For a 100% guaranteed view of network traffic, passive network TAPs are a necessity for meeting many of today’s access requirements. Network TAPs are the first step towards network visibility. Cubro offers optical TAPs, Copper TAPs and aggregator TAPs which are designed to enable flawless in-line monitoring of 1G, 10G, 40G and 100G networks. These TAPs offer 100% visibility of link traffic to security and network monitoring tools. They are an extremely useful tool in drastically lowering the high costs associated with monitoring. Tim O’Neill, the technology consultant and Chief Contributing Editor of Lovemytool website published an in-depth article on the differences between a SPAN and network TAP (http://www.lovemytool.com/blog/2007/08/span-ports-or-t.html) and provides some compelling reasons to use network TAPs for meeting today’s network requirements.
What is a Network TAP?
A network test access point (TAP) is a simple device that connects directly to the cabling infrastructure to split or copy packets which can be used for analysis and security. It is a hardware component that connects into the cabling infrastructure to copy packets for monitoring purposes.
TAPs are simple devices that run for years and are generally placed in secured locations. Once the traffic is tapped, the copy can be used for any sort of monitoring, security, or analytical use. TAPs can be standalone devices or integrated directly as a module inside a visibility node. In both cases, traffic is copied for monitoring, security, and analysis as the traffic continues to pass through the network unimpeded.
Cubro’s Product Offering
Cubro’s wide range of network TAPs includes Optical TAPs, BIDI (bidirectional) TAPs, FlexTAPs, Copper TAPs, Converter TAPs and Aggregation TAPs. Here’s a brief introduction to the different kind of TAPs:
Optical TAPs are used to connect a monitoring tool to the network without affecting the network link and performance by moving cables and interrupting traffic. These TAPs are completely passive, so even if the TAP loses power, it fails-open to ensure traffic continuity. Optical TAPs provide 100% visibility because they pass 100% of all network traffic without introducing bottlenecks or points of failure into your network design.
BIDI TAPs are fibre TAPs designed for use in Cisco 40G BIDI networks, specifically Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI). BIDI transceiver technology utilises multiple wavelengths within a single cable so the standard fibre TAP technology will not work.
FlexTAPs are built using fibre-optics and deliver 100% visibility into network traffic and permanent, passive access points while preserving top network performance. Flex TAPs allows a user to effectively monitor network performance, avoiding issues of degradation and disruption. These TAPs are compatible with all protocols and monitoring devices and can be deployed at any in-line connection on the network without increasing overhead or management workflows.
Copper TAPs (Cubro Copper 10/100/1000 TAPs) allow the uninterrupted passage of full duplex data over standard Category 5/6 copper network cables. The TAPs duplicate network signals, including any existing physical errors to the transmit-only monitoring ports. They feature auto-negotiating between 10Mbps, 100Mbps and 1000Mbps. The TAPs can also work as converter TAPs in Gbit mode and, convert copper signals to optical signals.
Converter TAPs have been developed based on the latest PHY chips. The TAPs are also converter TAPs because the output ports are SFP, so the user can select which media they want by changing the SFP. There are also some special add-ons available – PoE powered and PoE transparent. With these advanced options, it is possible to look into the physical details and change some parameters for faster recovery.
Aggregation TAPs are new intelligent TAPs for network data packets that feature high port density, diversified operation modes, flexible deployment and easy management and maintenance. With excellent adaptability to various network environments, the TAPs can provide telecommunication data for IDS, Network Protocol Analyser and Signalling Analyser in real-time as needed.
Cubro provides the best quality network TAP at an affordable price. Cubro TAPs are resilient even in the event of a hardware failure. They are engineered to allow traffic to continue passing through them even if the TAP itself stops functioning. Cubro TAPs do not introduce delay or alter the content and do not drop packet regardless of the bandwidth.