How to measure traffic speed on Linux server?

How can we monitor network transfer speed on Linux server?

Q: We need to know what network transfer speed for our Linux server. What are the steps?

A: IPHost Network Monitor, since version 3.5, offers SNMP Traffic Speed monitor. Here is the sequence of its setup:

SNMP Traffic Speed monitor description

Start New Monitor wizard and select Traffic category on the left and SNMP Traffic Speed monitor.

On the next screen select host name and, if necessary, mark the checkbox on whether to start monitor upon creation.

On the third screen set the monitor’s parameters. Note that we only will explain monitor type-specific settings; all the rest are common settings for monitors, explained in online help.

First, select network interface to measure traffic volume for. Click on Select button to the right of Interface Name value to see the whole list of interfaces reported by SNMP:

You will most probably see several interfaces. You need to select one with IP address assigned. If the target host is powered by Windows OS you can run ‘ipconfig /all’ command in cmd.exe on the target machine to make sure you selected the correct interface. If the target host is a UNIX-lake machine you can run ‘ifconfig’ command in the shell box to view the host interfaces and confirm you selected the correct one.

Program will prefill Interface Bandwidth (network interface speed capacity). However, you can change that value if required. If this is set to zero, a value of 1 will be used.

Measure (traffic) drop-down list allows you to measure all (incoming and outgoing) traffic speed (by default), incoming or outgoing only. Note: when Data Set is changed, the statistics calculated so far will be reset. You will be warned by a pop-up window if you choose to alter Data Set.

and show (traffic) as allows you to choose how to display the measured traffic speed: as percentage of Interface Bandwidth (default), in kilobytes/sec or megabytes/sec.

SNMP credentials are required to access data. Please refer to monitor parameters online help reference for explanations.

WMI and SNMP monitoring comparison

SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) is de facto standard protocol used to request information from network devices and/or control certain functions of those. In case of Windows you can use either WMI or SNMP traffic volume monitors. The choice is entirely up to you; if you have a heterogeneous network, SNMP method can be used for uniformity, since WMI is Windows-only means.

Note: you need to explicitly enable SNMP Services on Windows computer you need to monitor (via Add/Remove Windows Components). Don’t forget to right-click on the services to set up required parameters such as community names. Please refer to Net-SNMP documentation on the meaning of those settings.

The two methods to monitor traffic volume can return slightly different results, due to many a difference of measurement approaches.

Related topics

How to monitor Windows system traffic speed via WMI?