When to use a full-duplex TAP
A full-duplex TAP is the only option guaranteeing all of the network traffic makes it to the analysis device (including Layer 1 and 2 error information). Although this can be the most expensive option, it is also the only option that guarantees complete accuracy when the network is highly saturated.
A full-duplex TAP is more complex and potentially expensive to implement, but where there is high network utilization and an importance to guarantee the capture of “everything on the wire” along with errors from all network layers, a full-duplex TAP is the only choice. If the analysis requires a high level of data stream fidelity (for instance, looking for jitter in video or VoIP), only a full duplex TAP forwards the original data timing to the analyzer.
Note: A full-duplex TAP must be coupled with a probe or monitoring device capable of receiving both channels of a full-duplex signal and recombining the two channels into a single data stream for analysis.
A full-duplex TAP is a passive mechanism that is installed between two network devices. An Optical TAP is non-electronic (no power) and optically splits the signal into two full-duplex signals. One signal maintains the network link, while the other is passed to an analyzer equipped with a dual-receive capture card. A Copper TAP performs the same function, but uses electronic circuitry to duplicate the signals.
Because a full-duplex TAP copies both the send and receive channels from a full-duplex link to the analyzer (where the data is integrated), the analyzer can monitor a full-duplex network at line rate—assuming the capture card in the analyzer is capable.
All TAPs from VIAVI, except the Aggregator TAP family, are full-duplex TAPs.