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40g network packet broker


40G network tap

Our intelligent, hybrid TAP and packet broker introduces GRE support
Monitor your multi-site networks from a centralized location

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Network Critical’s 10/40Gb Network TAP and Packet Broker, SmartNA-XL™, provides the high-speed performance and flexibility needed to manage tools that protect network infrastructure, secure information, and keep up with the ever-changing attack environment.

With five slots to integrate a wide variety of ethernet TAP modules in a modular 1RU chassis, the SmartNA-XL safely connects tools while protecting network reliability and availability. Even if power fails, your network traffic
will continue to flow; making the SmartNA-XL the clear leader in network access and visibility.

Key Features


  • 1G/10G/40G modular TAP & Packet Broker; custom access solutions for high and low-speed networks

  • PacketPro™ advanced packet manipulation: Packet Slicing, Header Stripping, Payload Masking

  • Passive Fiber Optic, Bypass 10, and Fastfail copper Gigabit TAP modules

  • Hot-swap TAP modules for easy reconfiguration and expansion to meet evolving network demands

  • Secure SNMP monitoring for integration into Network Management Systems

  • Compatible with all major manufacturers' monitoring tools, including protocol analyzers, probes and IDS

  • Primary access solution for all packet capture, performance monitoring, lawful interception and forensic analysis applications

  • Zero latency, no point of failure, no batteries required and 100% safe and efficient deployment of inline tools

  • Flexible provision of new tools quickly and easily

  • Real-time alerting

packet broker

SmartNA-XL™ allows our client to seamlessly monitor critical links from
1Gbps to 40Gbps in the same 

Vodafone logo

Modular, Hybrid Network Packet Broker

Network Critical’s SmartNA-XL provides the high speed performance and flexibility needed to provide accurate,real-time visibility to the tools that protect network infrastructure and secure information, keeping you up with the ever-changing threat environment.


10/40G Hybrid Network Packet Broker

The SmartNA-XL chassis offers five 1/10/40G slots to integrate a wide variety of Passive, Active, or Bypass TAP modules that safely connect tools while protecting network reliability and availability. In addition, a rear slot for another 1/10/40G module that allows connection to high-speed optical networks or tool farms, and stacking of SmartNA-XL units for scalability. The powerful non-blocking backplane allows traffic to flow at 10Mbps.

Advanced features such as aggregation, filtering, load balancing, and port mapping reduce planning, configuration, and tool management time. Network Critical’s SmartNA-XL enables organizations to manage the flow of information securely, efficiently, and reliably. Even if power fails, your network traffic will continue to flow; making the SmartNA-XL the clear leader in network access and visibility. Modular, customizable TAP modules with a total of twenty 1/10/40Gbps SFP/SFP+ ports can be utilized providing network input and tool connection ports anywhere on the system.

SmartNA-XL Deployment Examples

Aggregation of Various Speeds and Technologies:


This particular end-user wanted to use the SmartNA-XL to aggregate some legacy 1Gb copper with 1/10Gb Single Mode Fiber (SMF) in order to send the combined traffic over two 10Gb lines to their network monitoring tool for analysis.


As demonstrated in the deployment's graphic, the 1Gb copper module in our SmartNA-XL is configured as two bidirectional TAPs. The 1/10Gb SMF traffic comes via SPAN ports from two network routers. The tapped traffic is aggregated with the SPAN traffic and then load balanced across the remaining two SFP+ ports on the first module. This solution optimizes all the available ports and leaves three unused slots for future expansion.

1/10Gb Ports 

Aggregated traffic to Tools (10G) load balanced across 2 ports

Network Tap deployment example

Traffic aggregated in backplane and mapped to output ports

1G Copper (RJ-45 ports)

ExtraHop Appliance Deployment:

This end-user is using the SmartNA-XL to capture Response Time Reporter (RTR) information in order to monitor their network performance and resources by measuring response times and the availability of their network devices.


In this solution example, the user is aggregating 1Gb copper in the first 2 modules and 1/10Gb SMF in the third module, then aggregating the traffic flows in the backplane and sending the combined traffic to an ExtraHop Appliance via the fourth module. There is also an empty slot in the back of the SmartNA-XL device to provide flexibility for future expansion. Additionally, the third module is receiving out-of-band traffic from Network Critical’s Slimline Passive Fiber Optical TAPs.





