The Cubro EXA8 is a universal platform which is small in size but still powerful. It can be used for several monitoring applications for the enterprises, lab testing markets, and tactical markets.
The main components of this platform are 4 copper links (8 ports) and 2 x 10 Gbit SPF+ ports, a lot of CPU power and memory, USB 3.0 and M2 disc interface internally*. The copper ports are links safe (TAPs) which enable the device to be used inline. Especially, in an enterprise application, this is very useful and saves money because one unit can do tapping, aggregation, filtering, NetFlow and capturing the traffic.
The unit can be used inline because of the 4 integrated TAPs and with span ports or external TAPs. This gives a lot of possible functions and upgrade options. The upgrade and function changes can be done via the integrated USD card slot. The small mechanical dimension gives the option to mount two units in a one U 19” frame.
This is the simplest application, up to 4 links 10/100/1000 Mbit can be aggregated to one or two 10 Gbit ports (optical or electrical). This traffic can be forwarded to any monitoring system.
In the case of a power down situation, the links are protected by the internal TAPs. The advanced TAPs are so fast that the links do not go down, only a few packets get lost. The interruption time is between 20 and 30 ms. The output can be a 10 Gbit optical or even a 10 Gbit electrical port. If the load is small enough, then even 1 Gbit bandwidth can be selected as the output. This is a typical application for many enterprises. The advantage is the combination of 4 links and aggregation in one small device.
With the EXA8 it is possible to connect with optical or electrical TAPS and filter the S1u and S1MME traffic and extract the traffic of one customer. This is filtering and correlation in Layer 6. The traffic can be captured with a standard laptop with Wireshark, to get a full session from a specific customer. Up to 256 of these filters can run simultaneously. To make the captures even more useful the GTP tunnel could be also removed. The 10 Gbit version of the EXA8 could also be used in the core network to look with a standard laptop and Wireshark in mobile core interfaces, and trace one specific customer.
!Note: The power footprint is important for devices that run 24/7
*M.2 is a specification for internal expansion cards on PC mainboards and notebook computers. M.2 was conceived as a successor of the mSATA interface and for the first time introduced by Intel in 2012 under the label Next Generation Form Factor (NGFF). As for usage and interface variety, M.2 is more flexible because not only SATA signals can be transmitted via the M.2 interface but also USB and PCIe. Thereby extended functions are possible e.g. the application of WLAN, Bluetooth, GPS or NFC cards. The M.2 Bus is very fast and there are different storage versions available.