To Mirror or to TAP, That is the Question!

Network managers are dealing with transitions such as work from home (WFH), increasing speeds, media updates from copper to fiber, new applications and physical moves. Keeping up with constant changes in network activity requires consistent, accurate and complete visibility into network traffic. There are two technologies that provide network traffic visibility. One is using existing mirror ports on a switch (in Cisco terminology, Switched Port Analyzer or SPAN) and the other is deploying independent TAPs. Each method has its own advantages and drawbacks. It is critical for network managers to understand the differences in order to make visibility decisions that fit their own needs and priorities.