Cloud computing offers a number of advantages, but visibility into the data stream, particularly between virtual instances, isn’t one of them.

To meet that challenge network tools maker Gigamon has released a new platform for organizations using Amazon Web Services that allows network and security administrators to see more of what’s happening in public clouds.

Gigamon Visibility Platform for Amazon EC2 is an agent-based solution that connects to the company’s GigaVue FM management software to access, categorize, and consolidate the delivery of network traffic to out-of-band security and performance management tools.

”We have consistent, elastic visibility into all the data that is traversing these cloud environments, and its consistent with the way people have been doing it on prem for some time,” Greg Mayfield, Gigamon’s head of product marketing, said in an interview.

While Amazon CloudWatch offers some visibility, he said, it’s largely log-based. Nor can CloudWatch help in multi-tenant environments, he said. “We’re going way beyond logs. We’re being proactive: We’re looking at the way traffic flows across the entire infrastructure” through flow mapping.

Other companies have agents that operate in cloud environments, he added, but they don’t talk to each other. Gigamon’s agents not only talk to these through APIs, he said, they also talk to CloudWatch.

Subscribers also can use Gigamon’s GigaSMART applications including Sampling, Slicing and Masking to deliver certain traffic to security tools or third party security information and event management (SIEMs) platforms such as IBM’s QRadar, Splunk and Hewlett-Packard Enterprises’ ArcSight.

Also security tools can be run anywhere– on-premise, in the same AWS virtual private cloude (VPC) or in a centralized AWS VPC.

The Visibility Platform is not deep packet inspection, Mayfield said, but gives enough visibility to manage workloads and applications. Combined with other Gigamon solutions admins can have visibility into private, public and hybrid clouds.

Although available as an on-premise solution, the platform is also Gigamon’s first software-as-a-service offering. Pricing starts at 100 virtual taps plus the GigaVue FM management platform for US$2,000 for three months. There’s also a free 30-day trial version with 10 taps.

The advantage of the Visibility Plaform for AWS it allows organizations to more effectively migrate to Amazon Web Services, Mayfield said. “By adding our functionality into this cloud environment we basically allow customers to manage, secure and understand all of that data that’s traversing” the AWS “You can make better decisions about how you want to lift and shift your requirements, where you have choke points, where you want to optimize your operations.”



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