Breakthrough Visibility and Control of Inter-VM Traffic for Security, Compliance, and Performance

Ixia's Net Optics Phantom Virtualization Tap™ bridges the physical and virtual, so that you can monitor the virtualized network with your existing set of tools. Phantom is capable of capturing and then sending inter-VM traffic of interest to the tools that are already monitoring your physical network.

Virtualization Taps provide complete visibility of traffic passing between Virtual Machines (VMs) in virtualized computing environments and clouds. Virtualization Taps include integrated management and monitoring tools for your virtualized monitoring layer.These versatile software devices also send monitored traffic in encapsulated tunnels to physical monitoring tools, so you can use your existing tools and infrastructure to monitor your virtual environment.

  • Extends monitoring access into the inter-VM networking layer
  • Enables monitoring for security and compliance in virtualized environments
  • Applies existing physical monitoring tools, processes, and procedures to the virtual network

As an Elite Technology Alliance Partner with VMware, Ixia has all of the tools and resources to deliver Phantom Virtualization Tap on VMware vSphere 5.0, 5.1, and 5.5 as well as KVM platforms. With partner only API access to the kernel hypervisor stack, there is no need to install or configure any services or agents at the VM or application level, allowing you to optimize system resources without sacrificing performance. Simple to deploy and engineered for the virtual environment, the Phantom Tap extends the visibility of your monitoring tools into the blind spots created by virtualization

Mastering the Challenges of Virtual Visibility, Performance, and Security

The growing shift to virtualization is yielding great efficiency benefits even as it challenges network security, compliance, and performance monitoring. This is because Inter-VM traffic is optimized to speed up connections and minimize network use on the physical core network switches. Such optimization can make traffic invisible to physical tools unable to extend easily into the virtual environment. Currently, many tools suffer from limited throughput, hypervisor incompatibility, and excessive resource utilization.

Ixia’s Phantom vTap™ with TapFlow™ filtering offers complete visibility into virtual data center network traffic to address today’s performance and security challenges. The Phantom solution supports VMware vSphere hypervisors and the KVM virtualization solution for Linux—the only manufacturer to support a virtual tap for KVM—as well as VLAN, ERSPAN, and GRE tunneling encapsulation for traffic forwarding.

Phantom Monitoring Solution: Tapping, Filtering and Forwarding

Security and performance monitoring tools require a complete view of traffic traversing virtual switches. However, these tools lack access above the internal virtual switch layer within the hypervisor. The Ixia Phantom vTap monitors all inter-VM traffic and captures only traffic of interest, enabling you to forward packets to any end-point tool of choice, whether physical or virtual; local or remote for full network visibility and verification. The Phantom solution requires no services or agents to be installed on the virtual machine or application layer and is vSwitch agnostic, supporting the vSS, vDS, and third-party virtual switches. The Phantom solution:

  • Enables proactive monitoring for security, availability, and performance
  • Provides total visibility of inter-VM traffic
  • Offers a single, integrated management interface
  • Delivers TapFlow filtering to isolate interesting data and prevent network congestion
  • Supports multiple hypervisors including VMware vSphere and KVM
  • Meets SLAs and compliance requirements (SOX, PCI, HIPAA)
  • Helps root cause analysis and reduces mean time to resolution (MTTR)
  • Increases ROI and lowers TCO of existing tools

The Phantom solution is “all-in-one”—providing centralized management with an easy-to-use web UI for total access and control of your security and performance monitoring needs.

  • Enables complete visibility of east-west, inter-VM, and blade server mid-plane traffic through virtual tapping,
  • Offers a solution with full access to network packets passing between VMs on hypervisor stack
  • Provides TapFlow™ multi-layer
  • L2-L4 filtering engine and traffic forwarding
  • Supports multiple hypervisors, including VMware vSphere and KVM
  • Supports vSS (virtual standard switch), vDS (virtual distributed switch), and third-party virtual switches for a switch-agnostic solution
  • Sends traffic to any existing end-point appliance (tool agnostic)
  • Follows VMs for continuous
  • visibility throughout migration
  • (VM-level monitoring)
  • Supports vMotion and DRS


  • Enables proactive monitoring and security of virtual data centers
  • Optimizes user experience by increasing troubleshooting capabilities
  • Meets SLAs and compliance requirements (SOX, PCI, HIPAA)
  • Helps resolve root causes to reduce MTTR through visibility and verification
  • Allows retention of system resources by eliminating any need to install agents or services on the VM or application layer
  • Increases ROI and lowers TCO of existing security and performance monitoring tools
  • Allows control of multiple Phantom instances (included software component) for centralized management

Deployment Ixia Phantom vTap


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