Network visibility is the foundation for network monitoring. You cannot action if you cannot see what is going on in the network.
Visibility can be achieved in 3 ways:
(1) Enabling a SPAN port on the switch. SPAN is a dedicated port on a switch that takes a mirrored copy of network traffic from within the switch to be sent to a probe
(2) A copper tap, installed in-line between network equipment
(3) A fiber tap, installed in-line between 2 network equipment
Installing copper or fiber taps will cause network disruption, because the network links are broken during installation. Taps do not introduce any network traffic into the network link. They function just to create a mirror of all traffic.
There are advantages why in-line taps are preferred over SPAN (Switched Port Analyzer). SPAN does not guarantee 100% copy of the traffic, because under heavy switch load, switch traffic forwarding is prioritized over SPAN. Hence, a probe may miss important packets when under investigation.
In higher speed networks, where links are 40G or faster, fiber links are always used. In this newsletter, we share how STARVIEW fiber taps allow customers to have complete visibility into their network traffic using high-density STARTAP.
From the diagram below, a network tap is a passive device that splits the light signal between switches A & B. A network tap is placed permanently in the network path. It does not introduce any latency or errors between switches A & B. Traffic flowing between A and B are tapped with a network tap in between, and the traffic is considered as 1 link sent to the publisher (A-B and B-A).
Starview Optical Tap (STARTAP) delivers 100% visibility of the network traffic by making a copy of the network data without affecting the network traffic. It allows visibility of the network traffic by tapping a percentage of the light from the main fiber optic line. The split ratio is calculated based on the fiber optic budget, so that the transmission on the main traffic line is not affected. STARTAP is also modular and compact in design, completely protocol transparent and supports any network speeds from 10Mbps to 400Gbps. The taps are customized with singlemode or multimode fiber, and comes with various split ratio options to choose from.
A STARTAP module is customized to the customer’s requirements. It comes with a pre-configured split ratio with singlemode or multimode fiber.
Each module has a splitter enclosed in the compact enclosure. All the connectors are front accessible. A layout diagram is available on its side to allow the user to view the network connection easily.
A compact STARTAP chassis is also available to house up to 24 x STARTAP modules in it.
Starview allows customization of the STARTAP depending on customer’s applications. In the pictures below, the STARTAPs are configured with:
1. 1 x IN (100%), 1 x OUT (80%), 2 x MON (10% each)
2. 1 x IN (100%), 4 x OUT (25% each)
In order to determine the best network tap for your network transmission, the fiber tap when placed in-line with your equipment must not disrupt its original working condition. A simple splitter ratio calculation example is as shown:
You must determine the transmission power of your equipment in order to know if the power after the fiber tap meets its receiver sensitivity. If you do not understand these terms, you can always engage our Starview engineers https://starviewtech.net/smart/ to help you.
Mix and Match
You can combine our wide variety of STARTAP modules in a single 19-inch 1U chassis to maximise the use of rack space. You can even rack them back-to-back to provide up to 48 taps in a single 1U space.
STARTAP is completely passive. It is highly reliable, with no risks of security attacks, and zero operating costs.
Wide range of split ratios and fiber types
Supports any speeds from 10Mbps to 400Gbps in any singlemode or multimode network environments, CWDM or DWDM. Compact enclosure allows you to carry it to any location that requires network visibility, saving capital expense
Low insertion loss
Low insertion loss minimizes network connections to your existing link
STARTAP was developed to meet our customer’s requirement to be compact and cost efficient for network visibility applications, These products are simple to use, and the split ratios can be customized to meet any requirements.
As the STARTAP modules are passive, there is effect of insertion loss in the fiber optic transmission. Starview offers a wide range of optical transceivers to overcome the insertion loss of the transmission. Our engineers are also capable to help you to design the tapped networks. We can provide solutions to regenerate the weak signal to be as strong like the original signal. In this way, you can replicate to more monitoring devices.
Starview is a reliable supplier and expert of Optical Transmission with more than 13 years of experience. With the capability of Starview and its products, customers will enjoy greater flexibility of choice and cost savings. Starview also offers many accessories to provide a full suite of optical products and solutions.