Testing overall network efficiency

In an environment where there are TerminalServers, Exchange, SQL, Application Servers etc, what are possible tools to test the overall efficiency of the network, if there any bottlenecks in data flow in part of the network?

thanks
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anushahannaAsked:
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luc_roySystem AdminCommented:
Nothing free but you can get a 30day free trial of Application Performance Monitor (APM).

http://www.solarwinds.com/products/orion/application_monitor/

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anushahannaAuthor Commented:
Does this software need indepth knowledge from the user about concepts like Domain Controller, Active Directory etc to understand/interpret the results from these tools.

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luc_roySystem AdminCommented:
nope but you will need to have access to the read only community strings on the routers and switches and know all the network topology.
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anushahannaAuthor Commented:
You mean the access (password) to the router boxes, and an understanding of the presence of all the devices in the network?

for the later, would this tool capture it all, even if the user missed something:
http://www.purenetworks.com/product/pro.php
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luc_roySystem AdminCommented:
I use that tool at home and it's great for locking down your home and mapping to printers etc...

You need something much more robust.  Your router / switch person would need to add a simple line allowing read only access to your network to each switch and router.  The setup requires you to select at least one device to seed the network and then it auto detects all devices including phones on the network.  It then allows you to setup reporting based on your needs.

It's a great toll but it will require a change to allow reading, and all told will require this same change.

Here is a link on how to do it.
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/tech/tk648/tk362/technologies_tech_note09186a0080094aa4.shtml
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anushahannaAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the link on SNMP.

Could you recommend a robust tool for checking into the network topology in a bigger environment.
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luc_roySystem AdminCommented:
solarwinds is what I like.  The link below will give you are 30 day free trial.  It's price is based on what tools you need.  I have all of them and it runs me about 15K.  Not bad when you think of other tools like spectrum (from CA) costing about 300K.

The problem is once you try it you will love it and want it.

http://www.solarwinds.com/products/orion/
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anushahannaAuthor Commented:
Thanks for sharing your experience, luc_roy. Very helpful. Appreciate it.
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