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New Member

Tools for monitoring ang graphing Layer2 Switch CPU and port utilization.

I'm looking for a software tool that can graph both CPU and port utilization on a Layer 2 switch. Does anyone have any suggestions other than MRTG?

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Accepted Solutions
Hall of Fame Super Silver

Re: Tools for monitoring ang graphing Layer2 Switch CPU and port

Solarwinds will do that, along with any number of competing products rangingn from the free (no acquisition cost anyhow) MRTG up to something like the heavy duty enterprise class Lucent VitalNet (>US$100k software cost).

Begging the question of why you need to monitor switch CPU. These are typically designed such that the CPU can handle switching all the ports with full line rate traffic moving through it and not be overloaded.

One might monitor port utilization for charge back purposes, to inform redesign activiites, monitor carrier performance, etc.

More important than what you monitor (and the tools you use to do so) is what do you do with the information. I've seen too many monitoring systems just feed hard drives and not decision-making. Take the time to integrate your monitoring into your deicision making in a structured way and it will pay more dividends than a wonderfullly elegant technical solution monitoring in a vacuum.

Hope this helps. Please rate it if it does.

8 REPLIES
Hall of Fame Super Silver

Re: Tools for monitoring ang graphing Layer2 Switch CPU and port

Solarwinds will do that, along with any number of competing products rangingn from the free (no acquisition cost anyhow) MRTG up to something like the heavy duty enterprise class Lucent VitalNet (>US$100k software cost).

Begging the question of why you need to monitor switch CPU. These are typically designed such that the CPU can handle switching all the ports with full line rate traffic moving through it and not be overloaded.

One might monitor port utilization for charge back purposes, to inform redesign activiites, monitor carrier performance, etc.

More important than what you monitor (and the tools you use to do so) is what do you do with the information. I've seen too many monitoring systems just feed hard drives and not decision-making. Take the time to integrate your monitoring into your deicision making in a structured way and it will pay more dividends than a wonderfullly elegant technical solution monitoring in a vacuum.

Hope this helps. Please rate it if it does.

New Member

Re: Tools for monitoring ang graphing Layer2 Switch CPU and port

Great it does help somewhat. This is for a customer and they really don't understand that their switching equipment can handle all of their traffic needs. MGMT is looking for a reson to upgrade and EOL isn't sufficient for them. I guess they think they're going to see something "magical" that says the 5500's are a bottleneck so they should be replaced.

I can make a case for them to replace the 5500's based simply on the fact that they can't even purchase a maintenance contract on them anymore but these tight asses don't want to spend a dime. So, they've got this business that generates 10's of millions of dollars per year but they don't want to spend any money on IT and God forbid it ever go down.

OK, I'm preaching. Thanks for the input.

Hall of Fame Super Silver

Re: Tools for monitoring ang graphing Layer2 Switch CPU and port

Since you mentioned Catalyst 5500's, you might want to look at the bus utilization. They have, if I recall correctly, three 1.2 Gbps data buses which can be a bottleneck in certain configurations. They also are limited in the features one can avail oneself of such at 802.1 q-in-q, 802.3af POE, Gigabit port density, etc.

Re: Tools for monitoring ang graphing Layer2 Switch CPU and port

MRTG is depricated and should be replaced by RRDTool.

I can highly recommend the use of Cacti (www.cacti.org), an entirely free product that is WIDELY supported and can monitor many devices. I use it to monitor all of our Cisco gear (from switches to routers to firewalls) with great success. It is a great reference tool for a quick visual inspection of your network health.

Hall of Fame Super Silver

Re: Tools for monitoring ang graphing Layer2 Switch CPU and port

Thanks for the info, tprendergast.

By the way - it's www.cacti.net (not .org).

New Member

Re: Tools for monitoring ang graphing Layer2 Switch CPU and port

Another free tool... called NMIS that is very nice for graphing and notification of trouble. It is flexiable enough that once you get it configured you won't get meaningless down messages on your mobile which I find very nice. It also supports escallation and can send pages. The main feature is the display called the Dash if you take a glance at the Dash you can see very clearly if you have any issues. It has top useage reports as well as monthly reports. It supports a map if you want to GPS data into your devices SNMP information. It supports 3rd party plugins also.

http://www.sins.com.au/nmis/

We ran cacti and also ran this at the same time and chose it over cacti because it we thought it was easier to setup but your mileage may vary...

Joe

New Member

Re: Tools for monitoring ang graphing Layer2 Switch CPU and port

Big Brother is another useful monitoring tool. Free for non com use

www.bb4.org

New Member

Re: Tools for monitoring ang graphing Layer2 Switch CPU and port

Hi,

Yes, i know one :-) .

The best software for this ( i also use it ) is NMIS !

It is a great Monitoring tool for cisco devices.

It monitors ports, mem usage, cpu usage..simply everthing.

take a look at:

http://www.sins.com.au/nmis/

Much fun with this great software !!

Regards,

Christian Frank

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