Network Taps are a crucial part of the tool kit used by engineers responsible for network security, performance, and capacity management. Taps are robust devices that rarely ever exhibit issues, but as with any network equipment – it may occasionally be necessary to troubleshoot them. In some cases this is an inherent part of a multi-layered process of elimination, but in certain circumstances the process might begin with the Tap itself. The following procedures are presented with Datacom Systems fiber Taps* in mind, but the general principles are applicable to all brands of Taps.
Network Taps, in addition to being available for copper or fiber media, can be purchased in a fixed configuration, typically called “duplex Taps” – or as “Aggregation Taps.” The latter category offers options for how the data copies are distributed among the monitor ports. This article will clarify the differences between the two Tap types, as well as exploring the rationale for different Tap configurations, and examples of their applications.
In previous articles we reviewed the overall topic of management interfaces to Taps and NPBs and in subsequent chapters took a deep dive into the topics of Fault Management and Configuration Management. In this chapter we will focus on Software Management and its related topics. Subsequent chapters will cover other management topics including accounting, performance monitoring, security and remote access.