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Are Network Packet Brokers a Commodity Product?

  • 3 min read
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Is there such a thing of using a commodity product instead of a real network packet broker (NPB)? We don’t think so – and neither should you!
However, it seems like this is the case – use commodity hardware and add some software to sell it as a commodity packet broker. But what you get is only commodity features, and because most vendors use the same chipset and even the same hardware only with different colours, then for sure you have a commodity product. Ask for a real NPB and not for a switch with some software on it!
We all know that the network is not a commodity network and therefore the limited features which you get with a commodity product are certainly not enough. If you think you have only commodity needs like only aggregation and a little bit of L4 filtering, then what about –

  • ​IPv6? (Dual-stack)
  • De-encapsulation? (multiple MPLS, GRE, GTP, VXLAN)
  • Packet slicing? To save monitoring cost!
  • Having more than a few filters on multiple 100 Gbit units?
  • Having burst traffic? You need more buffer and a buffer management!

​And many more questions coming up in the daily use of an NPB.

An NPB is the switch army knife for network monitoring experts. When choosing a network packet broker, it’s essential to select a device which can perform all functions required for managing your network architecture. Today’s networks must support ever-increasing traffic volumes, higher speeds and increased requirements for security, analytics, and compliance. To provide the scale needed for these new services, NPBs need to have powerful hardware.
Cubro has this offering with its own unique hardware and software. Our products have several features for a fair price. Unlike other vendors, we have no hidden costs in terms of port and software licenses. Cubro offers a superior alternative to managing distributed, oversubscribed monitoring tools and at the same time protects the investment already made in these tools.
Now that you’re aware of the difference between a commodity product and a network packet broker, make the right choice for your network. Find out more about the advanced features of Cubro’s network packet brokers at