Network Critical Introduces Hybrid TAP System
August 06, 2019
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Network Critical unveiled the SmartNA-XL, an Intelligent Hybrid TAP system that offers both comprehensive tapping capabilities and powerful, built-in packet broker features.

The third generation of the well-established SmartNA series, the SmartNA-XL sets a new access standard for performance and flexibility by offering organizations a fully modular chassis that can be customized with a choice of more than 20 different swappable TAP modules, ranging in performance from 1, 10 and 40G. This provides the high-speed performance and flexibility needed to manage tools that monitor and protect network infrastructure, secure information and keep up with the ever-changing threat landscape.

SmartNA-XL comes equipped with four 1/10G module slots, and one 1/10/40G module slot for connection to high speed optical networks, tool farms, or for stacking SmartNA-XL units. Available modules include standard out-of-band failsafe TAPs, passive optical TAPs, active bypass TAPs, and advanced packet processor modules. This wide range of options allows customers to meet their individual requirements for network access in high availability, hot standby and in-line scenarios. The dual 40G QSFP ports also allow bridging of low to high speed network interfaces and tools.

“Network Critical is proud to have been the first in the market to develop intelligent tapping solutions, and we’re thrilled to build on this legacy with the hybrid TAP/packet broker capabilities and enhanced flexibility built into the SmartNA-XL system,” said Alastair Hartrup, Global CEO of Network Critical. “Today’s complex IT environment demands that organizations adjust, scale and refine their networks rapidly, which is why we designed the SmartNA-XL to allow network engineers to mix and match TAP modules that best support their unique networking challenges and opportunities when connecting monitoring and security tools.”

Network Critical’s scale-out capabilities allow the SmartNA-XL to seamlessly expand and adapt to meet a wide variety of network changes and requirements. Additionally, the solution can influence significant CapEx savings by ensuring existing network tools perform more efficiently and by filtering unneeded data and aggregating under-utilized links to dramatically reduce the number of tools needed to secure and manage network links.

Key Product Features:

- Modular, customizable TAP modules with a total of twenty 1/10G SFP/SFP+ ports, providing networking input and tool connection ports anywhere on the system.

- One rear-facing slot for either 1/10G or 40G modules that allows for unit stacking and bridging between low- and high-speed network interfaces and tools.

- Advanced packet manipulation via the PacketProTM card module for header stripping, payload masking and more.

- Increased rule capacity, allowing for the simple deployment of complex, overlapping filter designs and enabling filter rules to be applied to any port so every port can be protected with fewer tools.

- Bypass 1/10G TAP modules with heartbeat packet technology designed to remove single points of failure and preserve the flow of secure network traffic even when individual tools go down.

- Fastfail Copper Gigabit TAP modules that remove single points of failure and don’t require batteries.

- Passive Fiber Optic Gigabit TAP modules, offering zero latency and removing single points of failure.

- Built-in compliance enablement for regulations such as SOX, HIPAA and PCI-DSS.

- Compatibility with all major manufacturers’ security and monitoring tools, including protocol analyzers, probes, IPS/IDS, NGFW, DLP, UTM and SIEM.

SmartNA-XL is managed entirely through Network Critical’s revolutionary, patented Drag-n-Vu interface that makes deployment and change management simple and accurate. This web management platform makes it easy to employ advanced features such as aggregation, traffic filtering, load balancing and port mapping, while reducing the cost and time requirements associated with planning, configuration and network tool management.

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