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A client I am working with has a 48-port switch with various wired devices connected to it throughout the building they are in. I am trying to determine what method I should use to monitor network bandwidth. The switch itself is not managed so there is no web interface I can look into. Even if there was, I would rather use a piece of software to diagnose network congestion issues.

Here's my problem. Not all traffic flows through the one server that is present. What is the most efficient method for me to monitor the traffic on the network without slowing things down? If I use a mirror port on the switch (which is Gigabit), wouldn't this total traffic bring down the switch?

I haven't messed with this level of monitoring before so I am trying to take things slow.

I would like to use SoftPerfect's Network Manager to monitor just basic bandwidth usage.

The client will be expanding to a second office in the next year, so I would like to be able to monitor that network as well.

Any suggestions?

How should I configure the physical cables so I can get a view of ALL traffic wehther it flows through the server or not? Since the switch desn't send packets not bound for a specific MAC to all ports (like a hub does), how can I see everything that's going on? SNMP? Does SNMP only work if ALL devices are using it? Help me steer the boat correctly :).

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    If the switch is unmanaged, you really can't do this. The switch will not send all traffic to any one port, and it cannot be configured to do so (mirror). I think you will need to get a managed switch and then you have some options (SNMP, NetFlow, etc.). – Ron Maupin Jul 13 '16 at 16:49
  • Let me correct myself a bit - the particular switch I am using is a Cisco switch, which (from what I understand) has both a management interface (most Cisco switches do I believe) and SNMP capabilities. My biggest hurdle to cross over is pairing the right software (I want something SIMPLE) and figuring out what particular methodology to employ (SMNP, NetFlow, etc.). What do you think based on this more detailed response? – GreenLED Jul 13 '16 at 20:16
  • Unfortunately, product or resource recommendations are explicitly off-topic here. – Ron Maupin Jul 13 '16 at 20:25
  • Did any answer help you? If so, you should accept the answer so that the question doesn't keep popping up forever, looking for an answer. Alternatively, you could provide and accept your own answer. – Ron Maupin Aug 14 '17 at 21:15
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Since you do have SNMP you could use any number of SNMP capable NMS. These however will give you per port statistics. If you want total traffic you could look at Netflow, again several tools are available for this, both paid and free.

Another option is to configure a SPAN or monitor port, and push all traffic to a server connected to that which can then analyse the traffic.

I have steered clear of specific product recommendations on purpose, you can get a lot of good results on those products by searching for some of the above terms.

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