Observer GigaStor
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Observer GigaStor

Accelerate the detection and remediation of network, application, and service anomalies while strengthening your ongoing IT security initiatives with the best packet capture analytics solution on the market today.


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

Observer GigaStor
Observer GigaStor

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

Its flexibility and storage capacity made Observer GigaStor Portable the logical choice on which to standardize our network practice.
- NEC Unified Solutions

Key Features

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
Time Navigation Interface

Time Navigation Interface
Simplify 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
Root-Cause Analysis

Root-Cause Analysis
Sift 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
Improved Custom Built Enclosures

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
High Performance Capture and Analysis

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, 10 Gb, and 40 Gb without dropping a single packet.

Network Security Forensics
GigaStor 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
Application Analysis

Application Analysis
When 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.

Product Options

Choose the right Observer GigaStor for your organization's size and needs. VIAVI offers multiple options in various form factors, network speeds, port counts, and capacities that range from 256 GB to more than a petabyte. For more information beyond the appliance summary shown below, review the tech specs, use the GigaStor Calculator, or contact a VIAVI Solutions sales expert.

GigaStor Appliance

Scale up to a petabyte and beyond
GigaStor rack-based appliances are available in 2U and 5U enclosures in a variety of capacities, port counts, and supported network speeds.


Model Number Form-factor Base Storage Max Storage Ports Speed Transceivers

Small Data Center or Network Edge

GS-4P-16T 2U 16 TB 16 TB 4 1 Gb SFP

Medium Data Center

GS-4P-32T 2U 32 TB 32 TB 4 1/10 Gb SFP/SFP+

Medium/Large Data Center

GS-8P-96T 5U 96 TB 96 TB 8 1/10 Gb SFP/SFP+

Large Data Center

GS-8P-192T 10U (2 x 5u) 192 TB 768 TB* 8 1/10 Gb SFP/SFP+

Multiple Large Data Centers

GS-8P-288T/GS-2P40-288T 15U (3 x 5U) 288 TB 1.2 PB* 8 1/10/40 Gb SFP/SFP+/QSFP+

Expansion JBOD

GS-JBOD-96T 5U 96 TB 96 TB - - -

* With expansion JBOD
For more details, please refer to the detailed tech specs.

GigaStor Portable

On-the-Go Packet Capture and Analysis
The GigaStor Portable is the first self-contained performance monitoring and analysis solution. Count on it for troubleshooting network and application problems wherever they occur. Take GigaStor Portable with you anywhere to capture days of packet-level data, isolate network issues fast, and reconstruct data streams.

Form Factor Deployment Capacity Networks Rack Size
GigaStor Portable Anywhere 6 TB SDD/9 TB HDD 1 Gb, 10, 40 Gb N/A

GigaStor Software Edition

GigaStor Software Edition (GSE) provides 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 fast troubleshooting anywhere from branch office to the data center core.

Deployment Capacity Networks
Virtualized server environments (VM), laptop for go-anywhere, back-in-time troubleshooting 256 GB, 1/4/16/32/48/64 TB Based on system NIC

Platform Integration

The Observer Platform is a full-service IT solution for optimizing application and network performance management. Each part of the system fits perfectly with all other components, and increases capabilities, power, and speed. Explore how Observer GigaStor works with the products described below.

Observer SightOps
Deploy SightOps with GigaStor for a deeper view into cloud and hybrid IT operations. When SightOps detects a problem with the underlying resources, troubleshooting teams can capture the communications between the components with GigaStor. The conversations can then be inspected with Observer Analyzer for deeper insight into application transactions and network performance. The combined solution provides correlation and contextual continuity between underlying infrastructure and transaction behavior. Maximize the combined capital and operational expenses of hybrid cloud by accelerating service anomaly resolution, and enabling deeper IT resource intelligence for capacity planning, visibility, and cloud deployment.

Observer Analyzer
GigaStor works seamlessly with the Analyzer console for Expert Analysis, trending, alerting, and more. Analyzer helps network and operations teams understand packet flow across the network and its impact on service health, while GigaStor adds back-in-time capabilities so that packets can be stored and reviewed if needed, ensuring no sporadic application abnormalities or security threats are missed.

Observer Apex
Apex serves as the center of the Observer Platform. It combines captured packets and Expert Analysis trended over time to provide an overall view of service health, in real time via dashboards or through long-term reporting. Combine GigaStor with Apex and accelerate troubleshooting speed through back-in-time analysis, pinpointing issues by rewinding the network to exact times and users. Apex and GigaStor working together provide baselining capability, easy drilldowns into key packet-level metrics, and correlations between KPIs.

Third-Party Systems
Capture packets with GigaStor and effortlessly launch alternate solutions to manage and investigate performance issues on the network. Mine data and automatically launch analysis within third-party tools alongside Analyzer reports. GigaStor captures can be easily exported to security devices, compliance and forensic tools, and other network analyzers.

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

What's New?

All New Models
All New Models

All New Models
Enclosures have been redesigned for more durability and write-to-storage speed, mining performance has been greatly accelerated, and the analytics engine improved. New models target specific monitoring use cases from the network edge or branch to the core, across the largest multi-data center deployments in the world.

High Performance Capture and Analysis
High Performance Capture and Analysis

Gen3 Capture Card
To stay ahead of surging traffic volumes, VIAVI has developed a third-generation capture card that incorporates the latest in integrated circuit and bus technologies. The new GigaStor Gen3 accelerated analytics engine provides faster packet analysis performance and reduced problem MTTR.

Tuned Performance
Coupled with the Gen3, the newest, fastest motherboards, disk drives, RAID controllers, and supporting components are now tightly integrated, enabling VIAVI to introduce the highest-performance packet capture, storage, and analysis platform in the industry. 

Improved Custom Built Enclosures
Improved Custom Built Enclosures

Improved Custom-Built Enclosures
All GigaStor 2U and 5U appliances are developed to support four years of uninterrupted, 100 percent duty-cycle, line-rate capture without dropping a single packet for the ultimate in network conversation visibility and peace of mind.

Expanded Third-Party Integration
With its web-based trace extraction, GigaStor now seamlessly integrates with many complementary solutions, including Cisco FirePOWER IDS.

Technical Specifications

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 256 GB-64 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 256 GB to 64 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).

Technical Specifications

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.

Technical Specifications

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.

Technical Specifications

GigaStor Appliance (5U)

GigaStor 5U models are available with eight ports for gigabit and 10 Gb or, with the 288 TB model a two port 40 Gb option is available network. Storage capacities begin at 96 TB and for select models expansion JBODs can increase to 1.2 PB. Best for larger data center(s) deployments or anywhere that requires extended back-in-time capabilities.

Technical Specifications

Analyst Paper


Case Studies

Line Card

Manual/User Guide


Product & Solution Briefs

White Paper