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Find out what MAC is on what switch

Posted on 2010-11-17
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10

Hi,

Is there any tool/app that can "trace" (Find) and MAC address across a network?

The "problem" is that we are a School with a lots of Switche and we wants to track/find students from time to time.
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Question by:randersts
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by:jaredrowling
ID: 34154156
what type of switches are you using?

If they are managed you should be able to view the mac addresses found on specific ports.

For instance on a Cisco or HP Procurve switch you could use the command:
sho mac-address

This will display all mac-address to port assignments.

If you are a school and need to track computers it may be worth considering a RADIUS server. This will also provide a higher level of security.

Larger networks can also be made easier to manage through the use of VLANs
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Author Comment

by:randersts
ID: 34154226
We are using HP ProCurve Managede Switche.

I know the command "sh mac-address", but the problem is that i´ll allso have to do this on the next Switch after finding out what IP the next switch have on the port that report that - and alot of other MAC´s, and this makes my job hard.

So, if there is a application there can do the job for me... ;-)
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Expert Comment

by:jhclemente
ID: 34165610
Take a look to netdisco

http://www.netdisco.org/

Free and open source
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jaredrowling earned 500 total points
ID: 34167798
There is also "The Dude" by MikroTik: http://http://www.mikrotik.com/thedude.php

Connects to all SNMP capable devices and will even draw a nice diagram of the network for you including connected hosts so you can see which hosts are connected to which switches. Good bit of software considering it's free.

HP ProCurve and Cisco obviously provide good software for monitoring networks and NetFlow capable devices can log to a NetFlow server. There are a lot of expensive commercial NetFlow solutions out there like SolarWinds. I'm currently researching some Open Source alternatives.

Do you have HP Procurve Manager installed on a management workstation or server? Can be used for free with out the agent and will allow you to view the status of all switches in a central console.

Bear in mind that if you want to be able to track your Students across multiple LAN switches you need to have your topology right and use fully manage switches where ever possible. VLANs and RADIUS are some things you want to consider when your network gets big and security is a concern.

How many switches do you have?
How many are managed?
Do you have any Layer3 capable switches?
Do you have any routers connecting sites/campuses?

If you have a fully managed network (for instance all HP managed L2 switches) you can implement VLANs with just a single L3 distribution switch at the centre of your network. (eg HP Procurve 2910al)
This will allow you to implement VLANs and segment your network into different subnets.
For instance you could use the following VLANs:
VLAN ID 1 - Management (for switches, etc)
               2 - Server (for server farm)
               3 - User (for staff)
               4 - VOIP (for voice over ip if any)
               5 - LAB1
               6 - Class1
and so on
The VLANs must be defined across the L2 devices and routing is enable on the distribution L3 device/s. This would use a DHCP helper agent to refer clients to your DHCP server allowing all VLANs to be assigned IPs from different subnets. Scopes for each VLAN would need to be configured on your DHCP server. For each physical location you could use a different subnet. This would help narrow down the location of an individual computer more manageable.
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