What’s a Network TAP?
The term ‘TAP’ is an acronym that stands for ‘Test Access Port’. A TAP creates a passive access point on the network, so network data transmitted via the cable can be read for analysis purposes. TAPs also copy critical network packets with CRC errors, which is of great importance for debugging or analysis.
A standard Network (Ethernet) TAP has 4 LAN ports and is looped into the network line through 2 ports so it’s connected directly to the cabling infrastructure. The other 2 ports provide a copy of the network traffic so you can monitor any interruptions in a full-duplex line. A classic TAPs needs 2 ports to send data to the monitoring tool because TX & RX data are sent separately.
Another advantage of this transmission method is that the monitoring system can analyse network packets based on transmission direction. A fully loaded, full-duplex cable can be analysed transparently with no data loss. Network TAPs are available for all common network topologies from speeds of 10Mbit/s up to 100Gbps.
What’s a Port Aggregation TAP?
A port aggregation TAP is different from the normal TAP in that the coupled-full-duplex TX & RX data are aggregated for a single output port. A monitoring port gathers the data needed for analysis so the monitoring device doesn’t need to use any additional interfaces.
What’s a Regeneration TAP?
Regeneration TAPs work like regular network TAPs but they provide monitored data to multiple analysis tools simultaneously.
Data gathered from the network can be monitored by several monitoring tools at the same time for different purposes.