Earlier this year my lab suffered a near lightning strike. A tree right outside the lab was struck by lightning, causing damage to multiple electronic and electrical devices outside and inside the building.
Outside, the lightning disabled an exterior lighting system and my phone lines. Inside, the lightning took a severe toll on the lab. The cable modem to the outside world was destroyed. The NIC on the lab firewall facing the cable modem was fried, along with a second NIC in the firewall. The NIC on a sensor watching a tap between the cable modem and firewall was also destroyed. So far, this is a grim story.
I have one good piece of news to report, and it involves the tap I mentioned sitting between the cable modem and firewall. The tap survived the lightning strike. More precisely, the tap continued to pass traffic even when its monitoring interface was damaged.
Had the tap been receiving traffic from the modem or firewall, it would have continued to pass it. This truly amazed me. Frequently monitoring practitioners worry that inserting a tap in their network architecture will introduce a single point of failure. In my experience, all of the components around the tap are more likely to fail. A well-engineered tap will continue to pass traffic -- perhaps even when struck by lightning!
The tap that survived my lab lightning strike was built by Net Optics. Congratulations to the Net Optics engineering and manufacturing teams for building quality hardware.