Using a managed network switch to log traffic

garychu
garychu used Ask the Experts™
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I have not used a managed network switch before.

Using one, can I log traffic (quantity of packets) between nodes in a LAN?
Say for example, traffic between workstations and a router.
All I am interested in is traffic volume. Not sniff contents, segment or block packets.

I am aware that there are software to do this. But I am after a simple, maintenance free solution.

If indeed this is feasible, how would this feature/function of a switch be referred to.
Just so that if I were to get one, to ensure that it will do the job.

Thanks, Experts.
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Top Expert 2012

Commented:
I think you need a switch that has SPAN functionality

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_mirroring

With a switch configured with a span port you can then use software such as this one to monitor network traffic - http://www.tamos.com/htmlhelp/commtraffic/faq.htm

See on that page the part where they explain that on a switched network you need a span port(note obviously this software is not free but its cheap)

As for the models of switch that provide this I only know of Cisco models
Datacenter Technician
Top Expert 2012
Commented:
If you don't need advanced statistics, any switch supporting SNMP would be enough. A nice and simple monitoring tool is MRTG, which runs on unix/linux, maybe windows too. By default it graphs bandwidth on switchports, but it can be configured to count ethernet frames, if that's what you need.

Tamas

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Commented:
Thanks, Experts.
My need is simply to count ethernet frames.
So, thanks for giving me the confidence to proceed.

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