Using a managed network switch to log traffic

garychu used Ask the Experts™
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.
Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®
Top Expert 2012

I think you need a switch that has SPAN functionality

With a switch configured with a span port you can then use software such as this one to monitor network traffic -

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
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.



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

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial