How it Works

Data Sources

Capture Data for Network and Application Performance Management From Any Source, Anywhere, Anytime

Capture Data From Any Source, Anywhere, Anytime

Skylight™ monitors and measures network and application performance as well as end-user experience by collecting network flows and application transaction data from the widest variety of sources, including physical and virtualized servers in branch offices and data centers; private, public, and hybrid cloud environments; and software-defined networks.

Deployment of Skylight is straightforward: no software agents or packet brokers are required, nor any change to the network architecture. As a result, Skylight has zero impact on production networks and no new single points of failure (SPOF) are introduced.

Skylight supports both flow-based (e.g., NetFlow v5, NetFlow v9, IPFix, etc.) and packet-based wire data analytics.

Skylight relies on any of three approaches for capturing network traffic:

  • Port-mirroring (commonly called SPAN, with support for RSPAN and ERSPAN variants)
  • Terminal access point (TAP) or network packet broker (NPB) devices
  • Skylight flow broker virtualized packet broker, featuring Accedian’s flow broker™ technology

Port mirroring is the most commonly used method for capturing network and application traffic. It is inexpensive to deploy, flexible in terms of the volume of traffic data to be captured, and remotely configurable.

Taps are unobtrusive, undetectable on the network, and can deal with both full-duplex and non-shared networks. Taps monitor all packets, including hardware errors (i.e., MAC and media), and provide full visibility even when switches are operating under heavy network load. Taps are configured to “fail open” so that if a fault occurs or the device loses power, network traffic will typically continue to pass through, thus minimizing potential traffic interruptions. (For more on the advantages of SPAN vs TAP, please see this blog post: How to capture traffic? (SPAN vs TAP))

For remote environments, such as branch sites, where traffic capture through port mirroring is not possible or the deployment of taps is not feasible, there is Skylight flow broker, a virtualized packet broker that employs lightweight, remote capture modules to stream flows to Skylight sensors without requiring any form of compute at the remote site.

From Branch Offices to Data Centers and All Cloud Environments

Data collection can be performed across all IT environments—including physical and virtualized servers in branch offices and data centers, private, public, and hybrid cloud environments, and software-defined networks—enabling Skylight to provide a full 360° view of performance across all network and application access scenarios.