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Network Packet Brokers

Network Packet Brokers

Fully modular, next-generation hybrid packet brokers

Network Paket Brokers

Understanding Network Packet Brokers

Network Packet Brokers (NPBs), also known as monitoring switches, tool aggregators, and data access switches, are essential hardware devices designed to enhance network performance. By gaining unparalleled insight into network traffic, these devices optimize the functionality of various solutions, such as performance management and network security.


Network Packet Brokers are able to reduce resource waste, costs and of course, possibilities of hacking. This is because NPBs can apply specific rules and filters before they forward the traffic to your various network tools, such as performance management, network security, and other monitoring tools.

The 'Broker' (or manager) in Network Packet Broker refers to its ability to combine, integrate, separate, manipulate, and process inputs from many sources, delivering the data to a wide variety of appliance and tool destinations. Delivering the right data to the right tool will optimize security and performance.

Network Critical's SmartNA Network Packet Broker range are hybrid, so in 1RU device, you get both Network TAP technology as well as Packet Broker technology. This makes our packet brokers highly effective in saving costs, and rack space.


The SmartNA range offer high quality core features: 

  • Zero packet loss with total traffic capture

  • Load-Balance traffic to multiple monitoring and analysis tools.

  • Intelligent aggregation of traffic from multiple Network TAPs or SPAN ports.

  • Single pane-of-glass GUI, Drag-n-Vu™ rule optimisation engine calculates all filter rule interaction automatically.

  • Intelligent traffic filtering, ensuring that security and monitoring tools see all the data they need.

  • Application layer visibility allows for efficient packet processing on individual L7 protocols.

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Hybrid tap and packet broker

Intelligent Hybrid TAPs

Granular architecture for greater control and security at scale. Each Network Critical component is its own hybrid TAP/Packet Broker. This unique ground-up architecture allows entirely local processing for highly granular traffic control and the ultimate in isolated security, regardless of scale. And because it’s built into the Network Critical design - not part of premium offerings - every organization benefits.

  • SmartNA 1Gb Modular Hybrid TAP System

  • SmartNA-XL 10/40Gb Modular Hybrid TAP System


The SmartNA-PortPlus™ provides a scalable range from 48 ports to 194 ports of 1/10/25/40 and 100Gbps visibility, enabling users to interconnect different network protection and monitoring tools quickly and easily. Packaged in a compact single RU chassis the SmartNA-PortPlus™ offers immediate value for today and an efficient path to the inevitable adds and changes for tomorrow.

100G network tap

SmartNA-PortPlus HyperCore™

next generation network packet broker

The SmartNA-PortPlus HyperCore™ offers 32 QSFP-DD interfaces, all of which can directly support port speeds up to 400 Gbps access in a non-blocking single RU chassis.  Breakout cables can be utilised to expand port count up to 256 ports of 10/25/40/50G, all from the same 1RU chassis. 

The SmartNA-PortPlus™ Packet Broker

The SmartNA-PortPlus™ is a high-powered Network Packet Broker solution that delivers complete network access for your security and performance appliances. Totally scalable, SmartNA-PortPlus™ can grow with your network, future-proofing your existing tool investments.

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Why do you need a Packet Broker
in your Network Architecture? 

Building a network visibility architecture is the answer to getting ahead of security threats or network performance issues. By knowing exactly what traffic is flowing on your network, you can provide each tool with the right packets for prevention, optimization, and success.

Visibility Into Every Packet

As networks constantly grow in complexity, size and speed, organizations must efficiently and economically connect and provide relevant visibility to all of their security and monitoring appliances at ever increasing speeds and varying physical media, without impacting network visibility and reliability. Deliver uncompromising insight into the traffic traveling across your network, centralizing and improving network efficiency and ROI across your security and monitoring infrastructures.

Network Critical Packet Broker Systems enable you to:​


  • Filter, Aggregate and Load-Balance traffic collected by Intelligent TAPs across your network in real-time.

  • Utilize Single-Pane Management with the Unique Drag-n-Vu™ Interface for simple, intelligent port-mapping.

  • Deploy with ultimate scalability, using a fully-modular design to expand as your infrastructure evolves.

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SmartNA-PortPlus HyperCore™

PortPlus HyperCore

Next-Generation 400G Network Packet Broker
Realise total scalability within one solution

eBook Library

Network Visibility Checklist

The Network Visibility Checklist

Network Critical’s Guide to Planning, Selecting and Deploying TAP and Packet Broker Technology

network critical


Together, we can find the perfect solution for your network

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