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I have a number of network enabled devices in the office. I've always wondered how much bandwidth each one is using. I happen to have a 16-port gigabit switch that is dying, so I was wondering if I could replace it with a slightly smarter switch that keeps track of the amount of data flowing in and out of each port. Does such a thing exist?

It seems like a hardware solution would be easy, since I have to replace my switch anyway.

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Any half decent switch should provide you with this information. I can't remember offhand, but we have some HP switches that you can monitor using SNMP (and graph using something like Cacti) and have bandwidth per port. They can be a bit spendy though, if that's an issue for you. – Ben Pilbrow Aug 14 '11 at 18:04
up vote 6 down vote accepted

The marketing term for these switches are "Smart Switches" for one that at least have web management (access) capabilities. These switches typically do not have a CLI, but they have most of the aspects of a "managed" switch.

They are targeted at the SMB market where most of the manufacturers offer something similar to fit the lower-middle of their product lines, just underneath the full "managed" switches (which do offer the capability you are seeking and Ben Pillow identified) or along side them.

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Dlink used to have web simulators of their products (with web interfaces) and they do cover the space, but it looks like they may have changed directions with their web simulators (too bad they are no longer taking advantage of a very convenient marketing/shopping tool). – user48838 Aug 14 '11 at 18:44
Perfect. Now I at least have terms to google. I should be able to get a working solution with this information. Thank you. – Chris Aug 14 '11 at 18:46
No problem, you might target something you are already using or comfortable with. – user48838 Aug 14 '11 at 18:47

I don't know of any switch that shows bandwidth on the web interface. However, the higher end switches like HP Procurve, Dell PowerConnect and Cisco do have SNMP that will provide that information. Solarwinds has a free tool where you can monitor the device via SNMP (free version is limited to one device). There is also MRTG which will provide bandwidth graphs and more. Bottom line is you would need a switch that supports SNMP.

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This is all useful information. Thank you very much. I particularly liked that you named specific models. – Chris Aug 14 '11 at 18:47

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