Windows Script/Utility to Monitor Database Backup Job Travelling Across Network

Hi,

I have a database backup job that runs on a Windows 2003 Server at 1am every morning. It backs up a database to a folder on a remote Windows 2003 server. It should take approximately 8 minutes to run, but occasionally it takes 10+ hours to run, and then fails.

I'm looking to schedule a network monitoring job/script/app to record the TCP traffic on the database server's NIC to see what's happening (statistical data - bytes Tx/Rx, bytes/sec, IP addresses data sent to, etc) during the first hour of the backup (1am-2am).

As this is all happening at 1am in the morning, I'm looking for a way to automate this job, but I haven't a clue where to start. Has anyone created scripts using Process Explorer, Netstat, TCPView, or similar? If so can you suggest how I could go about this?

NOTE: SNMP is disabled on all of our servers, and I cannot turn this service on (security compliance policy).

Thanks,
Fin
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cpadmAsked:
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Ernie BeekExpertCommented:
You could have a look at PRTG: http://www.paessler.com/prtg/infographic/#snmp (one of my personal favorites :) It can also use other methods besides SNMP.
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cpadmAuthor Commented:
Ideally I would like to avoid the installation of software on either server.

Unless of course I can run PRTG from a (Linux) virtual appliance on my own desktop that can be configured to monitor traffic between remote NIC's?

Otherwise I'm looking for something along the lines of an implementation of Process Explorer (standalone exe that I can run on a production server) that creates a log file of TCP traffic between 2 IP addresses.
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Ernie BeekExpertCommented:
You should be able to install it on your desktop. You'll have to setup the (switch) port you're connected to as a monitoring port though.
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cpadmAuthor Commented:
The server is connected to a Cisco Catalyst switch that is administered by a third party. What do I need to do in a request to allow PRTG to gain access to statistical data on the relevant Switch port?
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Ernie BeekExpertCommented:
Ask them to set up port monitoring (SPAN) for the servers port on the switch. They will then configure an unused port for that. To that port all the traffic from the servers port is mirrored so you can plug a device in to that port to analyze the traffic.
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cpadmAuthor Commented:
So, I need a second NIC installed on my PC patched to this mirror switch port for PRTG to analyse the traffic?
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yelbaglfCommented:
We use PRTG as well, and another thought would be to install it to a linux box using wine.  I absolutely agree that PRTG is a fantastic tool, but below are some other thoughts.  Meanwhile, here are some scenarios that it can be used for.  And yes, you'll need a second nic, or you can just plug your primary nic into the mirrored port.  If you do that, you'll only be monitoring at that point, but with any port mirroring tool, that's mostly the nature of the beast.
http://www.paessler.com/support/kb/questions/19

Another option might be to use something like network monitor or wireshark.  With Network Monitor you can automate the task, and here's how.
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb310774(v=exchg.80).aspx
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/812953
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/158744

With wireshark's command line tool option, you can schedule a task in windows to start at a certain time.  Then wireshark has a command line switch to autostop.  Also, below are some ideas on how wireshark can be deployed.
http://www.wireshark.org/docs/wsug_html_chunked/ChCustCommandLine.html
http://wiki.wireshark.org/CaptureSetup/Ethernet
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Ernie BeekExpertCommented:
Well, it looks like that is answered :)
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cpadmAuthor Commented:
Hi experts - fantastic responses. I was unsure of which way to split to the points, so I split them 50/50. I hope this suits you both?

I'm going to have a test of Netmon and Wireshark first for this particular server performance issue that I'm looking to resolve, and then look to implement PRTG in the long run as a generic solution. Thank you both.
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Ernie BeekExpertCommented:
I can live with that :)
Thx for the points.
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yelbaglfCommented:
Good with me too :)

Happy we could help!  Good Luck!
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