I am new in networking and had a basic query regarding port-mirroring.

A video stream is taken from camera-based software system and is being fed to a distribution system. For high availability (distribution systems may fail), we may need multiple streams so that they can be fed to multiple distribution systems. Each other stream from camera-based software system costs a license fee.

Can a switch with port-mirroring used here? Can the single-stream be mirrored using "port-mirroring" and be fed to multiple distribution systems to avoid licensing cost? Will this approach work to successfully mirror single stream to multiple streams?

  • 1
    Sounds like a very bad idea, since you would be replicating all network traffic, not just the video stream. That could lead to some very unexpected and unwanted results.
    – Teun Vink
    Jan 24, 2021 at 8:02
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    Port mirroring combines the traffic of multiple interfaces to a single interface (usually dropping frames due to oversubscription on the single interface), but it seems you want to split the traffic from a single interface to multiple interfaces, opposite of mirroring.
    – Ron Maupin
    Jan 24, 2021 at 14:32
  • Did any answer help you? if so, you should accept the answer so that the question does not keep popping up forever, looking for an answer. Alternatively, you could post and accept your own answer.
    – Ron Maupin
    Dec 23, 2021 at 16:07

2 Answers 2


Possibly. But you're just substituting one single point of failure -- the distribution system, with another -- the switch with port mirroring.


If you duplicate the network frames of a "video stream" using port mirroring it might or might not work, depending on the protocols being used.

With TCP as a transport-layer protocol, a logical connection (a socket) is formed that requires both connection partners to actively participate. Accordingly, port mirroring won't work unless the monitor port listener is somehow happy with passive listening in on the connection of the real partners. How to do that is more a programming task and off-topic here.

With a UDP-based or possibly RTP-based stream, it is possible to have an entirely one-way stream, depending on the actual application-layer protocol on top (which is off-topic here as well). So, duplicating the UDP stream might work. If no in-depth documentation of the protocols is available you might just have to try.

In any case, you'll need to solve the likely problem with the duplicate distribution system address. You might need to set up various filtering on one port to prevent disturbances on the network or application level, again depending on the actual protocols. You may need to hire a network expert to set up those filters.

A more realistic approach would be to duplicate the stream on a fake distribution system (a kind of proxy) that in turn feeds the real distribution systems. Of course, this may be extremely protocol-specific and probably requires programming, which is also not in the scope of Network Engineering and off-topic here.

Also, as Ron has hinted, for a high-availability system you need to remove all single points of failure, requiring a redundant network setup.

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