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Proper network monitoring consists of more than just attaching a security and monitoring tool to a SPAN port or network tap. A visibility architecture with network packet brokers (NPBs) can be used effectively to reduce costs, optimize user quality of experience (QOE), improve network security, and support regulatory compliance initiatives. Specifically, service providers can use NPBs to: First, Aggregate data from multiple sources (SPAN ports, taps, virtual machines). Second, Lower the cost of data aggregation. Third, Filter out unnecessary data flooding to your security and monitoring tools to make them more efficient. Fourth, Load balance data across multiple tools to extend the life of those existing tools. Fifth, Perform packet trimming/slicing to improve network security and increase regulatory compliance. Sixth, Perform header stripping to make security and monitoring tools more efficient. Seventh, Take advantage of component automation to reduce costs and improve service efficiency. This document provides the basic information you need to optimize your network visibility and monitoring architecture.