Observer GigaStor

Observer GigaStor

Retrospective Network Analyser

The undisputed leader in back-in-time analysis, Observer GigaStor eliminates the time-consuming task of recreating problems for troubleshooting, or for investigating possible security threats. Just hit rewind to go back in time and review past network activity. Navigate to the exact moment of the service anomaly to see detailed, packet-level views before, during, and after the occurrence.

Eliminate unnecessary finger pointing between IT teams with fast and accurate root cause identification. Speed resolution of any application, network, or UC issue, while using the security forensics capabilities of GigaStor to serve as the final arbiter on whether a breach has occurred and what resources have been compromised.

GigaStor and the Observer Platform family of products are ideally suited for satisfying business goals and overcoming challenges across the entire IT enterprise lifecycle whether deploying new technologies, managing current resources, solving service anomalies, or optimizing IT asset usage.

Examples include:

  • Deploy
    • Fine-Tuning of Deployments: Track critical KPIs that indicate user experience by highlighting the before/after relationship to resource settings goals
  • Solve
    • Access and Performance: Detect anomalies using dashboards and workflows so the right team can be deployed
    • Attack Remediation: Using packet-level detail, forensically reconstruct incident to identify who did what, when, and where


GigaStor is the perfect solution for your network’s security, compliance, and troubleshooting needs. For gigabit to 40 Gb links with available storage capacity of more than a petabyte, easy-select form factors are designed to scale with your organization.

What advantages does GigaStor offer network and operations teams?

  • Fastest packet capture and write-to-storage in the industry offers the best back-in-time peace-of-mind
  • Anytime, anywhere packet intelligence with web-based capture extraction availability
  • Storage capacity of more than a petabyte of data
  • Exclusive Gen3 packet capture technology
  • AES-256 data-at-rest encryption
  • Integration with Hardware Security Modules (HSM)
  • Superior scalability
  • Advanced root-cause analysis
  • Tight platform integration
  • Portable and software-only options
  • Application-specific error monitoring
  • OSI Model Layer 2 to 4 expert analytics


Line-Rate Packet Capture

GigaStor supports line-rate 1 and 10 Gb with 40 Gb ingress network capture performance, ensuring total transaction visibility and intelligence. Tuned hardware-software design, with an advanced GigaStor accelerated analytics engine, achieves simultaneous line-rate capture and the fastest packet capture mining in the industry for nearly instant network traffic awareness.

Web-Based Capture Extraction

Gain anytime, anywhere access to packet-level data with GigaStor web-based capture extraction. Leveraging a built-in web service included with GigaStor and valid credentials, critical service-level communications can now be mined through a browser. Whether performing troubleshooting directly or sharing with third-party solutions, web-based capture extraction makes sharing packets simple.

Time Navigation Interface

GigaStor Time Navigation InterfaceSimplify problem isolation with GigaStor’s unique time-based navigation system. Identify time of problem occurrence, and then navigate down to the nanosecond for quick and accurate root-cause identification. GigaStor also offers a big-picture view with a macro timeline graph for proactive management, showing related problems and spikes occurring before an incident so you can dig deeper to prevent reoccurrence.


Root-Cause Analysis

GigaStor Root Cause AnaylsisSift through more than a petabyte of data, perform analysis, and find the problem through root-cause analysis – minimizing downtime and end-user impact. From an enterprise-wide view, you can track bandwidth utilization, network Top Talkers, application metrics, and even VoIP quality statistics.

Have more than one GigaStor? Multi-GigaStor Analysis allows you to extract and combine data from numerous appliances into one console. This provides a consolidated view of all GigaStor data, making visualization of the entire network path simple.

Improved Custom Built Enclosures

GigaStor appliances are now built on an even more solid, custom-designed foundation. Viavi improved on the existing 2U and 5U enclosures to deal with today’s increasing heavy network loads. All GigaStor appliances are developed to support four years of uninterrupted, 100% duty-cycle, line-rate capture without dropping a single packet for the ultimate in network conversation visibility and peace of mind.

Robust Data Protection

AES-256 data-at-rest encryption protects sensitive user data when held within GigaStor without degradation to packet capture and storage performance. Integration with hardware security modules (HSM) enables GigaStor appliances to perform conversation-based decryption using SSL/TSL certificates while fully complying with PKCS #11 standards.

High Performance Capture and Analysis

The Viavi Solutions Gen3 capture card, developed in-house with the advanced GigaStor accelerated analytics engine, is designed to deliver the maximum capture, processing, and mining performance in the industry. By closely integrating hardware and software, the tuned architecture can easily support line rate gigabit and 10 Gb with the ability to support more than 40 Gb of inbound traffic without dropping a single packet.

Network Security Forensics

GigaStor Security ForensicsGigaStor makes collaboration between the network, operations, and security teams simple. It captures and stores all network conversations for later analysis and reporting, making it ideal for augmenting existing real-time security solutions and for satisfying compliance objectives. GigaStor not only shows conversations, it can reconstruct the mined data – providing evidence such as phone conversations, web pages, instant messages, and emails while also allowing security teams to determine which assets were compromised.

