Smart SFP Integration with PlumSpace

Run NetBeez on a Smart SFP

I am happy to announce that NetBeez and PlumSpace, a vendor of Smart SFPs, have successfully tested an integration between the two company’s products. This integration enables PlumSpace users to install NetBeez agents on their Smart SFPs and gain the benefits of high performance network monitoring. NetBeez users have the ability to consider Smart SFPs as an alternative agent-deployment option. Here’s the press release:

PlumSpace collaborates with NetBeez to offer Smart SFP based high-performance network monitoring for the distributed enterprise and service providers.

PlumSpace and NetBeez now offer Smart SFP based high-performance network monitoring for the distributed enterprise and service providers. PlumSpace, a vendor of advanced Smart SFPs, and NetBeez, a company with cloud and on-premise proactive network monitoring solutions, have completed an integration of Smart SFP Network appliances with NetBeez software agents.

Smart SFP supports all of the capabilities of the feature-rich NetBeez agent and management dashboard (ICMP/TCP ping, DNS, HTTP, Traceroute, iPerf and speed test based performance tests, VoIP testing) in a Small Form-factor Pluggable appliance. Smart SFP Network appliances can be deployed in remote offices and connected to a switch or a router to monitor the performance of the LAN and WAN. Smart SFP can be installed either in-line (replacing existing standard SFP) or out-of-line without assigning dedicated IP-address by using a Loaned IP feature.

Smart SFP integrated with NetBeez network monitoring platforms enhance the visibility and performance of WAN networks with:

  • In-line installation to optical links
  • Real-time data and analytics
  • Network and application performance
  • Running tests between agents and other network hosts
  • No free rack space and separate power supply required

What’s an SFP?

A Small Form-factor Pluggable (SFP) is a network interface module that is inserted into network and voice communication equipment. The benefit of an SFP port is that it enables equipment to support a wide variety of media and connection types (fiber, copper, etc.). SFPs can be hot plugged and hot swapped. To see a list of media and connection types, please consult the SFP wikipedia page.

A smart SFP includes extra functionality within the transceiver itself, such as service-assurance and Ethernet operation, administration, and maintenance (OAM).

Pictured: an Ethernet and fiber smart SFP (photo courtesy of PlumSpace).

About PlumSpace’s Smart SFP

Smart SFP is a unique telecommunication platform that allows getting standard networking device in the SFP form factor, such as:

  • Appliance for IP SLA agent
  • IP SLA Probe
  • Smart Loopback
  • SFP with integrated OTDR
  • 3-port Ethernet switch
  • Precision network time server (PTP grandmaster clock) 
  • 5G/4G USB router
  • uCPE

The Smart SFP appliance developed by PlumSpace runs a stripped down version of Linux Debian 8.1 Jessie with kernel version 4.14.22. The hardware specs are the following:

  • ARMv7 CPU, 528 MHz, 1 core
  • RAM 512 MB
  • Flash 4 GB

The PlumSpace team was able to easily install a NetBeez agent running version 4.1.2 and set up a test lab scenario to make sure all the features are supported. The diagram below shows the test environment deployed. Iperf tests were set up between a NetBeez agent installed on the Smart SFP application and a NetBeez agent running on a virtual machine. See the following diagram:

Network diagram of the NetBeez Smart SFP integration (photo courtesy of PlumSpace).

During the testing, the PlumSpace team discovered that the Smart SFP was able to sustain almost 190 Mbps of throughput via iperf. On the NetBeez online documentation you can read the full testing report prepared by the PlumSpace team about the Smart SFP integration.

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