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A New Hardware Platform for Endless Network Monitoring Applications

 

Hardware device for network monitoring applications

The Cubro EXA8 is an affordable and high-performance hardware platform designed with network visibility and monitoring application/s foremost in mind. At the heart of the EXA8 is a 4-core ARM CPU paired with 16GB of DDR4 RAM. The front panel of the EXA8 features 8 copper ports, 2 x 1/10G SFP+ ports, as well as a management and console interfaces. The 8 copper ports of the EXA8 feature a built-in bypass functionality allowing them to not only serve as individual ingress/egress ports, but also as a fail-safe TAP for up to 4 links. To add even more to the versatility and potential applications of the EXA8 it comes equipped with a 1TB M.2 SSD, Micro SD card slot, and two USB 3.0 interfaces.

At Cubro we believe that the EXA8 truly offers an unprecedented network-centric development platform for an almost endless variety of applications. As such, multiple options are available direct from vendors, with application-specific software packages, as well as a community version for research, development, and custom deployments.

Aggregation TAP with Capture Functionality

The first packaged hardware and software solution for the EXA8 aims to address the needs of enterprise customers and network engineers for a fail-safe network tapping, traffic capture, and troubleshooting platform. This iteration of the EXA8 is able to either TAP up to four 10/100/1000 copper links, or accept up to eight feeds from other sources such as SPAN and mirror ports (or a combination thereof). The built-in bypass functionality of the 10/100/1000 copper ports ensures that the live link is always protected and the two SFP/SFP+ interfaces allow the user to copy and/or aggregate traffic over the 8Gbps from the copper links to tools ranging from laptops to high-end security and monitoring appliances.

On top of this the EXA8 incorporates the ability to capture network traffic directly to the built-in SSD. A simple click in the Web UI of the EXA8 initiates a capture session with performance of up to 2.5 Gbps, far more than a network engineer could achieve with only a laptop. Standard tcpdump filters can be applied to the capture session to selectively isolate traffic of interest. The EXA8’s Web UI also integrates the Webshark web-based protocol analyzer so that capture files can be immediately inspected directly on the device. If the user prefers, or requires, another tool for analysis the capture files can be downloaded directly from the Web UI or copied to removable storage media via the Micro SD card slot or USB 3.0 ports. The Ubuntu Linux host OS allows for further functionality through the use of common command line tools such as Tshark and tcpdump, as well as scripting possibilities with BaSH, Python, and any number of other supported languages.

Optional feature upgrades will enable more advanced functionality for customers who require them. These include continuous capture, where the oldest data will be overwritten once the disk is full, and a Regex filtering engine to apply regular expression capture filters to network traffic.

Finally, it is possible to manage the EXA8 not only remotely but wirelessly with the addition of 4G or Satellite modems. Given the small, portable form factor, low power consumption, and economical cost of the EXA8, it becomes a very compelling option for remote and distributed deployments.

  • 8 x 10/100/1000 copper ports with built-in TAP functionality
  • 2 x 1/10G SFP/SFP+ ports
  • Multi-Core ARM CPU with up to 8Gbps throughput performance
  • 16GB RAM
  • 1TB M.2 SSD
  • 2 x USB 3.0 ports
  • Micro SD card slot
  • Passively TAP up to 4 links or collect traffic for up to 8 1G inputs
  • Aggregate traffic to 1/10G output at up to 8Gbps
  • Capture traffic directly on device at up to 2.5Gbps with optional capture filters (tcpdump syntax)
  • Analyze captured traffic on device via Web UI
  • Download capture files from Web UI or copy to removable USB/Micro SD media
  • Linux OS allows for scripting via BaSH, Python, and many other languages
  • Linux OS allows for use of common CLI utilities such as tcpdump, tshark, and others

Cubro Partners Utilize the EXA8 to Offer Customer Solutions

H5 Audits

H5 Audits and Cubro have partnered to bring the advantages of the EXA8 hardware platform together with H5’s Performance Reporter software. This unique collaboration brings a hybrid, scalable product to market that combines collection and aggregation together with volume and performance metrics. To learn more about H5 Audit solutions and how they leverage the EXA8 visit www.h5audits.com

  • 70 metrics generated per flow, port, IP, conversation, etc.. on all traffic
  • No external tools need to be installed in addition of the H5-CPR external portal
  • Possible to send all H5-OS metrics to an existing portal (Zabbix, Data dog or other Supervision solution ) based on an open SOAP API.

 

QXIP

QXIP is an industry leading R&D group developing and deploying open-source and commercial packet capture, DPI, Monitoring, and Lawful Intercept solutions for Voice Carriers and Real-Time Communications Operators. QXIP ,in collaboration with Cubro, have taken the EXA8 hardware platform as the basis for two of their software solutions.

VoIP Analyzer

QXIP has integrated their HEPIC software with the Cubro EXA8. HEPIC offers VoIP and RTC Analytics and troubleshooting for Telecoms including:

  • Realtime tracking of SIP / ISUP / SS7 / IMS sessions
  • Realtime analysis and reporting of all RTP/RTCP media sessions
  • Tagging and grouping of flows by IP/NET or signaling session
  • Full capture cache on USB or SSD

For more information on the EXA8 and HEPIC visit: http://hepic.tel

Lawful Intercept Agent

QXIP has identified and built solutions to address the challenges service providers face with Lawful Intercept compliance; as they put it. “As a legally sanctioned official access to private communications, Lawful Interception (LI) is a security process in which a service provider or network operator securely collects and provides Law enforcement officials with intercepted communications of private individuals or organizations. LI implementation is required by the European Council Resolution from 1995 which allows for LI to prevent crime, including fraud and terrorism. The challenge for VoIP service providers has been to cost-effectively meet lawful intercept requirements. In most cases, the compliant software and hardware are from different vendors which means it is time-consuming and expensive to comply, deploy, maintain and run smoothly. EXA8 for LI application bridges this gap and provides an all-in-one X1/X2/X3 ETSI compliant solution developed and certified by QXIP and integration certified with LEA Mediation partners worldwide.”

Using the Cubro EXA8 platform QXIP has created a Lawful Intercept Agent with the following benefits:

  • Supports ETSI TC LI standard for X1 and multiple X2-X3 delivery modules with custom vendor extensions for Certified LEA Mediation Partners such Group2000, UTIMACO and others.
  • Modular software components to support current and future ETSI specifications on the EXA8.
  • Passive Capture/Interception and Secure API running on the EXA8 in transparent.
  • Fully configurable interface range and protocol settings.
  • Remotely provisioned by LEAs through Mediation API elements and completely isolated.
  • Unauthorized Engineers and Ops have no access to provisioned interceptions.

For more information on QXIP and the EXA8 visit:  http://hepic.tel

 

 

 

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