Visibility Solutions

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.


Garland Technology's resource library offers free use of white papers, eBooks, use cases, infographics, data sheets, video demos and more.


The TAP into Technology blog provides the latest news and insights on network access and visibility, including: network security, network monitoring and appliance connectivity and guest blogs from Industry experts and technology partners


Our extensive technology partnership ecosystem solves critical problems when it comes to network security, monitoring, application analysis, forensics and packet inspection.


Garland Technology is dedicated to high standards in quality and reliability, while delivering the greatest economical solutions for enterprise, service providers, and government agencies worldwide.


Whether you are ready to make a network TAP your foundation of visibility or just have questions, please contact us. Ask us about the Garland Difference!


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Network Test Access Point (TAP) and Port Mirroring (SPAN)

What's the Difference...and Does it Matter?

Network test access points (TAP) and port mirroring (SPAN) are the two most common access methods of packet capture for the use of analysis in data monitoring. Is there a difference? Yes, there are significant differences which affect the integrity of the traffic that is being analyzed, as well as the performance of the network traffic. This page discusses the differences in regards to monitoring the network. When deploying and managing active, inline appliances SPAN should never be used, as packets are randomly dropped when the SPAN ports become oversubscribed.

TAP vs Span diagramNetwork TAP [Test Access Point]

A hardware tool that allows you to access and monitor your network. TAPs transmit both the send and receive data streams simultaneously on separate dedicated channels, ensuring all data arrives at the monitoring or security device in real time.

  • Court approved. A TAP provides forensically sound data/evidence that data captured is 100% accurate with time reference.
  • TAPs do not alter the time relationships of frames. Spacing and response times are especially important with VoIP and Triple Play analysis including FDX analysis.
  • Fiber TAPS are 100% passive and have no power.
  • Network TAPs have no IP address, no MAC address and cannot be hacked.
SPAN [Switch Port Analyzer]
Tap vs SPAN Diagram

Port Mirroring also known as SPAN (Switched Port Analyzer), sends a copy of all network packets seen on one port (or an entire VLAN) to another port, where the packets can be analyzed.

  • SPAN sessions do not interfere with the normal operation of the switch.
  • Remotely configurable from any system connected to the switch.
  • Disallows bidirectional traffic on that port to protect against backflow of traffic into the network.

What does Cisco say about data capture and SPAN ports?
"The switch treats SPAN data with a lower priority than to-port data...the best strategy is to make decisions based on the traffic levels of the configuration and when in doubt to use the SPAN port only for relatively low-throughput situations." - Cisco


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Real Network Visualization Considerations for Professionals

Network security and management personnel must have full access and using TAP (test access points) technology is the only viable and reliable technology for that job. Still not convinced? This white paper will cover the value TAP access will provide and remove all the misinformation about SPAN or monitor access through switches and false products.

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