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Network Issue Troubleshooting Tools

Last Modified: 2016-04-22
Greetings Experts,

I'm currently hearing the complaint that we all dread hearing..."the network is slow."  I know there can be multiple culprits in this scenario, and I have been digging for 3 days.  So far, there is nothing remarkable with respects to port errors, speed/duplex, etc.  It's a pretty simple network in a small school, with 5 switches in the main MDF, and 2 switches in each of the 2 IDF's. It connects via WAN back to the main Data Center in a separate building a few miles across town for all server based services except for client imaging.  There are 18 other schools in this area with practically the same setup, but this is the only one that's slow.  And it's not only slow for external data retrieval like Internet, Hosted applications (in centralized Data Center) but for internal traffic as well.  I know this, because when I image computers with the local imaging server that is on the same LAN, it takes 4 times as long as any other site.  All sites have pretty much the same makes/models of LAN switching.  

So, the reason for this post, is I am looking for a good tool that can identify issues at a very granular level on a network. I don't care if I have to let it sit there and run for a week or two.  Obviously sooner is better, but I really need to be able to test everything from in layers 1-4 and identify the contributing factor(s).

Thanks in advance for your insight.
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