New High-Performance Linux Distro for Security and Monitoring

RESTON, Va. — nPulse Networks LLC, a leading integrator of hardware acceleration and open-source tools for network security and monitoring applications, is contributing a new Linux distribution to the public domain.

The announcement was made at the recent ISS World Conference in Washington, D.C. by Randy Caldejon, nPulse’s President. The new Catapulta distro is the outcome of an internal research project at the company to determine whether a practical wire-speed, gigabit packet capture platform could be built from industry-standard server components for under $4,000.

“For our security, monitoring and intercept customers, 100% visibility of network traffic is critical,” said Caldejon, “but we discovered that none of the current Linux distributions is specifically tuned for packet capture. To reach our goal, we had to build Catapulta. Now we plan to make it available for others to use and extend.”

nPulse Networks“The nPulse team experimented with a range of open-source tools such as PF_Ring, a modified libpcap developed by Luca Deri (, and Streamline, a stream-based communication system by Willem de Bruijn ( An advanced programmable adapter card from Napatech was the eventual solution to the performance and cost goals for the project.

“In fact, we were able to achieve 2Gbps of throughput within our design parameters, with a total CPU utilization of less than 4%,” says Peter Shaw, VP of Marketing for nPulse Networks. “Adding Streamline allowed us to achieve line-rate deep packet inspection, comparing over 2000 case-insensitive regular expressions while using less than half of the CPU resource. And we can demonstrate that Catapulta will scale to 10Gbps and beyond.”

Catapulta, which incorporates PF_Ring, Streamline and other tools as well as full support for the Napatech network cards, will be available at, and the site will also host a user and developer forum to support and enhance the new distro. A full summary of the Catapulta project is available at

About nPulse Networks
nPulse Networks, a developer and integrator of advanced packet capture solutions for commercial and Government customers, is a global leader in the hardware-acceleration of open-source-based solutions for network security, monitoring, traffic analysis and data management. nPulse is headquartered in Reston, Virginia, and also maintains a development center in Charlottesville, VA. For more information, visit

[tags]Catapulta for Linux, nPulse Networks LLC, Linux distribution, ISS World Conference, packet capture solutions, Randy Caldejon, network security and monitoring[/tags]