How SEGA Switched to the Next Level of Network Monitoring

Cooperation with innovative businesses that have become iconic in their fields is always challenging to us. Especially when such a firm comes from Japan, famous for its quality requirements. These factors came together in our project for SEGA, a legendary interactive entertainment company.

SEGA is one of the most active, creative, and productive developers the game industry has ever known. SEGA’s history is marked by products that have changed the interactive entertainment industry and armies of loyal fans. You’d find many of their followers in our team as well. So the news that SEGA was testing our Flowmon solution evoked enthusiasm. Not only internal business meetings were accompanied with very heated debates between fans of SEGA and Nintendo, who were eternal rivals in console war.

SEGA is now fully focused on game development, which is very demanding on network infrastructure. SEGA’s network is daily used by more than 2500 employees. Tens gigabytes of game data are transferred over the network just between development and testing teams every day. Network visibility is crucial for the company since ensuring stability of their systems and services is a must. Absolutely effective troubleshooting has to be as fast as legendary Sonic the hedgehog. Failure of services, late response or security issues can easily disrupt well-tuned system, degrade productivity, cause delays or financial loses.

So with this in mind, SEGA decided to replace their legacy packet capture and analysis solution with NetFlow-based network monitoring. Reasons were obvious. Data flows and NetFlow standard has brought into dealing with operational and security issues such flexibility and effectiveness that packet analysis is not able to provide. Packet capture and analysis technology comes with extremely demanding performance and disc capacity requirements. Effective packet analysis and “mining” of information is also very challenging. Therefore the use of packet capture and analysis has not disappeared but it has been sidelined into very specific scenarios. This transitional change is quite significant for every company that wants to have their network under control.

According to Gartner, flow analysis solves 80 % of compatibility, performance or security related issues. Since Flowmon provides over other solutions also advanced L7 analysis, it can solve almost 95 % of network issues. When SEGA administrators learnt that, they were very excited what is not really typical for always cool “earthquake resistant” Japanese.

SEGA decided to prove our concept. As usually in Japan, the requirements were absolutely extreme. People from SEGA checked every existing way, every theoretical possibility that could happen. They were interested in every eventuality, every hardware issue that could arise. Fortunately we have long-standing experiences with Japanese market so there were no problems to meet their demands. Within three months SEGA implemented Flowmon solution including our massive 24 TB NetFlow collector and their administrators gained network visibility that they could only dream of before.