Application Analysis

GigaStor Application AnalysisWhen used with Observer Analyzer, GigaStor delivers immense depth of application detail in a few mouse clicks. More than just HTTP traffic monitoring, GigaStor application analysis goes beyond simple response times for deep payload intelligence and faster mean-time-to-resolution.  It also includes transaction analysis for breakout details into actual application behavior between tiers along with Expert Analytics packed with a variety of advanced analysis tools that save critical minutes, hours, even days of troubleshooting time.


All Observer GigaStor appliances include a local Observer Analyzer Expert Edition console and can connect to any Analyzer Expert or Suite Edition.

To ensure the highest performance packet capture and mining, all appliance and portable models use Viavi Solutions in-house designed  Gen3™ capture card.

The appliances support gigabit and 10 Gb interfaces.

GigaStor Form Factor Storage Capacity
GigaStor Software Edition (GSE) or Virtual Appliance 1/4/8 TB
GigaStor Portable 6 TB (SSD) / 9 TB (HDD)
GigaStor Appliance (2U) 16-32 TB
GigaStor Appliance (5U) 96 TB-1.2 PB

GigaStor Software Edition (GSE)

GSE and virtual appliance are software-only products. GSE is available in multiple license choices, supporting 1 TB to 8 TB of storage. It’s a perfect choice for deployment within virtualized server environments to gain visibility into east-west vSwitch traffic, or on a laptop for back-in-time packet capture and analysis at the data center core, network edge, and beyond. GSE is identical in most ways to GigaStor hardware purchased from Viavi. However, there are differences that exist due to GSE naturally lacking GigaStor hardware components like the capture card and high-performance RAID card(s).

GigaStor Portable

GigaStor Portable is a custom-designed appliance built to allow for flexible application and network debug, especially where a dedicated probe is not optimal. Its lightweight form factor makes it easy to quickly move around the data center or transport to a branch office.

16 in (W) x 12.8 in (H) x 8 in (D)
29 lbs / 52 lbs with case

Power Consumption (Full load):
Input Voltage: 100V-240V auto select
Input Frequency: 50/60Hz
307W (1048 Btu/h) (HDD based model)
378W (1290 Btu/h) (SSD based model)

GigaStor Appliance (2U)

The GigaStor 2U  models are available with four ports, one with gigabit network-only support, the other gigabit and/or 10 Gb. Storage capacities are 16 or 32 TB. Ideal for small/medium data centers or the network edge.

2U 19-inch rack-mountable appliance
19 in (W) x 26.01 in (mounting depth)

64 lbs (handling)
71 lbs (mounted)

Power Consumption (Full load):
Input Voltage: 100V-240V auto select
Input Frequency: 50/60Hz
307W (1048 Btu/h) (GS-4P-16T)
330W (1126 Btu/h) (GS-4P-32T)

Lights Out Capability:
Manage, monitor, and control the probe remotely through an intuitive web-based Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) v2.0 port.

GigaStor Appliance (5U)

GigaStor 5U models are available with eight ports and gigabit/10 Gb network support. Storage capacities begin at 96 TB and with expansion JBODs can increase to 1.2 PB. Best for larger data center(s) deployments or anywhere that requires extended back-in-time capabilities.

5U 19-inch rack-mountable appliance
19 in (W) x 26.01 in (mounting depth) (all models)

5U (GS-8P-96T, GS-JBOD-96T)
10U (GS-8P-192T)
15U (GS-8P-288T)
16.84 in (W) x 26.08 (mounting depth)

80 lbs (handling) (GS-8P-96T, GS-JBOD-96T)
116 lbs (mounted) (GS-8P-96T)
80 lbs (handling) (GS-8P-192T)
216 lbs (mounted) (GS-8P-192T)
80 lbs (handling) (GS-8P-288T)
316 lbs (mounted) (GS-8P-288T)
100 lbs (mounted) (GS-JBOD-96T)

Power Consumption (Full load):
Input Voltage: 100V-240V auto select
Input Frequency: 50/60Hz
704W (2402 Btu/h) (GS-8P-96T)
1036W (3535 Btu/h) (GS-8P-192T)
1328W (4531 Btu/h) (GS-8P-288T)
292W (996 Btu/h) (GS-JBOD-96T)

Lights Out Capability:
Manage, monitor and control the probe remotely through an intuitive web-based IPMI v2.0 port.

How it’s Deployed

Observer GigaStor appliances can be easily mounted in a standard rack unit. By utilizing the Observer nTAPs included, you can insert and remove a GigaStor from the network without disruption of flow. GigaStor reports back to Observer Analyzer Expert Edition and Suite consoles for in-depth analysis.

GigaStor Software Edition (GSE) is designed to provide all the analytics and back-in-time capabilities of the entire product family with the added flexibility of deployment in nearly any Windows environment. Ideally suited for monitoring virtualized east-west server traffic via installation on a VM instance, it can also be deployed on a laptop for flexible troubleshooting anywhere from branch office to the data center core.

If desired, GigaStor can be configured as a local console for on-site analysis. And because GigaStor integrates into the Observer Platform’s Unified Architecture, it can provide the deep packet, back-in-time insight required for fast, high-level dashboard to root cause workflows.

Best Practices

  • Place GigaStors in the data center core
  • Locate near servers to capture server-to-server traffic
  • The distribution layer is another optimal position for GigaStor
  • Deploy GigaStor Software Edition within virtualized server environments for east-west traffic visibility or on a laptop for flexible troubleshooting anywhere
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