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Detecting unused ports on a network

Discussion in 'Networks' started by UCHEEKYMONKEY, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. UCHEEKYMONKEY
    Honorary Member

    UCHEEKYMONKEY R.I.P - gone but never forgotten. Gold Member

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    Can anyone tell me if there is a software or command to detect unused ports on a network.

    Let's say - you are a network administrator and you are incharge of 42 hubs each with hub containg 100 ports all connected with a patch cable. Your Line manager has just informed you that the Dept need to cut back and each port that is not being used because it costs £3000 to run that service

    Is there a program you can run to detect when a port was last used. when a computer was attached to that port and the port was live. We often get staff moving or leaving but don't tell IT Dept and therefore the network port in that office is still live. However when new staff arrive and more network ports are needed we then find there is not enough space in the hub/rack to add another switch.:(

    Any suggestions?
     
    Certifications: Comptia A+
    WIP: Comptia N+
  2. Stoney

    Stoney Megabyte Poster

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    Unplug the cable and see if you get a phone call 5 minutes later! :twisted:
     
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  3. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Surely this is hardware specific? And switches from companies like Cisco have such items if our place is anything to go from.

    And cheap switches just can't be monitored like this.

    Harry.
     
    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  4. slyuen

    slyuen Byte Poster

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    why not find a weekend, when no one is around, come to the office and switch everything on, then look for lights that are off to tell you which port is unused on the switch??
     
    Certifications: ECDL,A+,Network+,CST,CNST,MCDST,MCSA
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  5. UCHEEKYMONKEY
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    UCHEEKYMONKEY R.I.P - gone but never forgotten. Gold Member

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    That's a bit tricky mate! This place is 24/7 what if you had an accident in a car and went to the nearest Hospital only to be told there closed because they only work 9 - 5pm?:blink
     
    Certifications: Comptia A+
    WIP: Comptia N+
  6. UCHEEKYMONKEY
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    UCHEEKYMONKEY R.I.P - gone but never forgotten. Gold Member

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    Cheap switches??:dry

    switches are cisco catalyst 2960 and Extreme networks (purple colour) Summit 250e
     
    Certifications: Comptia A+
    WIP: Comptia N+
  7. UCHEEKYMONKEY
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    UCHEEKYMONKEY R.I.P - gone but never forgotten. Gold Member

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    Tell you what mate you drop us your telephone number and I will pass it onto the users who phone.:biggrin:twisted: (don't worry there's only 2400)
     
    Certifications: Comptia A+
    WIP: Comptia N+
  8. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

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    Ooh yeah done that before now and had a shout from across the room because I've unplugged them in the middle of typing out an important document :biggrin
     
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  9. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Shields up will tell you which ports have vuneerabilities not sure if it will tell you which ports are being used and which are not, you can always give it a go https://www.grc.com/x/ne.dll?bh0bkyd2
     
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  10. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Er - wrong sort of ports! :biggrin

    UCM was refering to ports on a switch, not the ports in TCP!

    Harry.
     
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  11. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Ah! For those I'd suggest SNMP would be the way to go.

    And you'll need someone who knows those *much* better than I do how to go about this in detail.

    I know we use HP Openview for a lot of our monitoring.

    Harry.
     
    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
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  12. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    :oops: disregard then UCM.
     
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  13. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    I don't know if NetMRI will keep track of that information. SNMP is certainly a valid method, I would think.
     
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  14. nXPLOSi

    nXPLOSi Terabyte Poster

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    I've come across the same problem, but being a small outfit I can just take out the wires with no link lights, I find out soon enough if someone was using that port and reconnect!

    "Oh it was a wiring issue, all sorted now."

    8)
     
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  15. derkit

    derkit Gigabyte Poster

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    Might be simplistic approach, but tell all your users to keep the leave their computers plugged in and then on the weekend look at the switches to see which are still lit (assuming your switches work the same way ours do!), that would give you a reasonably accurate figure I would have thought.

    We did this with a similar set up to you - 4000 users, over 32 different comms cabinets (all in different locations) - took a couple of hours but nailed it pretty good.
     
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  16. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Is there a web interface on the switches? If so it may tell you which ports are live....
     
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  17. Tinus1959

    Tinus1959 Gigabyte Poster

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    No clues here, but isn't there a program called open view to map a network?
     
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  18. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    UCM - Why don't you just ping sweep the subnets, record the mac addresses of every device that responds then lookup those MACs to see which ones correspond to Cisco or Extreme assigned MAC ranges?

    That way you'll have a list of all the networking devices on your subnets, can telnet/ssh into each one of them and run whatever the 'show ports' command is for each switch. that should tell you which ports are administrtatively up and, better still, sending/receiving traffic
     
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  19. UCHEEKYMONKEY
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    UCHEEKYMONKEY R.I.P - gone but never forgotten. Gold Member

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    Hmmm I'm not sure if that will work, but I give it go! The reason why I am unsure is the security device on the network to stop the spam and spyware we are getting. Lets say I ping a computer name pc304 in the cmd window I would expect to see an ip address of 10.161.9.3 however what I actually see is an Ip address of the security device 128.85.6.2. I guess to ping sweep the subnets I would have to disable the security device to get the correct info.

    Also these computers/devices are not on all of the time. I would have to physically go to each loaction (assuming the office isn't locked) and switch on every computer, network printer - ouch!:ohmy
     
    Certifications: Comptia A+
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  20. UCHEEKYMONKEY
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    UCHEEKYMONKEY R.I.P - gone but never forgotten. Gold Member

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    Yes there is a web interface, the extreme switches even alert you via email when a port is deactivated when a PC produces two mac address. BUt that is rare and we've only had 8 pc's that have 2 mac address. By this I mean a PC that has an onboard NIC and a PCI NIC installed on one pc.

    The only problem with the web interface it shows live in present time but not over a period of time.:blink
     
    Certifications: Comptia A+
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