Dual Port Nic with Failover Bypass

Hi,

I'm setting up a PC to do in-line packet sniffing on the network to monitor outbound bandwidth on the WAN link. The machine works fine as is; an XP box with 2 nics bridged (i.e. an IN and OUT port) and I can sniff all the traffic on it's way to the firewall to monitor bandwidth.

The problem is that when the PC is off or rebooting the XP software bridge isn't active so everyone looses internet connectivity. What I need is a dual port NIC that will failover to a bypass/bridge when there's no power (or better still no OS).

Preferably cheap and PCI, but could manage with PCI-X at a push.

Many thanks!
R.
chief007Asked:
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pierkyConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Umh... I don't know about hardware like the one you said, but I'm thinking about another kind of solution for you needs.

For example, you could connect firewall, LAN and "bandwidth-monitor" to a switch and then enable the "monitor" function on the switch port where the monitor is connected (see Cisco SPAN feature - http://www.cisco.com/warp/public/473/41.html#intro).

If you don't have a switch that supports the monitor feature you could replace it with a simple Hub: all the traffic will be forwarded to all the ports on the hub, so you can setup the monitor to sniff the traffic.

Be aware that if you have lot of traffic network performances may drop.
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chief007Author Commented:
the WAN link is 10Mb so a 100Mb hub should be able to cope...I'll give that a try and let you know. :)
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chief007Author Commented:
That seems to work for monitoring....but it's not going to work for traffic shaping.

pierky - Thanks I'll chuck you some points in a bit but I'd like to leave things open to see if anyone can find that sneaky nic card.
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pierkyCommented:
Oh yes, of course... You did not talk about traffic shaping in the original post, so I posted my comment! :-)
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chief007Author Commented:
Simple is best. Cheers!
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