I run into a number of situations where students using my network blame the network for the speed and latency of their connection. Having a way to verify this was not always easy, until I started using SolarWinds Orion, which was easy to set up with no major assistance. Since I've had it running, I have a new depth of visibility into the workings of my network. Visibility is very important to me. I've provided an image of my CUBE router using XO for my Internet and SIP connectivity. In the Interface Aggregate Chart you can see that I have a number of interfaces being monitored (Figure A). This information is provided to the Orion server via SNMP polling. You can easily see when my network usage starts to pick up in the morning.
Click to enlarge thumbnails
Another useful bit of information comes in the way of the gauges seen at the left side of the following screenshots. My router in this case is hardly utilized and the response times are looking great:
Another annoyance I deal with is that I can't remember the IP address or name resolutions that I have in place. The links provided for you to access the device are very handy. You can access via web browsing, ssh, telnet, remote desktop, and even launch a SolarWinds traceroute tool.
Finding the culprit
If I had not had the visibility into the network that Solarwinds Orion provided I would have spent a lot more time tracking down my bandwidth offender.
Check out the free trials that are available as well as free tools such as the SolarWinds Bandwidth Monitor on the SolarWinds Downloads page.
Brandon Carroll, CCIE #23837, is an IT Director, Blogger, Podcaster, and Mac Enthusiast. Brandon has nearly 15 years in the networking industry consulting for large and small enterprise and service provider networks.