A network TAP (test access point or terminal access point) is a fundamental element for acquiring network traffic. As part of the Gigamon Visibility and Analytics Fabric™ (VAF), Gigamon network TAP technology provides access to the traffic required to secure, monitor and manage your network infrastructure continuously and efficiently. TAPs are the first step in the process of providing pervasive visibility across your physical, virtual and cloud infrastructures, accessing 100 percent of the network traffic on each tapped link.
In physical networks, a network TAP is typically deployed in a network link connected between the interfaces of two network elements, such as switches or routers, and is treated as part of the network infrastructure, similar to a patch panel. In virtual networks, a network TAP can be deployed in different ways, depending on the environment being deployed in.
Because they are more effective, efficient and reliable, network TAPs are generally preferred over switch port analyzer (SPAN) ports (for more information on why, read our TAP vs SPAN whitepaper).
Bypass TAPs are used in copper and fiber Ethernet networks for supporting inline security, which redirects all of the network traffic passing between network devices towards inline applications such as intrusion prevention system (IPS), web application firewall (WAF), email gateway (GW) or wide area network (WAN) optimizer. A bypass TAP is typically a hardware device, inserted at a strategic point in the network — usually at a private or trusted network’s perimeter — to manage or secure all or specific data communications.
All bypass TAPs also have a relay that closes when it loses power, thereby maintaining the network connection and performance, while minimizing traffic disruption.
Gigamon bypass TAP solutions are an embedded capability within the GigaVUE HC Series of visibility nodes.