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How do I monitor network utilization?

How do I monitor network utilization?

I am administrating a college campus LAN. How do I monitor network utilization?
There is a plethora of network utilization monitoring tools available. For educational campus LAN's, free and open source technology tends to be more prevalent. The best way to identify the network utilization is to monitor the individual interfaces that connect the campus together and not the network cards, individual interfaces on the host machines. By collecting these aggregate statistics at core places within the network and then breaking the traffic into application, host, conversation pairs, you will be able to better understand what the traffic flow and load on your network is without being overwhelmed by too much data. There are a very large number of places that conduct this type of monitoring. Depending on budget and size of the network, you will have to make a vendor selection. I would highly recommend something that has the accounting statistics already inside it, like NetFLow reporting. Here is a comprehensive list of the networking tools available as a resource to evaluate the network monitoring solution that fits your environment.
This was last published in January 2006

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