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Flow Load Balancer

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Flow Load Balancing: Increased scalability with high availability

GenieATM offers a carrier-grade, network-wide solution for service providers and large enterprises to effectively analyze their network status as well as to troubleshoot any security issues via real-time or retrospective forensics tools. The distributed architecture of GenieATM offers extensible deployment as the network expands.


Nonetheless, when deploying a distributed IP Flow-based solution like GenieATM, there may be a few challenges, including:

Precise planning may be a challenging factor when more than one Flow Collector is deployed in the network. In a large network with several routers, the amount of traffic needs to be handled increases as the network scale grows dynamically. In situations where some routers are handling more and more traffic when compared to others, the additional devices or upgraded bandwidth may have an unbalanced influence on the network traffic causing some flow collectors being overloaded while some are under-utilized.


In the past, the network administrators would either need to adjust the deployment manually or purchase additional Collectors to cope with such situation. With GenieATM FLB, all Collectors in the network are fully utilized by providing flexibility in plugging-in and un-plugging Flow Collectors in the production environment with minimal engineering.

It is critical to service providers to maintain high-availability at all times. Redundancy is normally required by service providers in order to fully support situations when there is a Flow Collector failure in the network. A carrier-grade solution requires a high-availability standard as well as fast fault recovery through redundancy. GenieATM FLB provides such service for Collector cluster by offering an active-active N+1 redundancy system.


Instead of manually switching to the redundancy device or having an active-standby device, GenieATM FLB is able to divert the traffics that were originally destined to the failed Collector to the rest of the Collectors in the cluster. GenieATM FLB provides a seamless redundancy between Collectors for the network without the need of additional backup devices.

The continuous growth of network capacity or tuning the analytic granularity may also require upgrades in network monitoring and security analysis solution to keep up with the pace.


As the network scale grows, service providers may need to upgrade its router capacity to handle more traffic or, to lower the sampling rate of a router, e.g. 1:5000 lowers to 1:2000, for a more precise monitoring. When there is a single source of traffic data exceeds the maximum capacity of the Flow Collector, the already invested Collector box may become inadequate to support the amount of flow traffic hence becoming redundant.


GenieATM FLB prevents such situation by distributing the traffic of high flows per second to a few Collectors with lower capacities. All Collectors in the network can be further utilised in spite of the volume of a single traffic source. With GenieATM FLB, existing Flow Collector device will be not obsolete and consequently protects the already made investments.

Service providers sometimes may require a system to relieve flow source contention when there are various flow-based solution deployed in the network. When there are various flow-based solutions (different boxes, from different vendors) deployed in the network, having routers exporting Flow packets to multiple destinations is undesirable to service providers as this may overly consume routers’ resources for its original purposes.


GenieATM FLB resolves such issue by gathering received flow packets from all routers in the network; then duplicate and distribute the flow packets in order to be delivered to different destinations and flow-based systems as required. GenieATM FLB effectively relieves the pressure on routers’ resources of exporting flow packets to multiple destinations and systems.

Deployment

Distributed Architecture with Centralized Control

GenieATM FLB is specifically designed as a flow collection centre and forwards or replicates flows to different Flow collectors. Furthermore, it is able to load-balance a huge volume of exported flow records from single or multiple routers to a group of the GenieATM Collectors. Flow formats of NetFlow, NetStream, sFlow, and IPFIX are supported.


The FLB load-balances and dispatches flow packets delivered from two groups of routers to the GenieATM Collector groups via intelligent packet load balancing mechanisms. Meanwhile, the FLB replicates the flow packets to other flow analysis systems.

Flow load Balancer

Features

  •    Flow Collection:Collect multiple data sources including NetFlow™, NetStream™, sFlowÒ and IPFIX.

  •    Load Balancing: Load-balance and dispatch flow packets to the GenieATM Collector groups according to the flow dispatch policies configured.

  •    Flow Relay: Able to relay received flow packets to flow collectors of different vendors.

Ordering Information

Model NumberDescription
GenieATM 6130, 6160, 6170, 6180 Flow Load Balancer

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