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Software-Defined Session Intelligence for Scalable, On-Demand Network Visibility

As the world’s leading service providers transform their networks from traffic-delivery pipes into agile and scalable platforms for service innovation, they are increasingly relying on an ecosystem of out-of-band analytics tools to monitor, orchestrate, secure, and monetize their networks. Out-of-band analytics tools in turn depend on specialized “network visibility” infrastructure—commonly known as Network Packet Brokers (NPBs)—to aggregate, replicate, and forward relevant traffic flows to them for analysis.

Exponential growth in IP traffic is driving service providers to scale their monitoring and analytics infrastructure. Yet the escalating costs to achieve scale are not sustainable. Service providers need mechanisms to extract greater productivity from their existing tools to contain costs and maximize returns on their investments. They also need to modernize their networks and improve service agility to remain competitive in the marketplace. To this end, service providers are adopting Software-Defined Networking (SDN), Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), and API-driven architectures—and they expect their network visibility infrastructure to follow suit. With Extreme® Session Director, a carrier-grade network visibility solution, service providers can meet these challenges and cost-effectively evolve their monitoring and analytics infrastructure.

Real-Time Network Visibility and Expert Traffic Optimization at Scale

Extreme Session Director is a scalable software application deployed on commodity server hardware. It works in tandem with Extreme MLXe Packet Brokers to deliver mobility-aware traffic correlation, filtering, and load-balancing capabilities. By inspecting mobile traffic flows, Extreme Session Director can make dynamic, session-aware forwarding decisions that are then enforced in packet broker nodes.

This next-generation network visibility solution enables service providers to extract maximum productivity from their monitoring and analytics infrastructure at minimal cost. In addition, Extreme Session Director addresses key technology requirements with the ability to:

  • Filter, load balance, and forward only relevant traffic to each recipient tool with session, subscriber, network, location, and device awareness
  • Scale to support exponential traffic growth and significant variance in traffic patterns
  • Intercept, aggregate, filter, optimize, and forward traffic flows from both physical and virtual networking infrastructures

Closed-Loop Deployment Architecture

Extreme Session Director is deployed in a RESTful API closed-loop architecture with Extreme MLXe to deliver subscriber, session, and network-aware filtering and load- balancing capabilities for mobile networks. Mobile bearer and control traffic flows are forwarded by the MLXe Packet Brokers to Extreme Session Director, which correlates, filters, and load balances flows, and then redirects traffic to the Extreme MLXe Packet Broker for delivery to analytics tools (see Figure 1).

Reduced Scaling Costs

Extreme Session Director enables mobile operators to minimize the scaling costs for their monitoring and analytics tools infrastructure as data volumes grow. It does so by providing network, subscriber, location, and session-aware traffic selection capabilities, delivering only relevant traffic to every tool in the analytics infrastructure. By offloading resource-intensive correlation and load-balancing functions, Extreme Session Director also helps operators realize the full ROI potential of their tool investments.

With its agile, software-defined architecture, Extreme Session Director simplifies scale and feature additions while shortening acquisition and deployment cycles. This allows mobile operators to efficiently monitor, secure, analyze, and monetize their network infrastructures.

On-Demand Network Visibility

With Extreme Session Director, service providers gain software-de ned session intelligence for scalable, on-demand network visibility. Key features of this solution include:

  • GTP and VoLTE session correlation (of bearer and control flows)
  • Filtering and load balancing traffic based on:
    • International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI)
    • International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI)
    • Access Point Name (APN)
    • Radio Access Type (RAT)
    • Location identifiers (MCC, MNC, LAC, LAI, TAI, TAC, RAI, RAC, SAI, ULI, ECGI, CGI)
    • Charging characteristics
  • Traffic sampling
    • Subscriber-based traffic sampling with options to exclude control plane traffic sampling
  • Traffic deduplication
    • Traffic deduplication for all traffic types or only user plane traffic
  • PTP time stamping
  • Smart match
    • Flexible pattern match at various off sets

Extreme Network Visibility Solutions

Extreme Network Visibility solutions help mobile operators monitor, secure, analyze, and monetize their physical and virtual networks at scale, as they begin their journey to 5G. With programmable hardware packet brokers and the industry’s first full-featured software packet broker, Extreme delivers a best-in-class network visibility solution built for the most demanding networks.

