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Garland Technology is committed to educating the benefits of having a strong foundation of network visibility and access. By providing this insight we protect the security of data across your network and beyond.

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How to Maintain Network Visibility During an Infrastructure Upgrade to 40G

Summary

In this blog, Garland Technology will discuss a customer scenario that the pre-sales engineering team recently encountered that points out the watchouts when converting the network speed from 10G to 40G. Read on to learn more about the problem and solution.

Introduction

Major network speed upgrades demand major infrastructure upgrades. These infrastructure upgrades can include new cabling, new transceivers, or new hardware altogether. It’s an involved process, that can require tearing down your network to the studs. During this process, it’s easy for details to fall through the cracks.

The Upgrade

That was the case with one major customer when they made the jump from 10Gbps to 40Gbps. Their previous infrastructure was composed entirely of OM3 fiber with LC terminations. Their previous TAP infrastructure was feeding an existing Network Packet Broker that only had SFP+ ports available. As some of you may be aware, the jump from 10Gbps to 40Gbps requires transitioning from an LC connector to a high-density MTP®/MPO connector. With the new fiber connector comes a new transceiver and a new port needed on your device.

The Challenge

This customer soon found themselves with a very expensive Network Packet Broker that was almost entirely useless. Their options were to either replace their Network Packet Broker or to flex their management infrastructure around utilizing their old unit. Thanks to Garland Technology’s PacketMAX™ Advanced Features product family, the customer didn’t need to compromise on speed or the reliability of their infrastructure to keep their old unit relevant.

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With the upgrade in speed, the customer had a hybrid environment of six (6) 10Gbps and twelve (12) 40Gbps. With breakout TAPs, this translates to twelve (12) 10Gbps monitor links and twenty-four (24) 40Gbps monitor links. Using the AF100G32DAC in conjunction with breakout cables, the customer was able to TAP and aggregate all of these links using only 3U of space. Connecting to each of the 10Gbps links using a breakout cable, and connecting to the 40Gbps links with a standard QSFP+ cable. To connect to their existing Network Packet Broker, the customer simply used the remaining five (5) 40Gbps ports, broken out to 10Gbps SFP+ connections. With the speed conversion and load balancing happening at the Advanced Features box, the customer was able to extend the life of their existing Network Packet Broker and lessen the expenses associated with upgrading their speed.

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A Solution

Whether you’re adding new hardware to old infrastructure or transitioning to new infrastructure, speed conversion is almost always a part of a growing network. Garland Technology passive TAPs can grow with you, with the SelectTAP supporting easily changeable modules that support speeds from 10Mbps to 400Gbps. While the PacketMAX Advanced Features series has models that support speeds from 1Gbps up to 100Gbps. Utilizing passive fiber network TAPs in combination with an Advanced Features box ensures you complete network visibility and access no matter the any-to-any configuration of your network speeds.


Conclusion

Looking to upgrade your network speed, but not sure where to start? Join us for a brief network Design-IT consultation or demo. No obligation - it’s what we love to do!


Glossary

  1. Network speed: a measurement of how fast data is transferred between devices on a network.
  2. Transceiver: a device that can transmit and receive data. (Note: Garland Technology allows you to use any MSA-compliant transceiver in our hardware.) 
  3. LC connector: small form factor fiber optic connectors designed for making fast connections; come in Single-mode and Multimode fiber varieties.

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Written by Jerry Dillard

Jerry Dillard, CTO and Co-founder of Garland Technology, leverages over two decades in design and engineering to ensure maximum performance within today’s network environments. Dillard, the inventor of the Bypass TAP, continues to innovate network visibility solutions worldwide.

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