How to monitor internet bandwidth usage on a server

Posted on 2016-10-04
Last Modified: 2016-11-24

We have a 5 user domain network with a Server 2012 domain controller.  We have a 10MB leased line coming in to the office and users are frequently complaining that the internet literally slows down to a crawl then stops altogether.  Numerous calls to the ISP have been fruitless and they keep saying that we are simply "maxing out" the available bandwidth.  We have 1 or maybe 2 people that stream music as part of their jobs but other than that the connection is just used for email and general web browsing so shouldn't be maxing out.  We have run a full virus sweep of the server and all connected PC's but the next step is to find out if the server itself is doing something to hog all of the bandwidth.  Can anyone please suggest a tool we can use to easily determine what is going on? We tried Wireshark but found the results rather overwhelming and baffling.  Just want to know what the server is doing in terms of internet use really.  Any suggestions please?
Question by:Adam Lydiate
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Performance Monitor (perfmon), and setup to monitor the Nics.

This should give you a nice graph and numbers
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by:Dirk Kotte
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with wireshark data you may look at "analyse -> top communications"

otherwise you can install a Sophos UTM / Demo Version and you get detailed data for servers/clients using your bandwidth. There is a live-chart also. Very useful.

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by:Kimberley from Paessler
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You could try PRTG Network Monitor, which will show you the amount of bandwidth you're using.  And if your switches/routers support netflow, can also tell you *who* is using up the bandwidth.  We offer a free 30-day trial with an unlimited number of sensors, and after the 30 days it automatically reverts to our freeware version with 100 sensors for free.  100 sensors might be enough in your case.  And even if they're not, 30 days with unlimited sensors should be enough time to find the source of your problem.

In your case, you could let run PRTG's auto-discovery, which will add all the traffic sensors for you.  If your switches support some kind of flow (netflow, sflow, jflow, or ipfix), then you can manually add flow sensors later.  But start with the normal traffic sensors first.

If you'd like to get a feel for how PRTG looks and what we offer for monitoring bandwidth before you install, we have some introductory videos, and videos about monitoring bandwidth using SNMP and using netflow.

Sample PRTG screenshot
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by:Adam Lydiate
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Hi Loftyworm, I'd like to use Perfmon if possible but I'm not exactly sure how I'm supposed to use it.  I want to analyse the servers use of internet bandwidth.  Could you possibly point me in the right direction please?


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loftyworm earned 500 total points
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I found the following article that has a nice walk through on how to use it.  You will just want to select your network adapters.   There are multiple options under each, so just capture it all, and then see what is talking the most.

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by:Adam Lydiate
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That's really helpful thank you very much.
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Your Welcome :)

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