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TAP Into Technology

Leading the Way in Network Technology

Jumbo Frames—Are You Sure Your Network TAPs Support Them?

Posted by Chris Bihary | 1/28/16 10:00 AM

There are certain things you can always rely on in this world. The refreshing taste of a drink after a long day at work. The other side of your pillow always being cooler. And the fact that if your network TAP supports Ethernet it inherently supports jumbo frames—at least we thought this one was reliable. It turns out there are many network TAP customers out there who implement their solutions only to find that Ethernet support doesn’t mean jumbo frame support for some vendors.

With network traffic demands increasing everyday, we should be able to rely on Ethernet standards to include jumbo frames.

Ethernet Frames vs. Jumbo Frames—What’s the Big Deal?

The difference between standard Ethernet frames and jumbo frames is fairly simply. Standard Ethernet frames support packet sizes up to 1,522 bytes whereas jumbo frames support packets up to 9,216 bytes. Support for larger packets means greater network speeds can be achieved, which is essential as data demands continue to rise.

The problem is that there is a gray area in Ethernet standards that many vendors exploit. Vendors can meet IEEE 802.3 standards with a wider range of frame-size support than you might expect. Even though gigabit Ethernet is becoming a standard, jumbo frame support isn’t quite keeping up. If you unknowingly deploy network TAPs that don’t support jumbo frames, you’re in for quite the surprise.

When network TAPs only support standard 1,522 byte frames in a gigabit environment, anything larger can’t be processed and is ultimately dropped. You deployed network TAPs to ensure visibility, but you’ll be dropping packets more than ever before. 

Jumbo frame support should be assumed in a gigabit network TAP; but it can’t be and you must be prepared to notice the missing specification.

Whitepaper Network Connectivity

Don’t Rely on Ethernet Standards—Do Your Jumbo Frame Due Diligence

The jumbo frame dilemma boils down to one key piece of advice—as you’re building your network, you need to ensure that all of your components can support your desired speed and packet size. 

When your network TAPs don’t support jumbo frames, you’re accepting the fact that you’ll soon hit a wall with your network. You’ll max out on standard frame data transfer rates and be left with a network that requires a complete overhaul of its components. In short, you need to support jumbo frames if you want to continue growing your network.

Garland Technology network TAPs supporting 1G and higher speeds are all guaranteed to support jumbo frames and your growing network. If you want to learn more about how you can implement Garland’s network TAPs in your infrastructure, contact the visibility experts now and discover how to see every bit, byte and packet®—no matter how big the packets are.

 

The Industrial Ethernet

Topics: Network TAPs

Written by Chris Bihary

Chris Bihary has been in the network performance industry for over 20 years. Bihary has established collaborative partnerships with technology companies to complement product performance through the integration of network test access points. Previously, Bihary was Managing Partner at Network Critical.