The first building-block to your visibility architecture is access to the data. That comes in one of two forms: a network tap or a switch port analyzer (SPAN) port (also known as port mirroring). But which is the right one? This document should help answer that question. These days, your network is as important to your business as any other item—including your products.

Whether your customers are internal or external, you need a dependable and secure network that grows with your business. Without one, you are dead in the water. IT managers have a nearly impossible job. They must understand, manage, and secure the network all the time against all problems. Anything less than a 100 percent working network is a failure.