network capacity monitoring

We are looking at how well our 3rd party support are managing capacity in our network. They have some useful monitoring tools at server level, to look for issues around RAM utilisation, CPU utilisation, Disc space utilisation etc. But I was after some input what types of capacity metrics they should focus on at the network level? Can anyone provide any input on what common metrics you monitor at that level of the infrastructure?
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Mr TorturSystem EngineerCommented:
well, the transfer data rate (sent and received) in Mb/s for example.
Or % of use of the network card.
With advanced monitor software/tool you could see the collision rate, droped packet, bandwidth usage/performance, greatest time of activity, etc....

Maybe have a look at your switches, to see if you have embedded tools or option in their interface.

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Most managed network devices will allow you to look at the last 5 minutes of input/output bps.  However, they don't keep a history.  If you want to keep a history you need a tool.  What most tools will monitor for network devices (Routers and switches):

1) Up/Down time of the device.
2) Up/Down time of each port on device.
3) % Inbound/Outbound link utilization per port.
4)  bps inbound/outbound per port
5) CPU utilization of device
6) Memory use
7) Packet drops
8) Path round trip latency to/from device.

Normally only managed devices support being monitored.
Your main switch, through which everything else runs, will tell you this stuff.  Are you experiencing slowness in your network?
pma111Author Commented:
not as such, just ensuring someone is monitoring performance and capacity...
How many hosts are in your network?
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