identifying network traffic, network congestion

I am using Dell switchs, both 100mb and gig switches.  I have about 11 swithces in total.
I have 2 vlans, one for my VoIP phones and the default vlan for all my PCs.

Is there a good program that will help me determine how much bandwidth is being used, as some of the calls started to experience choppiness and therefore perhaps my network is satuarted and there's not enough bandwidth?

We can't afford solar winds Orion, but if there's something else out there more resonable, i'm interested to know.

Thanks....
DanNetwork EngineerAsked:
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UvgConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Common way is to use SNMP to monitor switches ports/utilization. If all switches support SNMP and can give ports bandwidth information trough it then you can use zabbix, nagios or any other monitoring solutions.
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surbabu140977Connect With a Mentor Commented:
mrtg/prtg or any RRD based tool would solve your purpose. All are free.

Most powerful is Cacti. Free.

It just gives you how much bandwidth is used. If you want to see which Ip or what traffic i.e analyze traffic, you need paid software. For just bandwidth, cacti will work fine.

Zabbix/nagios are industry standard infrastructure monitoring tool which would be cumbersome and an overkill just for bandwidth.

Best,
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MintarConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I would recommend two freeware:

1. PRTG free version, can monitor switch bandwidth by SNMP.

2. WFilter free version, can monitor internet bandwidth from a mirroring port.
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mat1458Connect With a Mentor Commented:
NMIS by Opmantek would be another option. Free for the most part, if you need more granular tools you can add them and pay for them.
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DanNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
I tried NAGIOS a few years ago and it was a pain to configure, I actually didn't even finish configuring it after a few hours.

So I'm looking for something easy to install and configure.  The problem is on my LAN, not on my internet.

I will try the PRTG and NMIS.  If there's anything easy to use, I'm all open.
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DanNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
I tried CACTI, but there's no .exe or installer file, and the readme was worthless, nothing in how to install it on windows 7.
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surbabu140977Commented:
oops, it's a linux based package, does not work in windows. :)

Try mrtg/prtg, they have the windows installer available. Follow the windows how to read me files/blogs. They have detailed step by step how to's.

(powerful freebies are for linux world only)....... :)

Best,
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surbabu140977Commented:
btw, please remember we are NOT suggesting anything for "identifying" traffic as per your question. Analyzing/identify traffic will not be free. (using netflow for cisco and linux apps can be free though for analyzing)

We are only suggesting bandwidth monitoring softwares which will say how much bandwidth is used not what traffic is using that bandwidth.

Best,
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DanNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
surbabu140977, I understand and thanks for your help.

Here's my problem, I have 11 switches, most are 100 and some gig as well.
I have 2 vlans, on for my VoIP phones and the other for the PCs.  So lately,
I noticed and people have started to complain that a lot of the internal calls have been choppy. So I'm just trying to think how that can be on a 100mb network?

I am just looking for tools (easy to install/configure) that I can use to figure out what is happening.  Yes, we are an all windows shop here.
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surbabu140977Commented:
My vote will go for a paid network analyzer. Honestly, bandwidth monitoring tool won't help you here.

Presuming that it's all lan and no WAN involved, choppy calls would most likely point to your infrastructure and configuration issue.

Best,
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mat1458Commented:
Anylysis is good, but what type of switches are you having? Did you configure QoS on them and does it work the way it's supposed to? Maybe a proper QoS config already fixes your probelms and then you have time to start evaluating the monitoring solution that fits your needs.
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DanNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
I have all Dell swithces.  I believe I have hte basic QOS enabled, but I haven't even checked that on all the switches, only on a few.
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DanNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
Thanks everyone for your input, greatly appreciated.
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