Chapter 26. Tap Aggregation

Often called “TapAgg” by the Arista team, this feature is the direct result of the amazing hardware design of Arista switches coupled with some brilliant software engineering.


Fan-boy much? Read on, and if you don’t agree that this is great, I’ll buy you lunch. Actually, that’s not true; I won’t buy you lunch. I’ll buy myself lunch, though, and raise a toast in your name. Actually, I don’t really drink, so I won’t do that either.

Tap aggregation is the ability to connect multiple devices to a sniffer or analyzer or even groups of tools. Because good analyzers are generally very expensive and most important network devices reside in remote data centers, the ability to aggregate and control the connections to the devices has spawned an industry of tap aggregation devices. These devices tend to also be very expensive, but in the remote data centers, they can be a very valuable addition to the troubleshooting toolset of the networking team. If you’ve ever struggled with the problem of needing to monitor the traffic on one switch while the dedicated sniffer is attached to another switch—thus resulting in you driving to the data center to move a cable—tap aggregation is for you.

Arista primarily sells switches (though it has broadened what switches can do), so why is it involved in the realm of tap aggregation? Arista switches weren’t designed to be tap aggregation devices, but somewhere along the lines, someone discovered that because the switches ...

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