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Excessive Network Activity

Posted on 2009-05-18
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Last Modified: 2013-12-04
Enviornment -MS Server 2003, 2008, Exchange Server 2007, ISA 2006. Local Area Network.
Network showing signs of extremely heavy activity, causing connectivity problems, authentication issues, network file access very slow and interrupted.  

Tried swapping out Switch with no improvement.
Please help, thank you.
Marguerite
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Question by:pwi_it
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by:steveoskh
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My assumptions, this is happening at all times even when network activity should be low.

You likely have something on the network that is causeing the issue.
If the servers are all on the same network switch, disconnect the uplinks one at a time to see if the traffic drops back to normal.  Once you find the uplink causeing the problem, you can narrow it from there.

We recently had similar problems.  In the evening when there should be little traffic, the activity lights on the switches were solid.  I eventually found that the cleaning guy thought he pulled out a network cable and pluggeed it back into the wall.  The cable was already plugged in causing a loop and shutting down the entire network.   We are looking at spanning tree and VLAN's to lower the chance of this in the future.

Another time we used a small 4 port switch to add a printer in an office.  This switch went bad and wrecked havoc on the network.   This one we found before having to pull uplink cables.
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by:pwi_it
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Your assumtions are correct, our switch port lights are rapidly flashing.  I have tried disconnecting the uplinks one at a time with no improvement. We are using 2 small 4 port switches and have pulled the uplink cables with no success. Any other suggestions?  We have 4 wireless access points and 1 wireless router on our network as well, all have been unplugged again no luck.
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by:steveoskh
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Hmm, 4 port switchs are unlikely to be managed, so they won't tell you anything.   Did you disconnect the servers as well.    With only 8 devices in 2 switches, it should not be difficult to find the problem.

When you disconnected the link between the switch's which one dropped back to normal activity?  Then elimiminate devices until traffice goes normal.   If it does not matter which two computers are on the switch, then the switch is bad.

I would highly recommend a managed switch.   HP has some very inexpensive ones.  For example
http://www.cdw.com/shop/products/default.aspx?EDC=1248948
http://www.cdw.com/shop/products/default.aspx?EDC=245297
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by:pwi_it
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Sorry for the confusion the 4 port switches are used for additional network connections when needed for support staff, I referrence them after reading about your network problem, we have 2 Dell Switches 48 - 10/100 ports & 2 - 1 GIG ports.  We have disconnected each server one at a time, also went so far as to disconnect all the workstations one at a time still no change.  We also have a Dell Remote Console that we are currently looking at, any additional suggest are greatly appreciated.  Any software tools available to locate what device is causing all the activity?
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steveoskh earned 500 total points
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Ah I see now.  Hopefully the Dell switch allows you to turn on Monitoring or Mirroring.  This will allow you to send all, or specific port, switch traffic to one port of the switch.  You would then use a network monitor or packet sniffer to look at the traffic.
There are many products that do this.   One that I have used is CAPSA
This is a demo of using it to look at network traffic.
http://www.colasoft.com/download/monitor_network_traffic_monitor.php

I keep this application on an old laptop for just this type of problem.
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by:pwi_it
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Very Nice, that is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you.
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Author Closing Comment

by:pwi_it
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The suggested program pointed at high voltage interference intercepted on one of our WAP's.
Thank you again.
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