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Get improved visibility into high speed network connections

Get improved visibility into high speed network connections

Oct 20 2015


Datacom Systems a leading manufacturer of network packet brokers, data aggregation tools, and other network access devices, adds the FTP-1516  to its line of network taps for 40G monitoring.

Passive network taps, like the FTP-1516, are ideal for security applications, network monitoring and anywhere you need to see all the data that only an In-Line solution can provide. Invisible to the network, completely passive and fault-tolerant, fiber taps will not affect network performance or integrity.  The FTP-1516 is completely passive, compact and uses no electrical power.


The FTP-1516 is a 40G fiber tap that is placed on a 40GBASE-LR4 link to make copies of traffic for monitoring purposes. The 40GBASE-LR4 protocol uses single-mode fibers that carry four wavelengths.

Each wavelength transports 10G worth of traffic on the fiber. This makes it possible to carry 40G traffic using existing iber cables which already exist in most data centers and cable infrastructures. Using 40GBASE-LR4 can help avoid re-cabling the network when upgrading equipment from 10G to 40G.

Designed for a specific use case

Normally, 40G-LR4 fiber taps create a 40G copy of traffic for monitoring use. This copy must be received by a monitoring tool with a 40G port. See figure 1.

Unlike regular 40G-LR4 fiber taps, the FTP-1516 has additional hardware which allows it to fit a different use case. Internally the FTP-1516 consists of two parts, a coupler and a wavelength de-multiplexer.  Similar to other taps, the coupler creates a copy of traffic for monitoring. The FTP-1516 unique feature is its use of a de-multiplexer.  See figure 2.

A copy of traffic is sent to a de-multiplexer, which separates the traffic by wavelength creating 4 outputs (1271nm, 1291nm, 1311nm, 1331nm) for each direction of traffic. Since this traffic is split by wavelength at 10G speeds, it can be monitored on 4 separate 10G ports. A network device that can accept and bind 10G ports together, allows the 40G network link to be monitored by a device with only 4 10G ports. See figure 3. Several network switch manufacturers permit the binding of 10G ports that can read these individual wavelengths.   This solution can free 40G ports in a monitoring solution, or allow 40G monitoring on a device without 40G ports, which represents a significant cost savings for monitoring 40G links.

Benefit and Conclusion:

The FTP-1516 can reduce the total cost of implementing a monitoring solution by allowing a 40G link to be monitored without using expensive 40G ports. The FTP-1516 allows you to leverage existing 10G monitoring ports and can be a cost effective alternative to upgrading to a 40G monitoring solution.