The use of high-speed Ethernet, such as 100Mbit/sec in the enterprise, continues to increase each year, but unfortunately support is always a step behind.
Shomiti Systems' Explorer 2.1 and Surveyor 2.2 are among the first packages aimed at helping network managers oversee a 100Mbit/sec-switched Ethernet environment.
Shomiti's solution to high-speed-packet ana-lysis is based on its hardware solution, dubbed Explorer. This box, along with its accompanying software, Surveyor, can monitor your 10/100 Ethernet network for both half-duplex and full-duplex streams. And unlike Network General's Sniffer, this box actually captures the entire stream at wire speed.
Further, the Sync module in the Surveyor now combines the two 100Mbit/sec streams into one full-duplex capture, including all seven layers, with the packet decode. This was a significant improvement compared with its previous solution, which kept each 100Mbit/sec stream separate, requiring you to manually combine the two.
In my tests the Explorer box (and its accompanying tap) withstood bulk file copy tremendously well. Explorer and Surveyor managed to capture every byte of the 100Mbit/sec-switched connection at full duplex. But the product's high-speed capture is just the sample that gets you addicted.
Among the Surveyor solution's other marquee pieces is its support for Cisco protocols, including CDP, DISL, EIGRP, and VTP. These full decodes are next to impossible to find in comparable packet analysers, and they can be essential to troubleshooting any routing problems.
Surveyor offers a variety of RMon2-like information, including application-layer statistics and top-10 conversations. But don't take the marketing literature too seriously when it comes to RMon2 capabilities.
Shomiti does not provide any decodes for SAP protocols. This could be a serious problem if you support a mostly SAP shop and need to troubleshoot a connection.
Explorer 2.1 and Surveyor 2.2
Shomiti lives up to its claim of wire-speed packet captures at switched full-duplex 100Mbit/sec. The hardware involved in obtaining this level of performance is not cheap, but this nonetheless may be just the ticket.
Pros: Wire 100 full duplex; full decodes for Cisco protocols CDP, DISL, EIGRP, IGRP, and VTP; packet generator, distributed control; CiscoVLAN breakdownsCons: No expert mode; no SAP decodesPlatforms: Windows 95, Windows NTPrice: Explorer: starts at $16,000, $633 for a single tap; Surveyor: $1499Shomiti Systems Info: www.shomiti.comDistributed in Australia by:
Tel (02) 9894 5656 Fax (02) 9894-6848