NETSCOUT Transforms the Paradigm for Portable Network Analysis with New Secure Enterprise-Class Sniffer Global Solution

29 Jan 2009

Next generation software-based portable protocol analysis tool addresses the overlooked security "Black Hole" with centralized user-based policy control and reporting for large-scale networks

WESTFORD, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- NetScout Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTCT), today announced the availability of Sniffer® Global, the industry’s first enterprise-class software-based portable network analyzer solution for both wired and wireless networks, continuing forward with its execution and integration of its acquisition of Network General and its products and technologies.

Extending the industry’s most advanced and widely deployed Sniffer Portable network analyzer software, Sniffer Global is an enterprise-class portable network analyzer solution that brings much needed security, control, user activity reporting and enhanced manageability that raises the bar in portable software-based network analyzer technology. With deployment-proven, best-in-class functionality, rich expert modes and packet-level analysis capabilities and the industry’s widest range of protocol decodes, Sniffer Global delivers intuitive, easy-to-use dashboards and network views that include deep packet drill-down capabilities to aid field service personnel in the identification of localized network performance issues in real-time.

Plugging the Black Hole – With Security, Control and Reporting

The portable protocol analyzer remains a widely used front-line tool that helps to improve real-time troubleshooting with localized provisional visibility for today’s modern IP network. However, the portable protocol analysis tools currently in use have evolved without much attention to the requirements for security, governance and control of how these tools are utilized. Although organizations have heavily invested in securing access to the network and its data to safeguard valuable information from hijack, theft or unauthorized access, the portable network analyzer has emerged as the overlooked security “black-hole” that essentially bypasses all established security mechanisms or policies without detection. Assuming a person can physically connect to the network, portable protocol analyzers have typically had full, uncontrolled access to network traffic traversing the wire – until now.

The NetScout Sniffer Global solution addresses this widely overlooked security risk by integrating the portable protocol analyzer into a policy-based, secure operating environment that is governed and controlled from a central authentication server. Combining desktop analysis software with a centralized control server and pre-defined policies, Sniffer Global controls what network data a portable analyzer user has access to, and how deeply they can access and analyze network traffic or data. Sniffer Global offers seamless user reporting that provides a comprehensive audit trail of all users’ activities – detailing who has accessed the network, what they have accessed and/or monitored, and what functions or analysis was performed on the data accessed – representing a truly unprecedented level of visibility into how the portable protocol analysis tool has been used.

“Since the early days of TCP/IP networks, the traditional ‘go to’ tool that network managers use to troubleshoot and resolve problems has always been the portable protocol analyzer,” said Debra Curtis, research vice president at Gartner, Inc. “However, the protocol analyzer’s ability to look into the payload of network packets may unwittingly expose an enterprise to security risks. With today’s emphasis on corporate compliance and audit oversight, customers are looking for ways to protect the integrity of their networks by monitoring, reporting and controlling access to potentially confidential network data.”

With its advanced protocol analysis features and enterprise-class flexibility and security, Sniffer Global is a complement to the end-to-end NetScout nGenius Performance Solution – providing a portable solution that is ideal for use in network and application development and deployment and is optimized for use by field service and support teams, at branch offices and remote or temporary locations.

Extending its enterprise-class capabilities, Sniffer Global delivers best-in-class decodes and expert analysis that combine the range of capabilities of both nGenius and Sniffer technology for faster local analysis across the broadest range of network and application protocols. In addition, Sniffer Global provides support for both wired 10/100/1000 Ethernet and wireless 802.11 a/b/g/n networks with consistent operation and functionality from the same software helping to reduce desktop tool clutter while greatly accelerating problem resolution.

Sniffer Global also eases the management of enterprise-wide deployments by simplifying the process for updating the IT workforce’s laptops by enabling users to determine if software updates are available from anywhere they may be connected. With a single-click, users can quickly update their local software versions and obtain the most current levels of decode and expert capabilities from the central server. The server tracks which user has updated their software and which software version is running on each authorized user’s laptop – easing and streamlining the management of enterprise-wide deployments and helping to lower the total cost of ownership of portable protocol analysis tools.

“With tens of thousands of users globally, Sniffer Portable technology has become the de facto standard for portable protocol analysis. The introduction of Sniffer Global represents a highly innovative approach to the next generation of portable protocol analysis tools,” said Steven Shalita, vice president of marketing, NetScout Systems. “The evolution of Sniffer technology not only represents our continued commitment to the evolution of NetScout and former Network General technologies, it directly addresses the continuing need for securing access to corporate networks and the sensitive data they carry. The introduction of Sniffer Global delivers the first enterprise-class portable network analysis solution that enables IT organizations to immediately plug the ‘black hole’ of portable analyzers with end-to-end governance and accountability for how portable network analysis tools are used.”


Sniffer Global is available now and is available in either an enterprise-wide license with unlimited users or as a 10-user licensed deployment. Existing users of the Network General Sniffer Portable software can easily upgrade their deployments to gain the benefits of Sniffer Global and may be eligible for special upgrade offers. Please contact NetScout or your NetScout authorized reseller for more information.

About NetScout Systems

NetScout Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTCT) is the industry leader in advanced network, application and service delivery management solutions. For over twenty years, NetScout has delivered breakthrough technology solutions that provide trusted, comprehensive real-time and historical performance intelligence, including advanced early warnings and rapid, definitive problem analysis. These capabilities have become vital, and increasingly strategic, to IT organizations. The world’s largest enterprises, government agencies, and service providers depend upon NetScout nGenius solutions to assure service delivery to their users by preventing disruptions and degradations. More information about NetScout Systems is available at

NetScout, the NetScout logo, Network General, the Network General logo, nGenius and Sniffer are trademarks or registered trademarks of NetScout Systems, Inc. Other brands, product names and trademarks are property of their respective owners. NetScout reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to make changes at any time in its technical information and specifications, and service and support programs.


Source: NetScout Systems, Inc.

NetScout Systems, Inc.
Christine Johansen, 978-614-4113
Manager, Public Relations
Davies Murphy Group, Inc.
Rob Morton, 781-418-2460