Switch Port Monitoring is a task that often gets overlooked and we're here to help you make the process easier than ever. We're going to quickly list the Best Network Switch Port Monitoring Software and Tools to assist you in the task of keeping your eye on which ports are getting used the most and have the highest throughput and bandwidth going through them on your Routers/Switches (if your looking for a Router Monitoring tool, have a look at these).
Here is our list of the best Switch Port Monitoring tools:
- SolarWinds User Device Tracker – FREE TRIAL This monitoring package works with Active Directory to identify all users on a system and monitor their interactions with the devices on the network. Runs on Windows Server.
- ManageEngine OpUtils – FREE TRIAL This system scours a network and documents it, including the identification of the connections on each switch port. Available for Windows Server and Linux.
- Paessler PRTG Network Monitor – FREE TRIAL This package of scanners for networks includes a system mapper that documents the connections on port switches. Runs on Windows Server.
Benefits of Monitoring Network Switches
Some benefits and reasons you should be Monitoring ports on your Network Switches include, but are not limited, to the following:
- Ports Usage & Tracking
- Ensure Ports are Running at Full Speed
- Track Full-Duplex & Half-Duplex Interfaces
- Network Switch Capacity Planning
- CPU Usage Statistics
- Memory Usage Statistics
- Historical Port Utilization
- Real-Time Port Statistics & Utilization
- and much more!
These are a few of the benefits and key metrics that you will be able to track when implementing a Switch Port Tracking software system into your network. As you can, some of these metrics are extremely important and can help you plan for future expansion.
On top of the main stats you can track, you will also have the ability to quickly find high bandwidth users and potential security breaches or malware programs that are using your bandwidth on a specific network switch port.
Some Vendors that these programs below support are as follows:
- HP Procurve
- Extreme Networks
- and many more Manufacturers!
The Best Switch Port Monitoring Software & Tools
Our methodology for selecting switch port monitoring tools and software
We reviewed the network monitoring tools and software market and analyzed the options based on the following criteria:
- Support for various physical and virtual switches
- Ability to monitor uptime and performance over time
- Reporting and alert features
- Graphical interpretation of data, such as charts and graphs
- A free trial period, a demo, or a money-back guarantee for no-risk assessment
- A good price that reflects value for money when compared to the functions offered
Below you'll find a quick overview of each product as well as some screenshots to show you their functionality and feature sets.
SolarWinds User Device Tracker software helps you keep an eye on and Track Critical network components, switches, routers, and more within their Easy to Use interface. They provide a nice Graphical Interface that constantly keeps all admins and engineers in your team updated with the latest utilization, load and port metrics for each of your networked devices.
Some of other features that they provide are as follows:
- Manage Switch Port Usage, Capacity and Availability to Forecast Future Capacity Planning
- Quickly Track & Identify Network Devices by IP Address or even MAC Address, as well as Username or Hostname within your network.
- Network Mapping and Monitoring of your Wireless Network and Access Points, including Switches & individual Ports.
- Suspicious User/Device Detection
- Remote Port Activation/Deactivation via Dashboard (Shutdown/Start Ports Remotely)
- Historical Device Logon's and Connections
- Active Directory Integration for Endpoint Logins
- Extensive Multi-Vendor Networking Switch Support
As you can see, SolarWinds User Device Tracker is Extremely Extensive in terms of capabilities of Monitoring your networking equipment at a level that we should be monitoring at. They even give you insights into which Users log into which Devices and at what time – this data is great for Tracking and Compliance issues that may arise.
- Supports multiple protocols like NetFlow, great for monitoring Cisco equipment
- Both tools work well alongside each other to help view traffic patterns and bandwidth usage
- Easy to use interface automatically highlights bandwidth hogs and other network traffic outliers
- Scales well, designed for large enterprise networks
- Can view traffic on a per-hop basis, allowing for granular traffic analysis
- Built for enterprise use, not designed for small home networks
We Highly Recommend SolarWinds User Device Tracker for an All-round Great tool for Switch Port Monitoring/Management and Tracking. Grab a 30-day free Trial from Below and Get the Software installed and implemented within Minutes!
Price: Register for a 30-Day Free Trial and get a price quote for your organization!
