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Hybrid Network Packet Broker

The EX5-3 Network Packet Broker offers high port density for copper-based networks, a comprehensive feature set, and the same intuitive management options found on all of Cubro’s Packetmaster line.

Copper-based networks using CAT5e, CAT6/6a, and CAT7 cabling are still extremely common today. While media buzz focuses on 100G and 400G deployments, many customer sites are focused on visibility requirements for their 10/100/1000 copper links. Featuring 48 copper ports and supporting thousands of filtering rules, the network packet broker EX5-3 is ideal for deployment in these networks.

What is a hybrid network packet broker?

A hybrid network packet broker combines the features of a common network switch and a network packet broker. As a result, it offers better inline monitoring applications like traffic blocking (a feature similar to that of a Firewall). Since the switch and the network packet broker are in one unit, it saves cost and space. Additionally, there is no need for physical TAP which also reduces the cost.

The EX5-3 also offers 4 x 1/10G SFP+ interfaces. The EX5-3 shines in requirements where copper-based tools need access to fiber-based network infrastructure. Granular filtering options and the ability to support session-aware load balancing keep copper-based tools relevant even in networks where the infrastructure has moved to 10G speeds.

The EX5-3 is an excellent choice in network environments that are still heavily based on CAT5/5e/6/6a/7 cabling or where it is critical to get copper-based monitoring and security tools access to 1G and 10G fiber links.

Main Features of EX5-3

  • Filters and load balances traffic from 10 Gbps links to multiple 1 Gbps monitoring tools
  • Aggregates multiple 1 Gbps links to 10 Gbps monitoring tools
  • 48 x 10/100/1000 Base-T ports
  • 4 x 1/10 Gbps (SFP/SFP+)
  • Supports traffic modifications up to layer 4 as well as changing, removing and adding VLAN and GRE tunnels
  • Up to 3500 parallel rules
  • IPv6 support
  • 2-year warranty period

Functions & Benefits of EX5-3

  • Filtering and Load Balancing from L2 to L4
  • Easy to configure: Via Web GUI
  • GRE / VXLAN Tunnel support: The Packetmaster EX5-3, like all Packetmaster Series NPBs, can function as a GRE / VXLAN tunnel endpoint.
  • Session aware load balancing, up to 15 load balancing groups
  • Cubro Vitrum Management Suite: EX5-3 is fully compatible with Cubro Vitrum, a centralized management platform for all Cubro network visibility solutions.

Extended Functions

The management host controller of every EX unit runs a full featured Debian Linux as operating system. On this host script languages like Python, Perl, TCL, or simple Linux shells are available to run 3rd party applications to extend the function of the Packetmaster. These applications can be developed by Cubro or the customer


  • A Perl script collects counters and writes these counters in an external SQL Database for later analysis.
  • A Python script collects counters and writes them to an SQL database for later analysis.
  • A Python script dynamically changes filters based on link load data collected from another Packetmaster.
  • A shell script pings different devices and changes filter rules based on ping response.
Link/Port AggregationAggregation many to any, and any to many at all link speeds
10 Gbps traffic demultiplexerThe traffic can be easily demultiplexed into 48 lower speed Gbps ports to monitor highly loaded 10 Gbps links.
Jumbo Frame SupportThe Packetmaster supports jumbo Ethernet frames with a size of up to 12000 bytes
Support of IPv4 and IPv6Yes
Ports48 x SFP 1 Gbps 4 x SPF+ 10 Gbps 1 x 10/100/1000 Base-T (Management) 1 x RS232 Console
Configuration/ CommunicationWeb GUI, CLI via SSH or Telnet, REST API, SNMP, RADIUS
Bandwidth176 Gbps backplane 100 % throughput without any packet loss
Aggregation latencyAverage 1 µs for 64-byte frames
MTBF196.750 hours
Different Power Versions100- 230V AC dual power supply (DC power modules available)


  • 48 x 10/100/1000 Mbps Base-T ports
  • 4 x 1/10G Gbps full duplex
  • SFP Ports for any kind of SFP/SFP+
  • Each port can be input or / and output depending on the application and configuration


  • 48 x 10/100/1000 Mbps Base-T ports
  • 4 x 1/10G Gbps full duplex
  • SFP Ports for any kind of SFP/SFP+
  • Each port can be input or / and output depending on the application and configuration


  • Performance up to 176 Gbps
  • Non-blocking design
  • Estimated boot time up to 280 sec
  • Packet delay through processing less than 1 µs


  • RJ45 10/100 Mbps; ssh and/or Web GUI
  • RS-232 Serial; CLI

Operating specifications

  • Operating Temperature: 0ºC to 45ºC
  • Storage Temperature: -10ºC to 70ºC
  • Relative Humidity: 10% min, 95% max (non condensing)

Mechanical specifications

  • Dimension (WxDxH): 44 X 37 X 4.36 cm
  • Weight: 6,1 kg (Includes 2 Power Modules)
  • Airflow: Front-back
  • Quantity of Fans: 3
  • (NOT Hot swappable)

Electrical specifications

  • Input Power: 100-240V
  • Maximum Power Consumption: 60W


  • Fully RoHS compliant
  • CE compliant
  • Safety – UL 60950-1 / CSA C22.2 60950-1-07 / IEC 60950-1 (2005) EN 60950-1 (2006)


Traffic aggregation from many input ports to one or many output ports. This also works with different link speeds of up to 10 Gbps.


3500 flow rules (filters) can be set in the unit. The red dot marked fields can be used as a match for a packet, stand-alone, combined or with wild cards. For IP Src and IP Dst supernets are supported.

  • Output: Forward the traffic to one or more ports (even the input port).
  • Drop: Drop (discard) the traffic
  • Modify: Modify header information such as VLAN tag, source MAC, destination MAC, source IP, destination IP, source Port, and destination Port.
  • Add VLAN tag: The Packetmaster EX units can add or append VLAN tags to the filtered traffic to separate or identify it after aggregation/output. (Up to six VLAN tags are possible).
  • Strip VLAN: Remove VLAN tag(s) (Q in Q support).
  • Rule Priority/Rule Stacking: The ability to prioritize filtering rules allows for very complex filtering possibilities.

Session Aware Load Balancing

The EX5-3 supports Session Aware Load balancing by means of selectable hash-criteria. Thus, every packet that belongs to the same conversation/flow is sent to the same output port within a load-balancing group.

Product Components

  • Cubro EX5-3
  • AC or DC power supply modules
  • Power cord
  • Transceivers not included
Part NumberDescription
CUB.PM-EX5-3Packetmaster EX5-3, 48x1G Base-T and 4x10G Network Packet Broker
CUB.PM-DC-DDC Power supply module for Cubro Packetmaster EX5-3 and EX6-3
CUB.RR19-1UUniversal Rackrail Kit for 1U 19″ units (Packet/Sessionmaster)

Spare parts

Part NumberDescription
CUB.PM-AC-DAC Power supply module for CUBRO Packetmaster EX5-3 and EX6-3
CUB.PM-DC-DDC Power supply module for CUBRO Packetmaster EX5-3 and EX6-3

Additional Resources

Cubro Packetmaster Port Configuration
using the Web GUI

Configuring GRE Tunnels on EX5-3

Cubro Packetmaster Split QSFP Interface
using the CLI

Rules and Filters Part 1: Basic Traffic Flows

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