When do you start learning about TAPs & NPBs?

Since the beginning of its history, H5 audits – Network and Applications Performance Monitoring solutions provider ( +1000 audits for +100 of customers ) – has developped a large interest in TAP (Test Access Point) and NPB (Network Packet broker) technologies.

Indeed, these materials TAPs and NPBs allow to deploy a network monitoring without creating any disruption onto the environment to surveil. By transmitting network flows copies towards H5 monitoring solution, metrics generation, stats, captures, dashboards, Reporting along with all necessary information for a good environment performance monitoring, is possible. They do not have any negative impact and any influence on the network.

TAP/ NPB deployment on the environment to monitor grants more flexibility and allows to plug/unplug H5 analyser without any network disruption. It is obviously an add-on and complementary technology to H5 technology, mainly in production and operational contexts. Clearly, they allow actions optimisation and results.

What is a TAP?

TAP materials grant access to data circulation on a IT network and allow to monitor the network traffic between 2 points. Network TAP has a minimum of 3 ports: Port A, Port B, and one monitoring port. A network TAP  deployed between A and B transmits all traffic without any obstacle and copy data onto its monitor port. This last port forwards the copy of the traffic to the metrology analyser solution.

What is a NPB?

Network Packet Brokers (NPB) allow to capture network flows and to dispense these to analysis or security appliances solutions in a timely manner. NPBs copy physical ports network traffics on deployed tools, events in enhancing security, in easing automatization and in optimising network data values. By capturing and replicating LANs and WANs flows, by supervising on line and passive tools needs, NPBS give flexibility in positioning analysers solutions as they offer numerous features such as:

  • Large numbers of ports compare to TAPs ( Rack space/ port optimisation, broader capacities)
  • Traffic filtering
  • Aggregation and/or Load balancing
  • CDR nFlows and sFlows Generation
  • etc.

By selecting NPB technology, you go beyond basic TAPs and basic switches possibilities, that bottom line do not offer enough features to optimise tools usage.

NPBs optimize your time and IT investments in adapting your network and infrastructure to an ever-changing environment and needs that you face on daily basis.

Who needs such equipment?

  • Services providers who perform audits in heterogenous environment on a frequent basis

For what?

  • Network security architecture reinforcement
  • Network securisation without any disruption risk or down time
  • Master “think twice” attitude to deploy tools on-line
  • Maximize exisiting security tools efficience
  • Deploy a H5 monitoring solution.

Network packet brokers equipment allows you to pass through objections to install tools on-line and to enhance network security in real time – without any performance degradations.

By giving one unique access point, with an embedded and integrated security on your network, a NPB gives the possibility to virtually deploy tools, to see and answer IT threats down the line, as soon as they occur.

Avoid all impacts on your network functions and gain in flexibility to answer proactively to incidents. Deploy new tools and modify configurations matching your evolving IT needs at all times.



Network Packet Broker - NPB - Features

Thanks to its technologic partnership with NPB vendors, H5 audits – acting as IT monitoring solution software provider- owns all the knowledge and benefits to assist you on long terms projects. Each engineer at H5, from R&D or sales department, is in state to support you on your projects that combine H5 and NPBs in infrastructure evolutions through interviews and exchanges to offer the best efficient solutions with controlled costs.

Traffic Aggregation

Traffic aggregation is possible for one or several in-ports towards one or several out-ports for links with different bandwidths ( ex: 10G in- 1G out or reverse) in Many to Any or Any to Many choices.

Traffic Filtering

Advanced traffic filtering features allow to choose an identified traffic and guarantee no packets drops in case of traffic increase. Available filtering feature on NPB boxes enables to select a flow with its destination and source IP addresses, MAC address, linked or not to a protocol- as an example. You can set-up numerous filtering rules on flows equipments ( + 2000). Filters operate in association with other options such as: drop, forward to an out-port or other change.

VLAN & MPLS, NFLOW/SFLOW Network Filtering

NPBs allow to have an action on flows and interfere on VLANs packets, by filtering VLANs, by adding-removing-changing (tag/detag/retag) VLANs that are hold in network packets. It is also possible to filter in relation with MPLS networks, by adding-removing-changing MPLS tag. You can also modify other fields such as Mac Address.

CDR nFLOWS & sFLOWS Generation

NPBs can generate and send nFlow and sFlow CDR’s measures to a flow collector equipment in order to monitor network traffic that is going through the NPB. This flow collector solution would produce graphs and SNMP traps allowing enhanced metrology and monitoring.

GRE tunnels Support

Equipment can act as an end-point tunnel for GRE Tunnel in order to perform applications “backhauling”.

Load Balancing

NPBs support load balancing for L2/L3 hash- up to 10 groups


Multiples Administration Interfaces

NPB can be managed locally or remotely through multiples administration interfaces

  • WEB Console (intuitive Gui)
  • Telnet & SSH CLI mode
  • Serial Local port Telnet or SSH 

H5 audits available documents

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