecting each to the desired application efficiently and securely with real-time policy update adjustments. Cisco SD-WAN keeps bandwidth usage on your devices and classifies traffic into applications so that you can see exactly what percentage of your bandwidth is devoted to certain applications.
But this tool isn’t just about bandwidth. Cisco SD-WAN also monitors link quality and steers traffic around congestion, failed links, and high-latent connections.
A Better View for Your Varied Network Activity with Cisco SD-WAN and Gigamon
If you feel limited in your network visibility, it’s time to start getting creative with your monitoring methodologies. Although Cisco SD-WAN and Gigamon are not advertised together as congruent offerings, our network engineers will help your IT team integrate this two-tiered solution into your environments to provide a complete view into all data center activity.