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Port mirroring is used on a network switch to send a copy of network packets seen on one switch port (or an entire VLAN) to a network monitoring connection on another switch port. This is commonly used for network appliances that require monitoring of network traffic, such as an intrusion detection system.
Network engineers or administrators use port mirroring to analyze and debug data or diagnose errors on a network. It helps the administrator keep a close eye on network performance and will alert them when problems occur. It can be used to mirror either inbound or outbound traffic (or both) on single or multiple interfaces.