I generally only use Wireshark when troubleshooting issues, it is perfect for that.
If you are worried about the broadcast traffic, start by identifyig what is sending the broadcasts? It is difficult to tell what an acceptable amount of broadcast traffic would be without knowing the exact structure of the network and what applications and services it is supporting.
If you are concerned that links are being over utilised, it might be worth looking onto something like NetFlow to get an idea of exactly what is flowing through the network and how much of it.
Unfortunatley our network consists of just 3750's performing the routing functions and these don't support the netflow commands (well they let you enter them bizarly but they dont work as it's not supported in ASIC).
It's a very large broadcast domain network of 172.30.16.0/17 and just to make things worse - somebody put all of the servers 50+ on the same subnet.
I am going to roll out PRTG to look at L2 util but will be using wireshark to get an idea of traffic trends and flow.
Thanks for the help, if anybody else has any recomendations please let me know!
there is no network that is just the same as another.
what you will need to do a good job is atleast 2 portable computers with atleast 2 network interface cards each.
you also will need to have access to the switches to be able to put up monitoring ports. a monitoring port is a port that mirrors the traffic of one or several other ports so that you can se all traffic not just brouadcasts.
Now you need a network diagram to find out where the traffic flows and where the congestion points are inplace.
when you have all this you can start putting up a baseline for your network.
when you have that baseline you can start to look for deviations of it.
if you on the otherhand just want to use it to fix a flawed com link then just use the monitor session command and put a mirror port up to see what happens and what responses the faulty/slow system gives and gets.
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