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Tony Giangreco
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Identifying Bottlenecks in Busy Network

I manage a 45 user Windows 2003 network/Domain. There are 30 local users and 15 remote Terminal Service users.

Two T1's bonded into 3Meg for internet.

Sonicwall TX210W firewall

Two Netgear 24 port gig switches and Cat5E throughout the network.

All servers have atleast 30 gigs of free space on all drives
All server drives are defragged and restarted every two weeks.
All boxes run Symantec Endpoint Protection 12.1
 
One Dell PE1950 sevrer (dc) running Win 2003 Std with 4 gigs of ram, Exchange 2003. and terminal Services.  

One Dell Pe1900 Win2k3 Ent server (dc) and file share.

One Dell PE 2650 Win2k3 Ent server running Blackberry Enterprise Server Express.

30 Dell Pc's (less than 18 months old) with Win7 and Office 2007, 4 Gigs ram.

3 Win XP/Vista Pc's with 2 Gigs of ram slated for replacement this year.

I know it would help if I could replace the server but there isn't a budget for that right now.

All Pc's are operating, but many of them appear slow.
How do I identify the hot spots of the network to eliminate bottlenecks?
ExchangeWindows Server 2003Networking Hardware-OtherDell

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Tony Giangreco

8/22/2022 - Mon
Shane McKeown

Good info so far but need more details...

What is slow? Browsing? Accessing file server? Need to be more specific to help to narrow this down...
Tony Giangreco

ASKER
Browsing and file server response from workstations appear slow at times. it's sporatic.

I'm looking at replacing the T1's with a faster line, but that won't happen overnight.
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mmicha

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Tony Giangreco

ASKER
The Dell 1950 server has two Broadband Gig nics teamed together plugged into a Netgear 24 port Gig switch.

The switches are not managed so I don't know how I can set a port to mirror.

Is thee a free packet sniffer I can use to identify and rule out areas of the network?
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mmicha

Wireshark is a very popular one.  Maybe you have a ton of broadcast traffic or something happening.

It sounds like it is mainly between users and that server.  You don't find the interenet sluggish?
Tony Giangreco

ASKER
I will look into wireshart tutorials.

Internet access is sporatic also from Pc to Pc - new and old. It's real hard to get a handle on where the problem is.
mmicha

Have you tried powercycling the switch ever?  I've seen when they have some power fluctuations/browning that lowerend ones get sort of stupid...

You may want to disable the antivirus as well on a system and see if performance improves...  Finding bottlenecks can be tough, but AV would be something common among all the systems.
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Tony Giangreco

ASKER
Also, all servers, switches and the firewall are hooked up to a APC 3000 UPS with network powerchute active.

We have about one power outage a year.
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mmicha

Do you notice it more with opening Office documents?  There is an update I know of that is known to slow down opening those files:

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/officeitpro/thread/214b4ff1-f908-496f-bafa-87b8d73775b1
Tony Giangreco

ASKER
I run Windows Update on the servers every two to three weeks followed by a restart to keep them patched. I don't have no idea if one specific update is causing the bottleneck.
Your help has saved me hundreds of hours of internet surfing.
fblack61
Tony Giangreco

ASKER
I just pinged 15 of the pc's from the main server with response times from 1 to 12 ms and ttl of 128.
Shane McKeown

What was the average ms? Look at bottom after finishing the ping(note run a longer ping test with the -t option like so)

ping -t <serverbyIP>

Will run a continuous ping, let it run for a couple minutes and note the average
Unless the server itself is overloaded its rare for the ms to be above 1ms in most cases, so if the average is on the high side you have some sort of network issue

On the server load task manager and select the network tab - what the network utilization % reading? Does the graph it builds show a lot of traffic, or just in spurts?
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Tony Giangreco

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I haven't had a chace to install and try Wireshark, but I will this week.
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Tony Giangreco

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Great suggestions. Thanks