Time Synchronize Geographically Distributed Networks

Many businesses operate in a global context, spanning countries and continents around the world. In modern regulatory environments, accurate timing and reporting are required to remain compliant (e.g. MiFID II). Operators need to ensure that network wide timing is globally synchronized and that this timing is properly distributed.

The ExaNIC GM provides these features in a unique, network adapter form factor. It has an inbuilt GPS receiver, providing globally synchronized timing to local networks. In addition, it has a 0.2 parts per billion (ppb) oven controlled oscillator (OCXO) capable of 24hrs holdover with less than 15us drift. This oscillator can be upgraded to an atomic clock for even greater precision and holdover performance.

The device outputs both PTP and PPS signals for accurate time synchronization with Exablaze and third party products. It can also be used directly as one of our signature low latency network adapters saving space within the rack without wasting a valuable PCIe port.

Diagram showing time synchronization options

Tapping and Packet Timestamping with Aggregation

Sometimes it is necessary to get visibility in the middle of the network and distribute that visibility to the edge for capture/analysis. The ExaLINK Fusion provides tapping, aggregation and packet timestamping at 2.8ns resolution with no additional latency on the critical path.

The Fusion L1 can tap any port and forward it to dedicated monitoring and capture infrastructure. The Fusion L2+ can additionally append timestamps or replace frame checksums (FCS) with timestamps.

These packets can then be captured to disk at the edge of the network using a Fusion x86 module, ExaNIC adapter or a 3rd party device such (e.g. a Corvil appliance). The ExaLINK Fusion L2+ supports GPS, PPS and PTP receivers for timing synchronization and can generate PPS timing signals to synchronize with other devices (e.g. An ExaNIC or other ExaLINK Fusion)

Diagram showing tapping and timestamping using ExaLINK Fusion L1

Network Packet Capture

Network traceability is vital for diagnostics, debugging, monitoring, and compliance. Exablaze provides a variety of solutions that perform high quality network capture using our free and open source Exact Capture software.

For host based capture solutions, the full range of ExaNIC network adaptors provide packet capture with hardware timestamping. The ExaNIC X10, X40 devices provide capture at 6.5ns resolution while, ExaNIC GM and X25 provide 4ns resolution. The ExaNIC HPT provides capture at 0.25ns (250ps) resolution.

The ExaLINK Fusion x86 CPU module provides capture in the heart of the network while simultaneously acting as a Layer 1 patch panel, as a Layer 1.5 aggregator and/or as a Layer 2+ Switch. The ExaLINK Fusion HPT timestamps packets at 0.07ns (70ps) resolution and the x86 CPU module can save this to its permanent internal permanent storage (a PCIe NVME M.2 that can sustain drive at sustained data rates of up to 10Gbs per second). These features make the Fusion x86 the perfect device for critical network packet capture operations.

All ExaLINK Fusion and ExaNIC products support PPS, and PTP time synchronization, and the ExaLINK Fusion and ExaNIC GM support GPS input as well.

Diagram showing network packet capture options