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Network Analyzers

By dougmize ·
What is a good network analyzing software package? I am looking for something to help troubleshoot network bottlenecks and faulty/slow devices.

Anyone have some suggestions?


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Depends on Environment

by Oldefar In reply to Network Analyzers

Doug, it really depends on several factors. From a business requirement, your budget and whether proactive or reactive support is the requirement will shape your technical requirements and parameters.

If the environment is essentially a LAN environment, and a reactive approach is sufficient, a simple data analyzer will probably meet your needs. Etherpeek from Wildpackets is one I have found useful, but others include Etherscan and Ethereal for low cost choices. A useful first step with any of these is to benchmark performance so you know what is the expected performance. You will want to baseline both the traffic and the time on each element (servers, client, transmission, etc.) on a task basis so you can tell what has changed.

If you have WAN environment as well, the initial baseline is useful in forecasting the impact of WAN segments on task performance. You will then want to consider monitoring of the lines. I like WAN QC from EMCOM because it provides the most thorough data - all layers including the circuit protocols. It also will capture over extended times so that trends can be identified. Most analysis equipment lacks the ability to capture traffic data for analysis beyond a day. I have used WAN QC on frac T3 frame relays over months with no loss of data.

If you want to do serious proactive support, I have found BMC and CA to have excellent capabilities. However, the cost can be steep and most organizations fail to take full advantage of the capabilities.

Proactive support generally requires SNMP capability and understanding. Again, there are some free packages but these require an understanding of what to look for if you want information rather than graphs.

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