Cisco Tap SPAN Agg License for 1 Cisco

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Using the Cisco Nexus Data Broker and Cisco Nexus Switches that support OpenFlow, Cisco provides a software-defined approach to aggregate copies of network traffic using network taps or Switched Port Analyzer (SPAN) for monitoring and visibility. As opposed to traditional traffic monitoring solutions, this packet brokering approach offers a simple, scalable and cost-effective solution well suited for customers who need to monitor higher-volume and business-critical traffic for efficient use of security, compliance and application performance monitoring tools.

Traditional approaches to network traffic visibility have used some form of high-density purpose-built matrix switch to which both the Tap/SPAN input and the monitoring and analysis tools are connected. Figure 1 shows the traditional approach to network traffic monitoring.

sing the Cisco Nexus Data Broker, Cisco's approach replaces the matrix switches with one or more OpenFlow-enabled Cisco Nexus switches. The traffic is tapped into this bank of switches in the same manner as in a matrix network. However, with Cisco Nexus Data Broker, you can interconnect these Cisco Nexus switches to build a scalable Tap/SPAN aggregation infrastructure.

You can use a combination of Tap and SPAN sources to bring the copy of the production traffic to this Tap/SPAN aggregation infrastructure. You also can distribute these Tap/SPAN sources and traffic monitoring and analysis tools across multiple Cisco Nexus switches. The monitoring and analysis tools can be physical appliance-based or virtual machine-based.

OpenFlow implementation on Cisco Nexus switches supports hybrid mode, which allows you to use the same switch for production traffic and as a Tap/SPAN aggregation switch. With these features, the Cisco approach provides superior economics, saving both capital expenditures (CapEx) and operating expenses (OpEx) when compared with the traditional matrix network approach. The Cisco approach also helps ensure short response times and full coverage as monitoring needs scale.