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TAP Into Technology

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Design-IT: How to TAP traffic in a virtual environment

Posted by Jonathan Devoy | 8/28/18 8:00 AM

Network TAPs provide the best and easiest way to see network traffic going over the network. Simply plugging the tap into the physical cables between two networked devices will capture each packet sent across that wire. By strategically placing taps across key points in the network, administrators gain full network visibility.

But what happens inside of a virtual environment?

No visibility between virtual environments

Traffic between virtual machines inside of a host never have to leave the host. Since this traffic doesn’t travel across a physical network connection, it won’t be captured by a Network TAP. The TAP will only catch traffic that connects a virtual machine to a resource outside the host. This creates a visibility blackhole to all east-west traffic between virtual machines.

Virtual TAP

Visibility into a virtual network can be obtained with a Virtual TAP. Adding a virtual TAP into a host can capture the east-west communications between virtual machines.

Tapping traffic in a virtual environment

The virtual TAP can then direct this captured traffic out of a physical interface on the host, allowing the tapped virtual traffic to be sent to a physical tool.

Virtual and physical environment visibility

When sending the tapped traffic to aggregation appliance, both virtual traffic and monitor links from physically tapped cables can be combined. This combined traffic offers full visibility into the entire network that can be sent to both network and security monitoring tools.

[Want to learn more about the capabilities of Garland Technology's virtual TAP? Contact a member of our design team to learn how the vTAP can work within your virtual environment.]

Topics: DesignIT, Network Design, Network TAPs

Written by Jonathan Devoy

Jonathan is a System Engineer for Garland Technology in the Buffalo, New York office, providing solution designs and support for all levels of the sales cycle. Jonathan's previous experience consists of networking pre-sales support for both Juniper and Citrix.