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SteelCentral NPM xx80 Hardware is Like Quicksilver

Heidi Gabrielson
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The new SteelCentral NPM hardware release reminds me a bit of the Marvel X-men superhero Quicksilver. Quicksilver has the superhuman ability to move at great speeds. His top speed varies from around 200 mph all the way up to Mach 5. While his speed doesn’t come with any other mutations, it does give him faster reflexes and greater stamina.

This is a bit like the new SteelCentral xx80 AppResponse and NetProfiler hardware. Except that as well as being faster and more powerful, they come with a few new and interesting mutations I think you will like.

SteelCentral NetProfiler/Flow Gateway xx80

Like an X-men, the SteelCentral NetProfiler product line has undergone a significant mutation. No longer are there Standard and Enterprise versions. Now there is simply SteelCentral NetProfiler and you can grow it from the smallest license of 100K deduplicated flows per minute (FPM) to the largest of 30M deduplicated FPM on the same NetProfiler solution!

New SteelCentral NPM xx80 NetProfiler Family

New SteelCentral xx80 NetProfiler Family

The Base NetProfiler module supports from 100K to 1.5M deduplicated FPM in 100K increments. (This is the second mutation: no lock-in to a set license size. If you need 300,000 flow or 1.1 million, you can get it.) Then you can add up to 19 Expansion modules to support more flows. You need to add a Dispatcher module after 10 million FPM or six Expansion modules, though. Another mutation is that you can add one or more Expansion modules at any point prior to hitting your flow limit to gain even more processing power or retention. Think of it like going from Mach 1 to Mach 5 whenever you want!

In addition to streamlining the portfolio, NetProfiler doubled its number of preferred interfaces to 2000, and improved its reporting by an average of 30%. Some of this speed is due to an increase in memory and the solid state drives we use for storage, which accelerates queries.

With SteelCentral Flow Gateway, we increased its flow support by 50% to 6 million deduplicated FPM. It optionally supports a new dual 10GbE Fiber NIC, so it’s also faster and stronger.

SteelCentral AppResponse xx80

I’ll start by saying the new low- and mid-range AppResponse gained significant performance benefits—up to 40%, in some cases. However, it won’t take long for you to notice the first mutation: the SteelCentral AppResponse model numbers are out of order now: 2180, 4180, 8180 and 8180 Plus. There’s good reason for this. The new 8180 (which actually replaces the 6170 in performance) is software upgradable to the 8180 Plus. The two products share the same base appliance, but the 8180 supports one Storage Unit and either the 1G, 10G, or 40G NICs, while the 8180 Plus supports up to 1.9 petabytes of storage (using up to 16 of the new 120TB Storage Units) and supports the new 100G NIC in addition to the 1G, 10G and 40G NICs.

New SteelCentral NPM xx80 AppResponse Family

New SteelCentral xx80 AppResponse Family

What’s unique is that you can seamlessly upgrade from an AppResponse 8180 to an 8180 Plus simply by purchasing the Plus license. This allows you to add more storage, upgrade to the 100G NIC, and, of course, you gain more performance. You have a choice of 48TB or 120TB Storage Units on both of these appliances, but you can’t mix and match.

Another thought-provoking mutation is if you only care about metric analysis (e.g., ASA, WTA) and are not interested in storing packets, the AppResponse 8180 Plus can be used without any Storage Units to optimize metric performance.

SteelCentral NPM subscriptions

Knowing that you want flexibility in how you purchase technology, we also took the time to create an even more attractive subscription offering. We attractively priced the appliance so you can purchase it outright. Then you just need to choose a one-, three-, and five-year software and maintenance subscriptions options. It’s a simple as that.

SteelCentral NPM bundles

We also took the time to update our SteelCentral NPM Bundles. The bundles offer a cost-effective way to purchase flow, packet, infrastructure and your choice of cloud, end-user experience or APM in a single solution. It comes in four sizes: small, medium, large, and extra-large. Each bundle includes

  • An xx80 SteelCentral AppResponse with ASA module and SteelCentral Transaction Analyzer for packet analysis;
  • A Virtual SteelCentral NetProfiler and Flow Gateway for flow monitoring;
  • SteelCentral NetIM for infrastructure monitoring;
  • SteelCentral Agent licenses, which can be used for cloud monitoring, end-user experience monitoring, or application performance management— your choice;
  • SteelCentral Portal to bring all the information together into a single view;
  • Professional services;
  • Maintenance for all the products.

Check with your account manager for more information on the SteelCentral NPM bundles.

As you can see, SteelCentral NPM underwent many useful and exciting mutations. Just like Quicksilver, our top speed is now in the Mach 5 range. We also added a new 120TB Storage Unit and a 100G NIC on SteelCentral AppResponse! And, with SteelCentral NetProfiler, we increase the scale, reduced rack space, and improved speed and responsiveness. You definitely want to check out these speedy new systems.

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