Network visibility is the foundation of all network activities. Network visibility becomes even more important in mission-critical situations, however when these situations move outside the lab, it can be more challenging to ensure that visibility and collect all the traffic of interest.
A leading infrastructure contract for the Department of Defense (DoD) came to Garland Technology because they were looking for a way to effectively collect and analyze data related to communications, battlefield tactical deployments, and situational awareness.
Understanding the Situation
While network Test Access Points have been used by the Department of Defense as part of the network visibility solution to measure and assess battlefield communications, they identified a need for a type of hardware that would regularly be able to stand up to the harsh environments of the field, while also supporting higher network speeds. The TAP needed to be ruggedized, compact, and be of superb quality and design. Ultimately, they determined that what they needed for the field testing didn’t exist in the marketplace. A vendor had to be chosen to create a unique breakout TAP that provided the flexibility needed by the DoD.
The contractor turned to Garland Technology after finding they could address the custom modification specs and deliver the products faster than other vendors.
1. Portability & Vehicle-Mounted
The solution had to be portable as it would be tested both inside and outside of military vehicles during drills and exercises. But they also wanted the ability for the TAPs to be mounted to a plate and then run the cabling to any connected devices that need traffic from a breakout TAP.
It was imperative that the hardware be able to withstand harsh environments including high heat, corrosive elements and high pressure.
A design requirement also included a solution to address electromagnetic interference (EMI).
The connections and power connectors needed to be secure with custom Mighty Mouse ports.
Garland Technology developed a custom Military-Grade Industrial TAP supporting 1G network speeds that boasted “wings” on the chassis so each could be mounted in a different location, as well as having a double-bay chassis so they could TAP more tools. These features ensured that battlefield exercise data was effectively collected. All communication devices were outfitted with a Garland Technology network TAP which fed the data through a packet capture tool and onto hard drives.
Garland Technology continues to capture 100% of ongoing DoD exercise data using network TAPs. This has ensured the packet capture of full-duplex traffic without dropping packets or losing connections under extreme environmental elements.
Garland Technology delivered the industry’s most customizable breakout TAP products in the shortest amount of time with complete reliability; well-beyond traditional market life.With over 250 Garland Network TAPs in circulation, and over four and a half years, the DoD has not experienced any product failure, nor had a need for improvements/replacements, thus, Garland Technology was able to deliver a business product solution that was, and still is, a business driver.
-Bruce Aldrick, Jacobs Engineering
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