OpManager is another great Tool for managing Switch Ports and network Devices. They offer an affordable solution for not only monitoring network devices, but also for managing your Network Switches, Ports, Utilization and many more options.
OpManager also has a Great GUI for quickly getting your network switches managed and understanding what is going on within them. As seen in the image above, adding additional switches is a breeze and some stats that they give you include:
- DNS Hostname
- Usage (as a Percentage)
- Used Ports
- Available Ports
- Total Ports
- and many more details
With automatic device and Network discovery of devices linked up to each network switch Port, you can have further information about connected system along with gaining visibility into which port they are connected to, their respective IP Address, Mac Address, and much more!
You can drill down into each Switch and see their Assigned IP Addresses along with Mac addresses and whether the port is being Used or not along with the host name of the connected Device, as seen in the image below:
OPManager is a very well rounded tool that Competes with the likes of Solarwinds (which we reviewed above) and many of the software packages you'll read about below.
- Offers a suite of tools that provide WoL, IP address management, and physical switch port mapping
- Gathers hostname, device status, and MAC address alongside IP address scans
- Identifies new machines via autodiscovery, great for larger deployments
- Available for both Windows server as well as Linux
- ManageEngine is a large monitoring platform that offers a host of tools and features that may take time to fully explore
Grab a free Trial and Get started managing your Network Devices Today!
Price: Monitor up to 10 Devices FREE! Contact Sales for Quote for Larger networks!
Paessler has created a wonderful tool called PRTG and is synonymous with Network Monitoring and Server monitoring functionality. But, what many don't know, is that they also act as a Switch Management Solution as well.
Some of the options they provide for managing network Devices include the following:
- Use SNMP Sensors to Probe Ports
- Packet Sniffing Sensors for Monitoring IP and filtering Traffic
- Netflow, Sflow and jFlow Sensors for Juniper, Cisco and Other Vendor Monitoring
- CPU Load Management
- Memory Sensors
- Ping Sensors
- Drag and drop editor makes it easy to build custom views and reports
- Supports a wide range of alert mediums such as SMS, email, and third-party integrations into platforms like Slack
- Supports a freeware version
- Is a very comprehensive platform with many features and moving parts that require time to learn
Price: Free up to 100 Sensors – You can also evaluate the PRTG platform on a 30-day free trial. Check Pricing List for anything More!
We hope that these Recommendations have assisted you in making the right decision in finding a good tool for monitoring your switches. The important of understanding what Network Links are UP/DOWN as well as Capacity planning will prove to be crucial if growth is going to happen anytime in the future.
On top of those benefits, understanding High bandwidth usage and receiving alerts for Suspicious or Rouge Activity can assist you in pinpointing which Computers/Devices on your network is potentially infected with a Virus or Malware.
All of these software packages will help you keep track of Network Switch Ports from an Array of Vendors (mentioned above) – Grab a Download of Any of these Software solutions and get started monitoring your Switches today!
Switch Port Monitoring Tools FAQs
How often should I perform switch port monitoring?
The frequency of switch port monitoring depends on the specific requirements of your environment and the size and complexity of the network. In general, it is recommended to perform regular monitoring on an ongoing basis to ensure that switch ports are functioning correctly and to identify and resolve issues as they arise.
What should I do if I encounter an issue with a switch port?
If you encounter an issue with a switch port, the first step is to gather information about the issue and the environment, including the port status, traffic levels, and error rates. You can then use this information to identify the root cause of the issue and take appropriate action, such as reconfiguring the port, resolving cabling issues, or upgrading the switch. If the issue cannot be resolved, you may need to seek additional support from the vendor or the network administrator.
How do I monitor switch port traffic?
Switch port traffic can be monitored using network management software, open-source tools, or custom scripts. These tools can collect and analyze data about the amount of traffic flowing through switch ports, including both inbound and outbound traffic, and provide detailed information about network utilization and performance.
What is the difference between switch port monitoring and network monitoring?
Switch port monitoring is a component of network monitoring, which is the broader process of monitoring the performance and availability of a network. While switch port monitoring focuses specifically on the activity and status of switch ports, network monitoring encompasses a wider range of network components, including routers, switches, and other network devices.
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