Capture Response Time Reporter informati





ExtraHop Device

Passive Fiber Optical TAP

Multi-Tapping Deployment:

This end-user wanted to get access to some critical links for security monitoring purposes. They could not set up SPAN/Mirror Ports because those ports do not support L2/3/4 filtering required for optimal security analysis. Additionally, the eight links were a mixed media of 1Gb Copper, 1Gb Multi-Mode Fiber and 1Gb Single-Mode Fiber, making a fixed box solution almost impossible.


The benefit of using the SmartNA-XL modular appliance is that they can tap these different links within the same 1U platform and aggregate to a 10Gb monitor port for distribution to the security/machine learning solution. Other features like traffic filtering, load balancing and GRE Decapsulation are available on the SmartNA-XL as well. This solution drawing shows the flexibility that is available within Network Critical's modular platforms.

4 x 1Gb Copper,  2 x 1Gb MMF,  2 x 1Gb SMF Links Tapped

Aggregated data from the eight tapped links to the security monitoring platform. 10Gb MM/SR from the rear 10Gb ports

tap links in the same 1RU platform and a

SmartNA-XL™ TAP Modules

network packet broker module

(4) 1/10GbE SFP/SFP+

packet broker 40g module

(2) LX or SX Optical,
(2) 10/100/1000 Ethernet

network tap 40g module

(2) LX or SX Optical,
(2) 1GbE SFP

modules for ethernet taps

(2) 10/100/1000 Ethernet,
(2) 1GbE SFP

modules for 40g taps

(4) 10/100/1000 Ethernet

packet broker module

(4) 1GbE, (2) 10GbE Packet Processing Engines

SmartNA-XL PacketPro™ Module

packet processing
  • Powerful packet slicing

  • Header stripping for advanced filtering

  • Payload masking for complaint analysis

  • fully configurable for customization and growth with your network

Aggregation TAPs
Filtering network tools



Aggregate SPAN/TAP traffic feeds across multiple network links, filtering, optimizing and feeding the combined traffic to connected security and monitoring tools for further analysis

Identify traffic based on signature or patterns across any part of the packet - or corresponding to application sessions - and forward to security appliances, increasing their efficacy and performance.

load balancing taps


Distribute traffic among multiple ports based on a variety of options: hashing, bandwidth, cumulative traffic, packet rate, connections, and more.

Network Critical Drag-n-Vu GUI

A single-pane-of-glass network management system at your fingertips


Network Critical TAPs
BP Network Tools

“In addition to monitoring control systems, we have security tools that understand our traffic patterns and look for anomalies that might signal malware or viruses attempting to embed in our systems. Unauthorized manipulation of our monitoring systems can have serious safety and production consequences. Network Critical TAP’s help us manage security without impacting network traffic.”


Director, IT Services

Network Critical packet brokers
Vodafone network tools

“Continuous monitoring is absolutely critical to maintaining a high-quality network and staying in compliance with European data regulations. Network Critical SmartNA-XL allows us to see and manage traffic without impacting live traffic.”


OSS Tools Manager

Network Critical fiber taps
The Stars Group network tools

“We were struggling with bad data sent to our tools disrupting our planning models and causing concerns with our security tools. The Network Critical solution solved both our monitoring and protection concerns without impacting production traffic.”


Sr. Manager, Network Planning

Network Critical bypass taps
Government Agency Network Tools

“We base our deployment on NIST best practices. Using specialized tools to secure our infrastructure and maintain information privacy, our network remains in line with accepted standards. The Network Critical platform allows us to connect all the right tools while maintaining the highest level of reliability.”


Data Management Systems Analyst


Compare The Products

Compare the entire Network TAP, Hybrid TAP and Packet Broker Range

Technology Partnerships

Cisco is a global leader in telecommunications, security, network infrastructure and IT applications. As an official Cisco Solution Partner, Network Critical helps provide visibility and access for Cisco security and performance monitoring solutions.

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network critical expert network tools


Together, we can find the perfect solution for your network

We understand your privacy is important. Network Critical does not share your personal information with any unauthorized parties. For more information on how we use your personal data, please review our Privacy Policy.

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