High level view of some typical NMAs and their general application categories.
Most network monitoring appliance (NMA) vendors rely on industry standard servers from Cisco, Dell, HP, Super Micro or others for their appliance hardware and spend most of their R&D dollars on software. This combination of generic hardware and proprietary software is often not powerful enough to handle the deluge of network traffic these appliances receive. This is particularly true as vendors have to contend with 10, 40 and now 100 gigabits of traffic on a single port.
There are different solutions to this conundrum but they are all bounded by at least three fundamental requirements: 1) The solution must fit into an industry standard server, 2) must not require major modification to the vendor’s software and 3) must be cost effective.