Network Instruments has developed what it claims is the largest network data recorder available. The GigaStor SAS has a capacity of up to 288TB, and was originally developed for a US military customer which needed to store a month's worth of the traffic on its network, says Douglas Smith, the company's president and co-founder.
The device is a extension of NI's current GigaStor retrospective network analysis (RNA) line, and incorporates SAS or SATA disk arrays for its storage. RNA involves capturing all the packets and transactions traversing a network and storing them for later analysis or playback.
It can support E1, HSSI, DS3, and Fibre Channel networks as well, but Gigabit and 10G Ethernet are the main targets, Smith says. He added that NI developed its own 16-lane PCI Express card for 10G Ethernet, to ensure that GigaStor could capture data even at full-duplex line rate.
"GigaStor SAS customers have so far been either government or financial organisations with extremely large storage and/or long-term data retention needs," Smith adds.
If even more storage is needed, NI also offers a write-to-SAN option that stores the capture network data on a storage area network.