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Recommendations for networking monitors?

I have a network with a few managed switches, and would like some insight to what is going on within the switch. So, Does anyone know or have experience with some software that can give me info on my network. Specifically, lost packets, duplicate IPs on the network, bad ports on the switch, etc. I have looked for a good solution and without having to do a lot of scripting or programming I have not found a user-friendly option. I turn to you for assistance.
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technologyone
Asked:
technologyone
3 Solutions
 
Zephyr ICTCloud ArchitectCommented:
I want to give a vote for observium, has some nice features, for most things the free version can be enough.
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technologyoneAuthor Commented:
Thanks spravtek I am going to leave this thread active for a couple of days to get other options and will award points for all options.
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Zephyr ICTCloud ArchitectCommented:
Sure, no worries ... That's the way to do it.
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Kamran ArshadCommented:
Hi,

You need to turn on the Port spanning and SNMP on your switches to monitor traffic and then below are some options for network traffic analysis;

Ntop      www.ntop.org      LAMP based NMS
Munin      munin-monitoring.org      LAMP based NMS
Bandwidthd      bandwidthd.sourceforge.net      LAMP based NMS
ZenOSS      www.zenoss.com      LAMP based NMS
Nagios      www.nagios.org      LAMP based NMS
JFFNMS      www.jffnms.org      LAMP based NMS
OpenNMS      www.opennms.org      LAMP based NMS
Zabbix      www.zabbix.com      LAMP based NMS
Hyperic HQ      www.hyperic.com      LAMP based NMS
Etherape      etherape.sourceforge.net      LAMP based NMS
GroundWork      www.groundworkopensource.com      LAMP based NMS
NAV      metanav.uninett.no      LAMP based NMS
Netdisco      netdisco.org      LAMP based NMS
MRTG      oss.oetiker.ch/mrtg      RRDTool
Cacti      www.cacti.net      RRDTool

I personally recommend to start with something like NTOP or Cacti. There are expensive paid NMS as well but you need to start with basics and then advance. If your switch supports flow technology (sflow, Netflow) then a flow analyzer will give you details about traffic patterns;

SolarWinds NetFlow Analyzer      www.solarwinds.com      NetFlow/SFlow
Scrutinizer NetFlow/Sflow Analyzer      www.plixer.com      NetFlow/SFlow
Caligare Flow Inspector      www.caligare.com      NetFlow/SFlow
PRTG      www.paessler.com/prtg      NetFlow/RRDTool
Adventnet Netflow Analyzer      www.adventnet.com      NetFlow
NFSen      nfsen.sourceforge.net      NetFlow
StealthWatch® Xe       www.lancope.com      SFlow
Traffic Sentinel      www.inmon.com      SFlow
Splunk      www.splunk.com      Propriety
sFlowTrend      http://www.inmon.com      
Appflow Analyzer      http://www.solarwinds.com      


Another thing you mentioned is errors in your switches for that a SYSLOG system will help. Below are some of the options for log analysis;

Lire      www.logreport.org      Open-Source
Epylog Log Analyzer      linux.duke.edu/projects/epylog      Open-Source
SLAPS-2      www.openchannelfoundation.org      Open-Source
Sisyphus      www.cs.sandia.gov      Open-Source
LogHound      www.estpak.ee/%7Eristo      Open-Source
syslog-ng      www.balabit.com      Open-Source
rsyslog      www.rsyslog.com      Open-Source
metalog      metalog.sourceforge.net/      Open-Source
sysklogd      freshmeat.net/projects/sysklogd/      Open-Source
RSA enVision      www.rsa.com      Propriety
TriGEO      www.trigeo.com      Propriety
SNARE Backlog      www.intersectalliance.com      Propriety
Loglogic      www.loglogic.com      Propriety
EventTracker PULSE      www.prismmicrosys.com      Propriety
SysLog Manager      www.theonesoftware.com      Propriety
WinSyslog      www.winsyslog.com      Propriety
syslog_manager      www.theonesoftware.com      Propriety
logserver      www.op5.com      Propriety
Syslog Watcher      www.snmpsoft.com      Propriety
tftpd3d      tftpd32.jounin.net      Propriety
Syslog Collector      www.loriotpro.com      Propriety
NetDecision LogVision      www.netmechanica.com      Propriety
KiwiSysLog      www.kiwisyslog.com      Propriety
SolarWinds      www.solarwinds.com      Propriety

I suggest to start with basics something like KiwiSysLog.
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Michael RojekCommented:
Give NetCrunch 8 a try. It's an all-in-one monitoring and management suite. The GUI is crisp and it's built around ease-of-use. Most of your network will be uncovered and monitored out of the box, too. If your switches are NetFlow enabled, you'll also get some nice data and views through that. Unlike some of the other options out there, you'll find everything you need in one package here, from mapping to log monitoring to bandwidth and network monitoring.
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technologyoneAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the suggestions and assistance with other input into my dilemma.
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