Network Instruments revamps optical nTAP line of monitoring devices

December 12, 2005 Minneapolis, MN -- Network Instruments, a developer of network analysis, monitoring, and management devices, has announced an upgrade of its entire optical nTAP line. The company says the new series of monitoring devices delivers higher port density for convenient link access, enabling complete visibility into full-duplex networks.

December 12, 2005 Minneapolis, MN -- Network Instruments, a developer of network analysis, monitoring, and management devices, has announced an upgrade of its entire optical nTAP line. The company says the new series of monitoring devices delivers higher port density for convenient link access, enabling complete visibility into full-duplex networks.

The company says the new line of optical nTAPs is configured with LC connectors that are far more compact than the older SC connectors; this allows a single nTAP unit to support one, two, or three channels. Up to nine full-duplex links can be supported in a single 1U rack panel, a 50% capacity increase over prior nTAP models, according to the company; nTAPs supporting different media types can now be conveniently mixed and matched within a 1U panel.

The company says its optical nTAPs are available in multiple configurations, including gigabit singlemode, gigabit multimode, and 10-Gbit multimode. The devices are compatible with analysis tools ranging from network analyzers to forensic appliances and intrusion detection systems.

"Today's network professionals understand that multiple points of visibility are required to effectively manage a network," comments Pete Hage, nTAP sales director. "Seeing every bit of communication that traverses those points of visibility is crucial. In full-duplex networks, the only way to see all the traffic is with a TAP. And now, with our newest additions to the nTAP line, we've ensured there is a nTAP configuration to fit every network professional's need and budget."

The company says that TAPs are a superior alternative to the commonly used SPAN session, because unlike SPAN sessions, TAPs guarantee complete data transfer to a monitoring device for accurate analysis. According to the company, a SPAN session can provide an inaccurate picture of the network because it can only transfer 1000 Mbit/sec at a time to a monitoring device. If utilization on a full-duplex link (which can hold up to 2000 Mbit/sec) exceeds 1000 Mbit/sec, packets are dropped. The company says its TAPs are designed to not drop packets regardless of network conditions; additionally, SPAN sessions do not pass error frames that traverse the network. The company says its TAPs reveal all data, including errors, to the monitoring device for complete analysis.

"Analyzing high-speed networks without nTAPs can provide a misleading picture of the network," maintains Douglas Smith, president of Network Instruments. "The world increasingly depends on gigabit links, most of which support business-critical communication. If you don't have an accurate way to access and monitor that information, you could get blindsided from a network issue at any time."

The Optical nTAPs line is priced starting at $295.

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