Mellanox makes troubleshooting fibre networks much easier

Created May 31, 2019
Technologies and Products

Mellanox Technologies, the fibre interconnection firm, has announced an advanced network telemetry technology that provides speedy visibility into anomalies for public cloud, private cloud and enterprise computing.‎

The new technology, bundled without charge with existing Mellanox products, was announced at this month’s NetEvents IT Symposium in Sitges (pictured), Barcelona for select journalists and analysts, which Optical Connections attended. The What Just Happened (WJH) offering, said Mellanox, is a new intelligent monitoring technology that goes well beyond conventional streaming telemetry and Inband Network Telemetry (INT) offerings.

These conventional telemetry offerings generate enormous amounts of data that is mined from network port counters and statistical packet sampling and hop-by-hop INT data. This type of telemetry data lacks any context or actionable details on abnormal network behaviour, said Mellanox, forcing the network admin or monitoring tool to perform time consuming analysis to find the root cause of network issues.

“WJH event-based telemetry delivers direct and actionable information and thus eliminates the guesswork from network troubleshooting,” said the vendor, which was recently acquired by NVIDIA, and with Intel also once believed to be in the running to acquire the US/Israel firm.

The WJH solution leverages the hardware capabilities built into the Mellanox Spectrum and Spectrum-2 Ethernet switch ASICs to inspect packets at multi-terabit speeds – faster than software or firmware-based solutions offered by competitors.

WJH then identifies anomalous behaviour and consolidates this into concise, specific and actionable data that “enables rapid remediation and recovery of cloud applications and critical business operations,” said the vendor.

WJH is available now with the latest versions of Mellanox Onyx, Cumulus Linux and SONiC Network Operating Systems. The technology embraces Open Ethernet and is easily integrated with open source tools like InfluxDB, Grafana and Kibana, and also works with data centre-wide monitoring solutions including Mellanox NEO and Cumulus’ NetQ.

Amit Katz, vice president of Ethernet switches at Mellanox Technologies, said, “Customers need a smarter network, a network that can be invisible when it comes to automated installation and provisioning, but extra-visible when it comes to troubleshooting. We make WJH advanced telemetry available to all our customers without playing the license-per-feature game that our competitors do. WJH is a technology enabler that is the missing element for autonomous and self-healing networks.”

The technology is also white-labelled in other vendors’ high-performance connectivity solutions. Rupin Mohan, director of R&D of storage networking at HPE, said, “Mellanox Spectrum switches are a part of the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Storage Networking portfolio as the HPE M-series. For storage administrators, troubleshooting network and SAN issues has always been a challenge.

“With WJH, we solved this problem and can easily debug severe network issues in minutes. The combination of WJH and our Smart Fabric Orchestrator (SFO) enhances HPE M-series solutions and simplifies SAN management and troubleshooting.”

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This article was written
by Antony Savvas

Antony Savvas is a global technology journalist covering the key trends in the communications industry, and was there at the beginning of mobile business and ICT convergence, the move to the cloud and now digital transformation