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Network Monitoring

Hi Guys,

I was wondering if anyone was able to advise the best way to determine the health of a network and if any issues with internal bandwidth and such.

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1 Solution
"best" is very subjective but we use Intermapper and are are very happy with it.  It is not cheap though.  There are a ton of free tools available too so it really depends a lot on what you mean by "best".
Spiceworks is very popular and is free but it does display ads.
bbaoIT ConsultantCommented:
better first know what's your definition about network health, or in other words, what are the top three factors you want to monitor against your network.

furthermore, the location of monitoring your network is also critical for the correct, meaningful results. e.g. if you only can monitor the gateway to the internet, it doesn't give the information about your LAN; if you monitor the LAN through a switch port, you are not able to know the whole traffic through the LAN; if you monitor the backbone traffic on the LAN, the central switch must be able to collect the data and provide the statistics.
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We use Nagios/OpenNMS combo to monitor in general (devices, computers, network speed etc).

For specific problem we use Wireshark as sniffing, monitoring tool.

All tolls are available for free ok paid versions as well. For the paid version you receive much more support.

You can use Zabbix or Nagios but although they come free as core, unless you have a certain expertise level in linux systems, they are not easy to implement. They are industry standard and probably the best.

You can get tonnes of paid windowswares, depending on the extent of your monitoring requirements.

You can deploy 3rd party vendors who will use specific/customized softwares for your monitoring requirements.

All depends how much you want to spend or how far you want to go. "Monitoring" is an open ocean.

320adelAuthor Commented:
Hey all,

Thanks so much for your replies.
We are just wanting to make sure that our network is running at optimum performance, and eliminate any bottlenecks or bandwidth issues within our local network.

We run have a call center which we have just updated to use internal browser based client software for the telemarketers. But since moving to the web service we are noticing timeout issues and possible congestion issues, and while the developers are looking into there coding and hardware they wanted us to make sure nothing saturating the network or no bandwidth issues / bottlenecks on the local network.

Also unfortunately we have no Linux based machine on site, so preferably windows based software.

Cheers for your help
bbaoIT ConsultantCommented:
> But since moving to the web service we are noticing timeout issues and possible congestion issues

in such a scenario, i would like to closely monitor two typical hosts: the web server and a client accessing the web server. installing and running network monitor tools may help us to know how are things going down to network and protocol layers, find the abnormal packets, and finally lock the reasons.

Network Monitor is highly recommended as it is a free packet analyzer from Microsoft, it enables capturing, viewing, and analyzing network data and deciphering network protocols, therefore it can be used to troubleshoot network problems and applications on the network.

the following three features of it may help in your scenario.

* Grouping by network conversation
* Support for over 300 public and Microsoft proprietary protocols
* Simultaneous capture sessions

Download Microsoft Network Monitor 3.4

hope it helps,
320adelAuthor Commented:
Thanks BBao,

Can you recommend anything that can scan a network and find bottlenecks or bandwidth issues ?
bbaoIT ConsultantCommented:
i don't think an active scanner could contribute more than a sniffer (packet analyser) working in passive mode, as what you should do is to quietly listen to the network and determine what's going on there.

commonly a network scanner refers to a software utility that gathers data about a network. a scanner can enable functions such as network configuration management and network device discovery and can display all resources on a network. a network scanner is essential for inventory management.
Fadi SODAH (aka madunix)Chief Information Security Officer, CISA, CISSP, CFR, ICATE, MCSE, CCNA, CCNP and CCIPCommented:
I use Cacti and Nagios to monitor network services and servers. Nagios is been used for Alarms and Cacti for Trending/Graphs.

http://www.ntop.org/ Ntop
http://www.groundworkopensource.com GroundWork Monitor Enterprise
http://www.hyperic.com Hyperic HQ
http://www.icinga.org Icinga
http://www.nagios.com Nagios
http://www.n-able.com N-central
http://www.op5.com op5 Monitor
http://www.open-itcockpit.com openITCockpit
http://www.opennms.org OpenNMS
http://www.hp.com/de/bto HP OpenView
http://www.bmc.com BMC PATROL ProactiveNet Performance Management
http://www.shinken-monitoring.org Shinken
http://www.ibm.com/software/de/tivoli IBM Tivoli
http://www.ca.com/de CA Unicenter
http://www.whatsupgold.com WhatsUp Gold
http://www.zabbix.com Zabbix
http://www.zenoss.com Zenoss Enterprise
http://cacti.net/  cacti
http://oss.oetiker.ch/mrtg/  mrtg
http://www.paessler.com/prtg PRTG
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