May 11, 2020—

IT Infra Nirvana… Saving the Budget While You Build a Better Data Center

The Distributed Services Platform saves CapEx and OpEx as compared to traditional approaches to Networking, Security and Monitoring requirements

By: Bob Doud

OK… so you’re telling us that Pensando’s “Distributed Services” architecture brings such enormous benefits to the data center, and it’s not going to cost more?  That seems hard to believe, given that the premise is to place sophisticated visibility, security, networking and storage services at each and every server node. But for many of our customers, it’s true:

The Distributed Services Platform saves CapEx and OpEx as compared to traditional
approaches to Network Monitoring, Security and Networking requirements.

Let’s explore some examples of how this comes about.

Network Monitoring, Visibility and Troubleshooting

For most infrastructure owners, it’s essential to be able to monitor the network in real-time, and that’s particularly important when there’s a serious outage. Ideally, you’d have the ability to monitor every server connection using fiber or copper Taps placed at critical server connections, typically feeding into an independent TAP network. This enables collecting NetFlow/IPFIX information or using ERSPAN to mirror selected traffic to analysis tools. But traditional network TAP approaches add real complexity and cost to the data center, requiring additional aggregation switches, cable runs and monitoring devices, so more often than not, only sparse selected points can be fully observed.

Figure 1: Traditional TAP Network

With the Pensando Distributed Services Platform, network monitoring can occur at every network port, with source filtering on desired flows to more efficiently manage the volume of Tap traffic. This eliminates costly Taps and also one additional layer of Aggregation Switches and associated transceivers and cabling.

Figure 2: Pensando Distributed Intelligent Monitoring

Network Security

A distributed approach to ‘East-West’ security means that multiple traditional firewall appliances can be retired, along with their associated yearly support and maintenance costs. This also holds for legacy micro-segmentation licenses or other ‘virtual’ security solutions. The Pensando Distributed Services Platform places all of these features directly at the server edge where they are most effective, and consolidates the expense and complexity of “Multi-Vendor Bloat” into a single, holistically-managed system.

Figure 3: Distributed Security at Every Server Edge 

The Pensando Distributed Services Platform simplifies your network by eliminating traffic “tromboning” in and out of discrete security appliances. As the distributed services platform streamlines network services, security functions are also easily distributed with Policy and Configuration dictated by the central policy manager.

Operational Simplicity Savings

While it’s harder to quantify the cost savings, distributed services at each server results in a cloud-like “flatter” network topology with a unified policy model, enabling deployment of new applications and workloads in substantially shorter time. IT staff can spend less time on plumbing issues and spend more time on innovation and rolling-out new services.


Pensando has developed a TCO Calculator tool that allows creating a customized analysis and breakdown of the Total Cost of Ownership factors when adopting the Distributed Services Platform solution.  Contact your sales representative for further information.

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Learn how Pensando’s revolutionary Distributed Service Platform can transform the way you build your IT infrastructure. If you’d like to know more about Pensando, partner with us, or work with us (Yes, we’re hiring!), please let us know.