cPacket opens up real-time network timestamping protocol - Embedded.com

cPacket opens up real-time network timestamping protocol

Mountain View, Ca .- cPacket Networks has placed in the public domain a new solution for accurate timestamping of high speed network traffic in real-time that it thinks deals with high performance networking “hiccups.”

According to Rony Kay, founder and CEO of cPacket, with the new protocol microbursts of latency or jitter — can be identified immediately, and addressed before negatively impacting system performance.

By placing this software solution in the public domain, he said, cPacket is enabling data center operations, high frequency trading platforms, and application developers to benefit from real-time accurate timestamping in high speed networks, at no cost.

“In today’s environment, high speed networks are at the heart of many organizations’ IT infrastructures,” said Kay. “Data centers rely on these networks to deliver services and applications; high performance computing depends on them for scientific applications, complex simulations, medical research, and others; and financial organizations rely on very fast networks for high frequency trading.

“In the latter, a microsecond delay in trades can cause losses of millions of dollars. For such networks, accurate timestamping is a crucial component of network monitoring, to ensure a consistent quality of service, and to address performance problems in a timely manner.”

Historically, software monitoring solutions have had to rely on timestamping by specialized network interface cards (NIC) in conjunction with span ports or aggregation taps.But timestamping at the NIC level, said Kay, creates inherent inaccuracies caused by buffering,
queuing, and random variations of span ports or aggregation before the data arrives at the NIC.

“These fundamental inaccuracies contaminate the upstream software analytics, becoming the root cause of misleading results, and results in less-than-optimal applications performance,” he said.“Monitoring applications with existing solutions is like driving a car on a freeway with a broken speedometer, and then wondering why you are getting speeding tickets.

”In this new approach, the accurate real-time information obtain is timestamped on the applications data on the fly directly “at the wire,” before queuing, buffering, or aggregations can alter its timing behavior.

The company’s new software enables users and application developers to seamlessly integrate such real-time timestamping into existing solutions, or into open source tools like Tcpdump, Wireshark, and n2disk.

When used with hardware timestamping directly at the wire, said Kay, the software enables any application to take full advantage of the most accurate inline timestamping in a standard format (including pcap, libcap, etc.).

The standard format and seamless integration means no changes to the user’s application software are required.cPacket is making this new software and driver available free of charge in the public domain to customers, application developers, other solution vendors, universities and the open source community.

The source code for the software is available now from cPacket at www.cpacket.com/tsutils. All cPacket solutions support this real-time timestamping. To learn more about cPacket go to www.cpacket.com.

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