Troubleshooting with customers

Hello -

I need some suggestions and feedback in general on information sources I can use to educate myself on tools to use in helping end users on their networks.  MOst of this deals with the security industry, and setting up camera's and dvr's to existing networks or creating and building new networks for security devices that would tie into their other networks.

I already use www.portward.com to help my customer out on port forwarding.

Any tools or how to's on measuring available bandwidth on an existing network?

What about the amount of bandwidth network camera's, such as www.acti.com, use up and if will slow down their networks.

Design help - how would you go about dealing with a camera, for instance, that was 500 meters away from the Network switch, isnt the standard length 100meters for ethernet run length??

Any other information dealing with IT and the security industry would be greatly appreciated.  I work for a distributor, we deal with installation companies (ADT for instance) - more and more these days equipment is being put on the network for remote access, and in the future it looks like everything will be going network and I want to get some additional knowledge.

Thanks
tomeb1Asked:
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RPPreacherCommented:
>Any tools or how to's on measuring available bandwidth on an existing network?

A number of them.  Solarwinds Engineer Edition is my personal favorite.  Easy to use and free for 30 days.  http://solarwinds.net

>how would you go about dealing with a camera, for instance, that was 500 meters away from the Network switch, isnt the standard length 100meters for ethernet run length??

Fiber and an ethernet to fiber converter if it must be that far away.  Another option would be add a switch every 80m to act as a repeater but this is poor design.

>Any other information dealing with IT and the security industry would be greatly appreciated

Wow.  That's a big question.  If you have specific questions, you could address them in another question but a catch-all on a broad topic like that... that would be like a post saying "tell me about medicine".

Network security is not something that one learns from a single post on EE, but as you research and come up with specific questions, I am certain the EE experts will gladly take your points...er, help you out!

;-)
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SunBowCommented:
>  we deal with installation companies

There is your best source.

For suggestion, best is to get entire suggested layout first. Live video does not belong on the internet. Knowing more about individual packages helps, for how they handle frame rates and compression and how they would implement some 'standard' configuration.

> was 500 meters away from the Network switch, isnt the standard length 100meters for ethernet run length??

I think you got it right, but why would it have to be ethernet? As I recall that standard was about 500 for LAN backbone (thicknet) and 100m for legs (ThinNet). For distance and speed and timeliness, consideration must be given for things like digging tunnels, which might as well have a higher speed line if it is that critical. You might want to research instead the MAN, Metropolitan Area Network, such as can be for a locale, or as a campus alternative.

For individual equipment you can consider wireless, where you can microwave the signals above ground, deferring tunneling options. A straight serial connection may also be feasible. In addition to fibre, there's potential alternatives for radio or infrared transmission.

> Any tools or how to's on measuring available bandwidth on an existing network?

No. My 2 cents. Reason is, that the initial available bandwidth with no usage is unreal, for tests by experts here show that saturation is reached long before that point for a variety of reasons, and it is not consistent among the alternatives. The best way to judge is to try, and monitor the trial. For acceptance one must always leave room for other overhead, that can include monitoring, access, updates, etc. and networking overhead independent of what users would do.

Sometimes companies, vendors wll supply a lot of this information for you, to demonstrate product feasibility. That is the kind of the to request formally for any proposal of service.
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