Network Security TAPs

By GeNJiMRuM ·

Recently I have been interesting in monitoring traffic on my network. I have spent some time researching SPAN and TAPs. Since SPAN mirroring was free, I tried this approach first. This did not turn out so well as I quickly saw CPU and Memory usage spike up on my switch stack (We use Enterasys).

After reading up more on SPAN mirroring I realized this probably isn't the best solution for my environment due to the performance drawbacks on my network. I also needed something to copy packets from layer one (physical layer) which SPAN port operates I believe at layer 4 or 7. I then began researching network TAPs. I researched the different Network TAPs, Aggregated TAPs, and Intelligent TAPs. Turns out since the line I want to monitor (for now) is the one between my main router and switch. It seems I am only using at max 5Mbs on the line so I believe I can use a 10/100 Port Aggregation device.

I believe I have convinced myself we need to purchase one of these 10/100 Port Aggregation devices, the only problem is I have no idea what is the best vendor for my needs!!! Any input/experiences with other network TAPs would be great.

Also, all the information I have gathered has been from my own personal research. I would be glad to hear other alternatives to good network monitoring of packets. Let me know, thanks!

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by dcolbert Contributor In reply to Network Security TAPs

Comeon? No one hear has an answer for this guy's questions? Does anyone in this industry actually do stateful packet analysis of network capacity utilization?

I'm interested in the answer, as I certainly do not have the personal experience or experienced personnel to do this kind of thing in house, but I wish I did. I've been in exactly one IT organization, Intel, where they had network engineers on-staff who had the tools and experience to conduct this kind of network monitoring and analysis, and it was an amazing thing to watch the guy open the network, sniff the traffic, filter it, and pull just what he was looking for out of the mess.

He made it look easy, but obviously, it isn't.

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by dcolbert Contributor In reply to BUMP

I can't even shame anyone into a response. I'm shocked.

Networking really is a great mystery to the majority of our industry, I guess. We just hook up the wires, we don't understand the magic signals that go across them.

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