New SteelCentral NetProfiler Virtual Line Boosts Speed and Scale

Heidi Gabrielson

Recently, we released the new SteelCentral NetProfiler Virtual and SteelCentral Flow Gateway Virtual models. The models are a clone of the NetProfiler and Flow Gateway appliances in all aspects, except that Riverbed provides the hardware in the latter case and the customer provides the compute power via an ESXi virtual deployment in the former.

Now customers can choose the capabilities they require then decide how to deploy: physical or virtual appliance.

The SteelCentral NetProfiler Virtual line is a clone of the physical line in all aspects, except it runs on ESXi deployments.

The SteelCentral NetProfiler Virtual line is a clone of the physical line in all aspects, except it runs on ESXi deployments.

The physical and virtual NetProfiler families have the

  • Same features and functionalities
  • Same deployment, scaling, and licensing constructs
  • Same pricing for software licenses
  • And, both max out at 30M flows per minute

Let’s dig into the details…

SteelCentral NetProfiler Virtual models

Just like the physical appliances, the NetProfiler Virtual family is composed of four components:

  • NetProfiler Base (SCNP-BASE-VE),
  • Expansion module (SCNP-EXP-VE)
  • Dispatcher module (SCNP-DP-VE)
  • Flow Gateway (SCFG-VW)


SteelCentral NetProfiler Virtual can easily grow from the smallest license of 10K de-duplicated flows per minute (FPM) to the largest of 30M de-duplicated FPM!

The Base NetProfiler module supports from 10K to 1.5M de-duplicated FPM in either 10K or 100K increments. Then you can add Expansion modules to support more flows or to get more processing power and retention. You will need to add a Dispatcher module after 10 million FPM; it acts as a load balancer.

The SteelCentral Flow Gateway is a flow collector. It coalesces and de-duplicates the flows before sending them on to NetProfiler. You can distribute multiple Flow Gateways regionally for scale.

New capabilities

This release also adds several new features and capabilities to the Virtual NetProfiler family.

  1. Combined the SDN license into the Base license. SDN capabilities let you monitor VXLAN tunneled networks.
  2. Allowed you to optionally add the Advanced Security Module to NetProfiler Virtual. This adds rich network security and forensics analysis for broad range of threats, including DDoS, exfiltrations, blacklisted communications, etc.
  3. Added support for an optional cache storage tier. You can allocate up to 5TB of cache storage to make querying your most recent history faster.
  4. Made changes to our disk storage format, providing >30% overall speed improvement and 2-8 times longer retention of data.

Free trade up and licensing

Existing customers of Virtual NetProfiler and Flow Gateway with active maintenance contracts can get a no charge, like-for-like trade up to the new version (v10.17). Contact your account manager to get started. Needless to say, there are six reasons to trade up:

  1. Free trade up promotion is only valid until December 31, 2020.
  2. Ability to scale by 10x, to a maximum of 30 million de-duplicated FPM.
  3. Ability to scale out storage and add processing power by adding EXP modules.
  4. Support for additional security use cases by adding the Advanced Security Module.
  5. SDN/VXLAN capabilities at no charge!
  6. Faster reporting and longer data retention.

The virtual products are available as either perpetual or subscription licenses. For pricing information and to size your environment, contact Riverbed sales.

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