Traffic prioritisation and bandwidth management in an office network

Hi
     we have a network of 40 users in the head office using 2 mb leased line to access the internet. Our ISP manages our router (Cisco 1800 series). At the moment we dont have any traffic prioritisation implemented on the router. That means one download is causing the entire HO line to slow down and we don't have any proper network monitoring utility as well.  Our ISP are asking big bucks to do traffic prioritisation to do on the router level.

      I am looking to find a solution (hardware or software) by which we can

1.      Limit traffic or bandwidth based on types (http, SQL, ftp etc), IP address etc
2.      See some sort of live monitoring of traffic based on IP address or traffic types
3.      Some network monitoring feature
4.     Block certain websites if need to

 I have been told that  all or part of the above can be done by Microsoft ISA server (we are planning to implement that as well), is it true? Please let me know a feasible solution

Regards
Exg
ExchangeGroupAsked:
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ExchangeGroupAuthor Commented:
Hi all

       Is there any comment for the above question. In precise, I am looking for a solution (hardware or softwre) that can prioritise traffic before entering into our ISP router? any updates will be much appreciated
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giltjrCommented:
If you are not that technical and are a MS shop ISA would work.  

If you are more technically inclined and use Linux, may want to look into something like Squid with SquidGuard and/or DansGuardian.  It a free solution (from a software point of view) and gives you bandwidth management, blocking based on URL or IP address and content filtering.
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wyliecoyoteukCommented:
Or you could go for a seperate Firewall solution.
Smoothwall is either free:
http://www.smoothwall.org/
or you can buy the commercially supported version:
http://www.smoothwall.com/

Installation is simple, just boot from the CD. it wipes the jhard disk and installs itself.

We use the latter, running on an old PIII 800Mhz PC  and it does everything that you need, easily managed through a web interface

There are other solutions
IPcop
http://www.ipcop.org/
Untangle
http://www.untangle.com/
Clarkconnect
http://www.clarkconnect.com/

or hardware:
Checkpoint
http://www.metadigm.co.uk/partners/checkpoint/networksecurity/overview.php?gclid=CJL-j-KR1pYCFQXO1AodaiWS2A

ISA server works, and does almost everything that you want, I think, except it can be a bit too intrusive, and it is not easy to manage.
I only have one customer who still uses it.
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wyliecoyoteukCommented:
Out of interest, what did you go for in the end?
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ExchangeGroupAuthor Commented:

We haven't done it yet. But atleast we know what will we be using. either ISA or the checkpoint device (depends on the price).. Thanks again for your support
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