Extreme Global Services

Extreme Global Services has the expertise to help organizations build scalable, efficient cloud infrastructures. Leveraging 20 years of expertise in storage, networking, and virtualization, Extreme Global Services delivers world-class professional services, technical support, and education services, enabling organizations to maximize their Extreme investments, accelerate new technology deployments, and optimize the performance of networking infrastructures.

Acquisition Options That Match Balance Sheet Objectives

Successful network deployments drive business forward, providing technical and financial agility. Extreme offers the broadest financing models, from traditional leasing to Extreme Network Subscription. Network-as-a-Service allows organizations to subscribe to network assets today then upgrade on demand, scale up or down, or return them with 60-day notification. Extreme Network Subscription plans can be structured to meet IASC guidelines for OpEx or CapEx treatment to align with financial goals. Learn more at www.nonetworkcapex.com.

Highlights

  • Extends the capabilities of Extreme Packet Brokers to deliver subscriber, session, and network-aware traffic optimization for monitoring and analytics tools
  • Designed for 4G/LTE, 5G, and IoT scale, delivering filtering and load-balancing capabilities based on diverse mobility attributes, including IMSI, IMEI, APN, location, and RAT
  • Delivers scale and feature extensibility, while simplifying deployment and management with a software-defined architecture
Session Director Specifications
Recommended Minimum Server ConfigurationCPU: Dual Intel Xeon E5-2670 v3 2.3 GHz, 30 MB cache, 9.60 GT/s QPI, Turbo, HT, 12 C/24 T
(120 W), max memory 2,133 MHz or higher
RAM: 256 GB
HDD: 1 TB
Operating system: CentOS 7.2, RedHat Enterprise 7.2
Ports:
• 40 GbE NIC (generally used as a data port): Supported by 2×40 GbE Intel NIC - Intel Ethernet
Converged Network Adapter XL710-QDA2.
• 10 GbE NIC (can be used as a control/data port): Supported by 4×10 GbE Intel NIC - Intel Ethernet
Converged Network Adapter X710-DA4FH.
• 10 GbE NIC (can be used as a control port): Supported by Intel 82599-based 10 GbE NIC
(example: Intel X520 DP 10 GbE)
Performance (per instance)Maximum system throughput: 80 Gbps
Number of subscribers: 20 million
Number of bearer sessions: 50 million
ClusteringSupport for clustering of up to four Extreme Session Director instances with maximum aggregate
throughput of 320 Gbps per cluster
ManagementCLI- or GUI-based management interface with Extreme Visibility Manager and RESTful APIs
Ordering Information
BR-NVA-SD7100-P-01Session Director (SD) 7100 feature bundle perpetual license for 40 Gbps of total traffic
BR-NVA-SD8100-P-01
Session Director (SD) 8100 feature bundle perpetual license for 40 Gbps of total traffic
BR-NVA-SD8200-P-01Session Director (SD) 8200 feature bundle perpetual license for 40 Gbps of total traffic
BR-NVA-SD9100-P-01Session Director (SD) 9100 feature bundle perpetual license for 40 Gbps of total traffic
