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How to Determine Bandwidth usage per pc on local area network?

Posted on 2012-03-19
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Last Modified: 2012-05-02
Experts,

The disconnect pc problems we are experiencing:
- Exchange Server 2003.
- Large Folder (5GB) on our File Server running Windows Server 2003.
- Software Program running across our VPN to remote location.
The above issues will usually disconnect for a while, then magically reconnect,
in about 5 - 10 minutes.

These problems are intermittent with various local pc's, approx. 15.
The network has been running for years, and these issues just started.
I've turned off/on all switches, router, firewall, rebooted servers, and rebooted
various pc's - didn't really help.  Our Internet access Doesn't have any disconnect issues.

I need to try and determine where the problem is; is it with our local area network
and/or bandwidth, or other issues?  I'm suspecting bandwidth overload, but I
could be wrong.  Maybe a pc is sending "junk" across the lan?  But how to determine?  

Our switches are NOT managed.  (1) Cisco and (2) 3Com.
Router is Cisco 1941 and is maintained by our Provider.
Firewall is Cisco 5505.
Windows Server 2003
Exchange Server 2003
Various PC's running Windows Pro, XP, (1) running Windows 7

Any recommendations on "free" network monitoring software that I could use?
Budget is basically ZERO.

If anyone has any questions, please ask in basic terms and I'll try and answer
your question(s) the best I can.  I'm NOT an Expert, or even close.


Thanks Experts.
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Question by:forwiw2day
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Expert Comment

by:Ashok Dewan
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check this link
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Accepted Solution

by:
Khandakar Ashfaqur Rahman earned 500 total points
Comment Utility
Enable SNMP into Cisco device and use Cacti to check the per port utilization:
http://forums.cacti.net/viewtopic.php?t=14946

Install Microsoft Network Monitor into  server to trace and analyze packet:
http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=4865

Alternatively you can use Wireshark too:
http://www.wireshark.org/download.html
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Author Comment

by:forwiw2day
Comment Utility
Experts,

It seems like we have solved the disconnect problems, by removing a bad
battery backup, which had the firewall and switch plugged into it!

It's been really busy here the past few days, but I would still like to
determine bandwidth usage per pc.  I haven't gotten a chance yet to try
what has been suggested, but hope the get to this soon.

Thanks!
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Author Comment

by:forwiw2day
Comment Utility
Experts,

Sorry for the delay, but I was out of the office all last week.
I couldn't successfully download spiceworks, as I received an error message,
but I was able to download and run wireshark.  Looking at the capture,
it looks like it's just display my pc's information.  Is there a way to get the
capture for ALL pc's in our LAN?

Thanks.
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Expert Comment

by:Khandakar Ashfaqur Rahman
Comment Utility
Hi,

If you install Wireshark into your pc you'll only see your pc traffic.You have to install it into your server if you want to see in/out PKT of your server.Or you can mirror your switchport and connect your monitoring pc into switch in order to capture all traffic of your LAN.
An example:
http://www.immonitor.com/netgear-port-mirroring.htm
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Author Comment

by:forwiw2day
Comment Utility
rigan123,

We do not have any managed switches.  Was really looking for per pc usage.  Suspect we have a pc that is broadcasting "garbage", but can't determine which one it is.

Any other ideas?
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Expert Comment

by:Khandakar Ashfaqur Rahman
Comment Utility
If Wiresharks's output doesn't seem user friendly to you then I could suggest you alternative something.
Install Cacti into a machine first:
http://www.cacti.net/downloads/packages/Windows/Cacti-0.8.7i.exe

Enable SNMP service into all of your computers.
http://www.mydigitallife.info/install-and-enable-snmp-service-in-windows-xp-vista-and-2003/
Then add every computers into Cacti.You could monitor each computers usage from Cacti.

For any help just post here.
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