Understanding Network Packet Broker

The Arista Network Packet Broker (NPB) solution enables users to deploy a dedicated modular, scalable monitoring fabric with a distributed architecture that connects to shared analytics and security tools located anywhere in the network. A monitoring fabric deployed as part of Arista's NPB solution features centralized management capabilities and logically functions as a distributed virtual chassis.

A network packet broker topology is built on top of the familiar NetVisor OS's Unified Cloud Fabric: it does not require specialized software and a custom fabric, and consequently provides a high degree of flexibility, resiliency, and operational simplicity.

Using network taps or port mirrors, the NPB service copies traffic from a production network to the ingress ports of the monitoring fabric which, in turn, redirects the copied packets to the monitoring tools (which can be located geographically apart).

Arista's implementation employs a VXLAN overlay to transport packets from ingress ports to a “tool farm” (that is, a group of monitoring tools) and supports Equal Cost Multi-Path (ECMP) forwarding in the underlay to address link failures.

For more details on platform support, an example of NPB topology, and the configuration steps, refer to the Configuring Network Packet Broker section.