infoTECH Feature

September 30, 2014

University of Wisconsin Secures Big-Data Research Network with Gigamon

It’s a common problem among big universities — securing and monitoring big-data networks that include valuable research data while improving speed and access on those same networks. It’s not enough to just monitor these networks in real time, instead these organizations need to take it one step farther and predict what is going to happen.

University of Wisconsin-Madison faced this challenge on its network that supports more than one hundred research centers and programs in such diverse areas as agribusiness, biotech, fusion, nanotechnology, space engineering and particle physics.

Those research programs require collaboration with other research facilities — including CERN, home of the large Hadron collider that was instrumental in the discovery of the Higgs boson. Given the importance of this research data, the university announced recently that it chose traffic visibility provider Gigamon (News - Alert) to monitor its 100Gb link.

"Our University is executing an experimental project with the National Science Foundation, and Gigamon has been highly cooperative and responsive as we have pushed the envelope of our 100Gb science DMZ," said Bruce Maas, CIO and vice provost for information technology at the University of Wisconsin. "We value partners who engage with us in joint problem solving, and Gigamon clearly did not hesitate as we overcame early challenges together. They responded with adaptations that worked."

Gigamon’s solution includes 100Gb optical taps and a Visibility Fabric solution based on the GigaVUE-HD4 node to reportedly provide intelligent aggregation and replication of traffic flows to their security and performance monitoring tools. The system also is responsible for intrusion detection and troubleshooting.

“Gigamon enabled the university to gain pervasive visibility across its network, including its 10Gb and 100Gb WAN links serving the increasing amount of Internet traffic and the traffic from other facilities with which they have peering arrangements,” said Ananda Rajagopal (News - Alert), vice president of product management at Gigamon. “We were able to provide multiple departments with access to traffic for security and troubleshooting while extending the ROI on their existing tools.”

The technology reportedly enables infrastructure architects, managers and operators to visualize traffic across both physical and virtual environments without affecting the performance or stability of the production network.

"We were able to optically tap the 100Gb Internet connection and forty-eight 10Gb LAN ports to get 100 percent visibility of all north/south and east/west traffic," said Greg Padden, network engineer at The University of Wisconsin-Madison. "We are now able to send traffic from any point on our network to any team that needs it."

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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