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ntop, mirroring ports

Posted on 2007-08-02
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I've downloaded a program called ntop on my machine. I've gone through a few of the posts and what I'm understanding is that you have to mirror all ports on the switch to one monitor port in order to accurately view all network traffic. The machine I'm running the program is connected to the monitor port.

Is this the recommended way to view network traffic via ntop?
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Question by:lyon-it
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by:lyon-it
ID: 19627159
I'm raising the point value to 500.

Basically I'm experimenting with ntop. I have 1 port mirrored and would like to mirror more. I'm happy with the results so far but I would like to view all network traffic on my switch, and I'm concerned about the impact on network traffic if I mirrored all ports on the switch.
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giltjr earned 750 total points
ID: 19632867
What type of switch do you have?  Most switches don't allow you to mirror all ports, ports by ports.  Now some will allow you to mirror by VLAN, which can in the end allow you do mirror all ports.

Depending on what you want to do, it may be better (if your switch supports it) is to use NetFlow.  This allows the switch to send a 'summary' of the traffic to ntop.
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by:Cyclops3590
Cyclops3590 earned 750 total points
ID: 19634852
agree with giltjr,  use netflow.

I find it hard to believe any switch can mirror all ports to one port.  even if it was possible via the config, the ports can't support the bandwidth.
Example, most managed switches are atleast 12 FastE ports.  if you mirror 11 ports to the 12th, you are mirroring 1.1Gbps to one 100mbps port. Even if the 12th port is a 1Gbps port, it's still is short on bandwidth. This is because of all the extra junk you get in the packets you don't need (like the encapsulated data).  This is why netflow is the preferred way for this type of monitoring.
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by:Cyclops3590
ID: 19644794
lyon-it,

If you plan on giving a grade less than 'A', you need to give us a reply so we know why the information we gave can't be constituted as  full solution.  No ill-will, just would appreciate a fair chance to get the full grade.
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