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  • Network monitoring tool for VoIP Traffic?

    By end of year we are going to implement a ShoreTel phone system! What tool do you all use/recommend to monitor and pinpoint VoIP network issues? We have evaluated Orion Netflow Traffic Analyzer and it worked, but our issue is that all our switches donít support netflow or sflow. We have a mix of HP ProCurve 2848 switches at the core and HP ProCurve 4000m or Dell 3448P switches on the end. The HP 2848 does support sflow, but HP 4000m and Dell 3448P switches do not. Any advice? Just a little troubled that we can not find a tool that works with all our switches on monitoring VoIP traffic. I'm trying to stay away from packet sniffers such as Wireshark (like it because it's free!) because it's not as simple to use as Orion's product. We have an IT staff of 2 and neither of us are network experts.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    anyone?

    ok maybe there's not a tool that will work for me, but what monitoring tools do you all use?

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    • #3
      Good question. The only thing I have at my disposal is the trunk tool on the Shoreware server, v. 7.5 but that doesn't display traffic/packets, etc. I've heard good things about SolarWinds network analyzer and it's a free d/l.

      -Greg

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      • #4
        Hands down, wireshark. It's free, easy to install in Windows and it's great for seeing packet by packet flow on your network. We had a server on our voice VLAN that was compromised by a worm and was flooding our voice network and creating voice quality issues. We were able to identify the compromised server within 3 minutes of installing Wireshark by seeing the server's IP address repeated on the monitoring tool. Heck, even Shoretel's tech support will suggest you use wireshark to troubleshoot network issues.

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        • #5
          I also use Wireshark, sometimes with an Ethernet tap from Shomiti Systems. My primary means of tapping on my test system is a NIC which has four independent NICs on a single PCI card. ShoreTel switch connects to one, a single phone to another, and three more phones to the third. Then they are all bridged in my Linux environment, and my server runs as a virtual machine tied to the bridge.

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          • #6
            Thanks for the replies, looks like I need to learn how to use wireshark! :gunsmilie:

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            • #7
              I think every network should have monitoring tools in place before a problem occurs (maybe before they install a phone system?). MRTG is my favorite. What does normal traffic on this switchport look like? What does it look like when a call is active? Interesting that there traffic on that switchport at 3am? Questions like that can't be answered with a packet sniffer easily. It would be nice if something like trunk usage could be monitored via SNMP.

              syslog and mrtg can go along way to diagnosing problems. If you have those tools in place it should be very rare that you actually need to use a sniffer. Most times I have used a sniffer the data I discovered with it didn't solve the problem.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Contractor View Post
                I think every network should have monitoring tools in place before a problem occurs (maybe before they install a phone system?). MRTG is my favorite. What does normal traffic on this switchport look like? What does it look like when a call is active? Interesting that there traffic on that switchport at 3am? Questions like that can't be answered with a packet sniffer easily. It would be nice if something like trunk usage could be monitored via SNMP.

                syslog and mrtg can go along way to diagnosing problems. If you have those tools in place it should be very rare that you actually need to use a sniffer. Most times I have used a sniffer the data I discovered with it didn't solve the problem.
                MRTG is fantastic. I like that you can make graphs of bandwidth usage and publish it to an internal web page, very easy to show your boss / customers exactly what's going on.

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                • #9
                  we use mrtg, wireshark and shoretel system monitor

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                  • #10
                    Look into Cacti, too. It's like MRTG, but a lot more flexible and easier to configure. There's even an ISO available called CactiEZ that installs an entire working system with everything you need.... easy to throw on a VM. Cacti: The Complete RRDTool-based Graphing Solution

                    The only problem is that you have to monitor the ports on your ethernet switch.. or at least I do. For whatever reason, SNMP on the Shoretel always reports "1234" for ifInOctets and ifOutOctets... the standard counters for measuring traffic

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                    • #11
                      Has anyone tried the Network Monitoring Tool Network Monitor from Microsoft. I just installed it on my ShoreTel server and it's capturing packet traffic off the NIC. There seems to be a ton of information and it appears to capture the exact same traffic as WireShark but with a lot more tools. I'm no expert with it by any stretch of the imagination but I need something to help me identify Jitter. FYI...

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                      • #12
                        You'd only be measuring the Jitter between the Server and another endpoint (if you can get that kind of thing)
                        A good place to get Jitter on the ShoreTel is to run a WAN media report (in ShoreWare Director) and get it to include intrasite calls.

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                        • #13
                          Appneta is good

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