Network TAPs

Obtain broad, reliable access to 100 percent of your traffic with a TAP.

Understanding Network TAP and Bypass TAP Devices

A network TAP (test, terminal, or traffic access point) is fundamental to acquiring network traffic. As part of a Gigamon Hawk Deep Observability Pipeline, 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 deployed in a network link connected between the interfaces of two network elements, like switches or routers, and is treated as part of the infrastructure. In virtual networks,  network TAP deployment varies depending on the environment.

Network TAPs are generally more effective, efficient and reliable than switch port analyzer (SPAN) ports. To learn more, read our TAP vs SPAN white paper.

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Gigamon Network TAPs

Passive TAPs

Passive fiber-optical network TAPs create perfect copies of all traffic seen on the network at full bandwidth. They require no power or management and do not actively interact with other components of the network.

Gigamon passive optical network TAP solutions include:

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Active TAPs

Active network TAP devices (also called ‘ethernet TAPs’) are used in networks where copper Ethernet or fiber optical technologies do not allow for passive TAPs. Just like passive TAPs, active network TAPs create perfect copies of all traffic at full bandwidth. However, active network TAPs require their own power source to regenerate signals. In the event of a power failure, active network TAPs include a battery backup to keep them up and running, sending an alert to indicate the failure. Copper active TAPs also have a relay that closes when the device loses power, thereby maintaining the network connection and minimizing traffic disruption.

Gigamon active network TAP solutions include:

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Virtual TAPs

Virtual network TAPs (vTAPs) are used in network function virtualization (NFV) and in private and public cloud infrastructures to gain access to East-West and North-South traffic within the hosting environment. Depending on the virtual machine or container technology in use, different tapping functions are available.      

Gigamon offers four light-weight vTAP solutions for traffic acquisition within the GigaVUE Cloud Suite:

  • Universal Cloud TAP: Agentless vTAP typically deployed for containers within Kubernetes (with Docker) hosting environments, such as AWS EKS, Microsoft AKS, Red Hat OpenShift, and VMware Tanzu
  • G-vTAP Module: Agent-like vTAP deployed within for virtual machines (VMs) hosting environments, such as AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Red Hat OpenStack, and VMware ESXi/NSX
  • G-vTAP VM: Agentless vTAP deployed within Nutanix hosting environments
  • G-vTAP OVS: Agentless vTAP deployed within KVM/OpenStack hosting environments
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Key benefits include:

  • A single, lightweight instance to minimize impact on host resources
  • A reduction in application downtime eliminating the need to redesign applications when adding new tools
  • A great alternative to infrastructure mirroring services, if unavailable or inaccessible

Test drive G-vTAP on AWS or Azure for free.

Learn more about our public and private cloud solutions.

Bypass TAPs

Bypass TAPs are used in copper and fiber Ethernet networks for supporting inline security, which redirects all network traffic passing between network devices to inline applications such as intrusion prevention systems (IPS), web application firewalls (WAF), email gateways (GW) or wide area network (WAN) optimization devices. 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, 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.

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