Observer Matrix (Discontinued)

Replicate, aggregate or load balance tool traffic without restriction – all with an intuitive, HTML-based GUI using Observer Matrix.

This product has been discontinued.

This product has been discontinued

Please consider these products instead:
Network Performance Monitoring Tools

Observer Matrix Network Monitoring Switch is the perfect device to enhance the power of your monitoring appliances. Designed from the ground-up, the Matrix uses a modern HTML5 GUI and the best underlying hardware technology for optimal ease of use and performance. Stop compromising simple configurability or giving up on powerful switch features and functionality. With Matrix quickly leverage all your legacy monitoring tools, and get the right data to the right tool in a timely manner. IT teams will benefit with features such as:

  • Industry's first rule-based interface makes packet manipulation and filtering a breeze
  • Drag-and-drop GUI network-tool port connectivity provides the ultimate in flexible traffic flow configuration, visualization, and management
  • Cost-effective design means pay for only those monitoring resources you need while making 24 port expansion simple
  • Traffic pre-processing which can extend the life of legacy monitoring equipment or dramatically increase tool efficiency
  • Selectively directing and passing only the most critical traffic making the transition to 10 Gb less painful

Matrix achieves all this by exploiting the core Network Instruments competency; placing high-end functionality and components directly into a custom hardware design rather than implementing an invariably slower solution in software. Wrapping it all together in a modern GUI makes it unique in the industry and offers the best of both worlds—extreme performance and incredible usability.

Key capabilities:

  • Flexible port assignments (any port can serve as a network or tool port)
  • Perform complex filtering using a GUI and/or BPF language
  • Replicate, aggregate, or load balance tool traffic without restriction
  • Scale to 24 ports of gigabit or 10 Gb and beyond
  • Choose IEEE-1588 (PTP), GPS, or NTP time stamp options
  • RESTful API to monitor and/or manage the Matrix with third party apps

Intuitive Interface

Observer Matrix has been designed from the ground-up with an entirely new HTML5 interface that makes configuration, programming, and management incredibly easy. Plug-and-play simplicity translates into a total typical setup time of ten minutes. Everything about the user experience is painless; change traffic patterns in 2 seconds, load balance in 2 mouse-clicks, replicate traffic in 1 mouse click. We do this all with a new "rules" based paradigm that integrates traffic flow configuration and management into a single, centralized approach rather than scattered across ingress and egress ports. Getting the optimized network data to the right tool with a network monitoring switch has never been so simple.

Comprehensive Functionality

All good network monitoring switches include capabilities like aggregation, load balancing, speed conversion, and traffic replication. The Matrix does all this and more. Developed to provide deep packet manipulation, every Matrix includes user configurable de-duplication, packet trimming, multiple time-stamp options, and the most powerful yet simple to use filtering in the market.

We've made constructing even the most complex filter expressions a snap, allowing you to write Boolean expressions directly in BPF syntax, or leverage the GUI and use variables including clients or servers, applications, packet length, and port number.


When we say it scales, we mean it. Matrix is designed for trouble-free growth up to 24 ports per enclosure. What's more, the product can fully support gigabit or 10 Gb, without restrictions on whether the ports act as network or tool connections. Up to 8 ports can act as tool ports simultaneously. Additionally, multiple Matrix units can be daisy-chained to grow beyond 24 ports for larger data center deployments.

Cost Effective

Matrix is completely designed and built by our expert hardware and software development teams. This results in a significant cost advantage compared to competitors. Add-on port license upgrades are also sensibly priced ensuring your monitoring dollars go further.

Another tradition we maintain is to never nickel-and-dime customers with more fees to acquire functions that should be included right out of the box. Our pricing is all inclusive.

Third Party Integration

We've included a RESTful API enabling the Matrix to share information with third party apps and/or enabling it to be managed and configured remotely by higher level management tools.

Observer Matrix integrates with the entire Network Instruments Observer Platform. Specifically, it perfectly complements Observer GigaStor, maximizing the value of the appliance by manipulating packets (de-duping, slicing, etc.) and transmitting only relevant data to the device, thereby freeing up its system resources to focus on what it does best; applying advanced analytics for rapid troubleshooting.

Likewise, the value of any real-time or back-in-time solution tasked with inspecting packets and their contents are greatly enhanced by the Matrix. Examples include load balancers, IDS, DLP, or firewalls.

Observer Matrix can be quickly mounted in most rack units. Once installed, it's easy to add network SPAN or TAP links on the ingress ports along with various monitoring tools on the egress ports. Status and configuration can be done via a CLI or with the HTML5 interface via most popular web browsers.

Best Practices

  • Network Instruments recommends customers review the installation point of the Matrix within the data center to minimize cabling overhead
  • Consider the location of TAPs and/or SPANs
  • Downstream monitoring tools' locations should be assessed to ensure easy access as required
  • Be sure to account for rack space availability. Matrix is designed for easy mounting within a standard rack unit, its small footprint consuming only a single 1U of real estate.

Now cabling to and from the Matrix can begin. With sufficient ports licensed and enabled for your gigabit and 10 Gb network/tool connections, it's a simple matter to complete ingress and egress connections.

Configuration Options

Observer Matrix's user-friendly design is clear when it comes to configuration options. Units can be purchased partially populated, and iteratively increased in the field to a maximum of 24 ports. All activated ports are fully functional with all features enabled.

To monitor more than 24 ports, users can daisy chain multiple Matrix units for large data center deployments with numerous monitoring points and/or tools. There are no architectural limits to the number of Matrix units daisy chained.

Technical Specs

Observer Matrix is a 1U network monitoring switch capable of supporting up to 24 network or tool ports. Large deployments in excess of 24 ports can be achieved by daisy chaining connecting multiple 1024s. The smallest configuration is eight ports, but units will be configured and shipped in various sizes and speeds.

There is no restriction on how any given port is configured.

The Observer Matrix is an in-house designed network monitoring switch enclosure capable of supporting up to 24 ports of network and tool traffic.


1U 19-inch rack mountable appliance
16.835 in (W) (without mounting ears) x 1.73 in (H) x 18 in (D)
42.8 cm (W) (without mounting ears) x 4.4 cm (H) x 45.7 cm (D)


17 lbs (7.71 kg)

Port Support (1 Gb and 10 Gb)

Up to 24 ports

Time Stamping

IEEE-1588 (PTP), GPS, or NTP

Key Local/Remote Configuration and Management Capabilities

Out-of-band management
Graceful remote reboot
Full featured HTML5 GUI, CLI, or RESTful API
Alert and syslog notifications

Power Consumption (Full load)

Input voltage: 100V-240V auto select
AC/DC options
Input frequency: 50/60Hz
Redundant power supply
93W (317 Btu/h)

Operating Temperature

32 F (0 C) to 104 F (40 C)

With the Observer Platform, the ability to get an expert analysis relatively quickly is the best benefit., The capture is constantly running, so we can analyze any time we like without setting up extra equipment.

Landrin Long

State of Nevada Department of Information Technology

The options that are available and the power of the product are amazing. We’ve solved more problems quicker with Observer than any other analyzing software we’ve had.

Landrin Long

State of Nevada Department of Information Technology

I have found the Observer Platform to be an invaluable tool in diagnosing both application and network issues.

Peter Young, Network Administrator

Home Office UK Ministerial Department