I currently have a network with 2 Catalyst 5000's at the core that feed out to 1924's on the edge for the client PC's. One Cat 5 is VLAN-A the other is VLAN-B there is no trunking between the CAT's. The 1924's are cut in half where ports 1-12,A are on VLAN-A and 13-24,B are on VLAN-B. All of our servers are located on the 5000's. My question is if I put a network monitor on the Catalyst 5000, such as Ethereal or Sniffer, with the span port diabled why am I seeing all sorts of network chatter? Unfortunately the systems are old and have an old verson of CAT-OS (2.4).
I am very sorry for you but this the normal behaviour of a switch. When span is disabled, the only traffic you will observe on a port where only the analyzer is connected will be broadcast, multicast and unknown destination-mac traffic.
So although they are old, your equipment is still in perfect working order!
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