Advice needed on Network Traffic, and WorkStation Monitoring Programs

By DeMiNe0 ·
Hello Everyone!

I came to tech republic today to seek some advice from some of the more seasoned network administrator veterans out there.

About two months ago, I took over management of an IT department for a small educational development foundation. Since then, I have noticed slowdowns on the network, as well as have caught people using P2P programs, ect.

The last IT Manager for this company relied on the SysLog built into the router, and the Syslog Daemon called Kiwi to monitor network traffic. The router we are using is a Sonicwall TZ170.
Are there any other more effective ways or programs to monitor network traffic to make it easier to find things like Bittorrent, P2P, streaming, or other things that may take up bandwidth on the network? I?m using the built in bandwidth monitor that comes with the sonicwall pro firmware, and that seems to be helping a little, but I would love something that runs locally on the PC and can go into detail about the network traffic.

Our old IT manager also used a program called "Net Monitor for Employees Professional" by Network LookOut to monitor intern/student computers to make sure they were not visiting websites they weren?t suppose to, and to make sure they were being productive on the PC. The one thing I found about this program is that the client side (Installed on the work stations) seems to be VERY unstable. It would freeze randomly, and not work until the PC is rebooted, or just wouldn?t work at all period. When the program actually works, it?s great. It allows you to take control of people?s PC?s in case they are having problems making something work, and also allows a whole mess of other cool stuff. The only thing I saw it missing was a task manager add-on. You can find the feature list here:
The program right now is way too unstable to use. With the clients crashing every 20 minutes it?s VERY time consuming to set them up again just to see them crash again after an hour? Does anyone know of a more reliable workstation monitoring program that has all the features of Net Monitor but is a lot more stable?

All our PC's here run Windows XP Sp2, and we have all Windows 2003 Standard and one Enterprise server. So it's a pretty normal Small office setup.

Thanks in advance for the help, and best wishes!
- Alex

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