Infrastructure TAP's and the need for a comprehensive network visibility system! (by Gabriel Guriencu)
Infrastructure TAP's and the need for a comprehensive visibility system
In order to achieve a 100% guaranteed view of all network traffic and fulfil today’s access and visibility requirements, the network infrastructure must incorporate network TAPs (Test Access Points). Network Visibility solutions are only as good as the data that they receive; Network TAPs represent the foundation of an effective and reliable visibility infrastructure. The question that follows is, naturally, what exactly is a Network TAP and what does it offer that makes it a more effective data source than alternatives such as Port Mirroring and SPAN (Cisco’s Switched Port Analyzer)?
Tim O’Neill, the technology consultant and Chief Contributing Editor of lovemytool.com has published an in-depth article comparing and contrasting the differences between a SPAN port and a Network TAP; the article can be found here: http://www.lovemytool.com/blog/2007/08/span-ports-or-t.html. In this article, Tim provides compelling reasons to use Network TAPs for meeting today’s network visibility requirements. I will briefly point out below some of the key advantages a Network TAP has over a Port Mirroring or SPAN technology (I will use the term SPAN to generically describe these technologies for the rest of the paper) without reiterating everything the article states, and I highly encourage you to read it.
What is a Network TAP?
If you cannot see your Network data, than how will you know if you have a problem or breach?