NVA-SD7100-SVV-RSW-1Essential App Support 24×7 renewal, for BR-NVA-SD7100-P-01
NVA-SD7100-SVV-RSW-2Essential App Support 24×7 renewal, for BR-NVA-SD7100-P-01
NVA-SD7100-SVV-RSW-3Essential App Support 24×7 renewal, for BR-NVA-SD7100-P-01
NVA-SD7100-SVV-RSW-4Essential App Support 24×7 renewal, for BR-NVA-SD7100-P-01
NVA-SD7100-SVV-RSW-5Essential App Support 24×7 renewal, for BR-NVA-SD7100-P-01
NVA-SD7100-SVV-SW-1Essential App Support 24×7, for BR-NVA-SD7100-P-01
NVA-SD7100-SVV-SW-2 Essential App Support 24×7, for BR-NVA-SD7100-P-01
NVA-SD7100-SVV-SW-3 Essential App Support 24×7, for BR-NVA-SD7100-P-01
NVA-SD7100-SVV-SW-4Essential App Support 24×7, for BR-NVA-SD7100-P-01
NVA-SD7100-SVV-SW-5Essential App Support 24×7, for BR-NVA-SD7100-P-01
NVA-SD8100-SVV-RSW-1 Essential App Support 24×7 renewal, for BR-NVA-SD8100-P-01
NVA-SD8100-SVV-RSW-2Essential App Support 24×7 renewal, for BR-NVA-SD8100-P-01
NVA-SD8100-SVV-RSW-3Essential App Support 24×7 renewal, for BR-NVA-SD8100-P-01
NVA-SD8100-SVV-RSW-4Essential App Support 24×7 renewal, for BR-NVA-SD8100-P-01
NVA-SD8100-SVV-RSW-5Essential App Support 24×7 renewal, for BR-NVA-SD8100-P-01
NVA-SD8100-SVV-SW-1Essential App Support 24×7, for BR-NVA-SD8100-P-01
NVA-SD8100-SVV-SW-2Essential App Support 24×7, for BR-NVA-SD8100-P-01
NVA-SD8100-SVV-SW-3Essential App Support 24×7, for BR-NVA-SD8100-P-01
NVA-SD8100-SVV-SW-4Essential App Support 24×7, for BR-NVA-SD8100-P-01
NVA-SD8100-SVV-SW-5Essential App Support 24×7, for BR-NVA-SD8100-P-01
NVA-SD8200-SVV-RSW-1Essential App Support 24×7 renewal, for BR-NVA-SD8200-P-01
NVA-SD8200-SVV-RSW-2Essential App Support 24×7 renewal, for BR-NVA-SD8200-P-01
NVA-SD8200-SVV-RSW-3Essential App Support 24×7 renewal, for BR-NVA-SD8200-P-01
NVA-SD8200-SVV-RSW-4Essential App Support 24×7 renewal, for BR-NVA-SD8200-P-01
NVA-SD8200-SVV-RSW-5Essential App Support 24×7 renewal, for BR-NVA-SD8200-P-01
NVA-SD8200-SVV-SW-1Essential App Support 24×7, for BR-NVA-SD8200-P-01
NVA-SD8200-SVV-SW-2Essential App Support 24×7, for BR-NVA-SD8200-P-01
NVA-SD8200-SVV-SW-3Essential App Support 24×7, for BR-NVA-SD8200-P-01
NVA-SD8200-SVV-SW-4Essential App Support 24×7, for BR-NVA-SD8200-P-01
NVA-SD8200-SVV-SW-5Essential App Support 24×7, for BR-NVA-SD8200-P-01
NVA-SD9100-SVV-RSW-1 Essential App Support 24×7 renewal, for BR-NVA-SD9100-P-01
NVA-SD9100-SVV-RSW-2Essential App Support 24×7 renewal, for BR-NVA-SD9100-P-01
NVA-SD9100-SVV-RSW-3Essential App Support 24×7 renewal, for BR-NVA-SD9100-P-01
NVA-SD9100-SVV-RSW-4Essential App Support 24×7 renewal, for BR-NVA-SD9100-P-01
NVA-SD9100-SVV-RSW-5Essential App Support 24×7 renewal, for BR-NVA-SD9100-P-01
NVA-SD9100-SVV-SW-1Essential App Support 24×7, for BR-NVA-SD9100-P-01
NVA-SD9100-SVV-SW-2Essential App Support 24×7, for BR-NVA-SD9100-P-01
NVA-SD9100-SVV-SW-3Essential App Support 24×7, for BR-NVA-SD9100-P-01
NVA-SD9100-SVV-SW-4Essential App Support 24×7, for BR-NVA-SD9100-P-01
NVA-SD9100-SVV-SW-5Essential App Support 24×7, for BR-NVA-SD9100-P-01