As one of the newer members of the Garland team, I was recently talking with our team about past projects and the solutions we offer. Being a technical person, I have been pouring through the Visio drawings our DesignIT team creates, as the simplest way to really understand how Garland’s TAPs and packet brokers work with the issues our customers are facing.
After pulling up several different solutions, we figured that if I learned something from each Visio drawing, then you probably could too. So now we’ll be writing a monthly blog series, sharing different solutions that were put together to solve our customer’s monitoring and security problems.
I’ll start off with a common problem we often see in the field: the analyzer tool doesn’t have enough monitoring ports for all of the links the client wants to TAP. Do they add multiple tools?
Pure Aggregation at the TAP Level
Scenario: The client came to us wanting to feed their traffic to a Secureworks Advanced Malware Protection and Detection (AMPD) device, which has (4) 1G copper input ports. In order to keep the project within their budget, they could only purchase one box, but they had 4 links of traffic to monitor.
Solution: 1U Chassis populated with (4) 1G Copper Bypass TAPs set in Aggregation Mode. Each TAP in the rack is set to aggregation mode instead of breakout mode. Aggregation merges the traffic streams into one monitoring port to cut the number of ports required on the analyzer tool, in this case from 8 to 4. If breakout TAPs were used instead, you would be missing half the traffic.
It is important to keep utilization levels in mind when you’re using aggregation. If you exceed the utilization, you will drop packets. So this solution is appropriate when you know that you will not have high utilization on any link. Ultimately, using an aggregator TAP solution in this scenario, saves budget on utilizing one, or an existing tool, instead of having to use multiple tools.
Want to learn more about the role that network TAPs play in copper networks? Download our whitepaper, The Secrets to Tapping Copper Networks to learn best practices and environmental requirements.