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In 2006 I was working in tech support and my sysadmin boss guy showed me a VMWare App that had one purpose, to constantly monitor network traffic and it showed a nice graphical display of how much bandwidth was being used by any particular computers on the network, it had lines that got bigger and smaller and changed color with the type of packets being sent. Does anyone know what that application is called, what the VMWare App is named or what the class of utility is called (network monitor, bandwidth checkerouter or something else)?

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4 Answers

there are a lot of different tools to monitor and visualize data like this.

Very common are tools like mrtg (website) or munin (website).

These packages use snmp to collect the data. Another one would be Zenoss or Nagios, but these two packages are much more high level and are used to control lots of servers, infrastructure, possibly every kind of device you're able to write some script for to collect its status. These packages can alert you, if your webserver has just a few megabye of free diskspace left and tasks like these..

regards, Comradin

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Was it the NetBoy suite? They had a couple of tools in that suite that would do something like you're describing. I don't think the tools are maintained or sold any more though.

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yeah that looked similar to that etherboy, but it was installed on Mandrake Linux, so I'm pretty sure it wasn't closed source. –  Peter Turner Sep 25 '09 at 14:09
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A "VMWare app"? That terminology escapes me. Are you referring to a virtual appliance from VMWare's Virtual Appliance Marketplace? Your description is too vague and there are far too many Virtual Appliances for me to specifically tell you what your boss used. However, you could possible search through the IT Administration, Networking, Performance Management or Systems Infrastructure categories of the Marketplace to find something similar.

You could look for appliances that use Nagios, Cacti, the netflow/sflow protocol and others. There's a vast array of network monitoring tools out there in the Virtual Appliance Marketplace. It also could have been a virtual firewall appliance like IPCop or SmoothWall with some plug-ins for advanced visualization.

And finally, you could just call your boss and ask him... ? =)

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"A "VMWare app"? That terminology escapes me." Are you serious? –  ITGuy24 Sep 24 '09 at 14:54
    
Well it's a vague description because my recall of a software product I saw being used for 6 minutes 3 years ago. In any event, you haven't heard of it or you'd know what I'm talking about because it was totally awesome. It showed all the computers on your network in a circle that were sending stuff out, then a line between the connections and the line got bigger as the bandwidth increased. That way we could find the grad students who were downloading movies off bit torrent. –  Peter Turner Sep 24 '09 at 15:13
    
That sounds familiar, could it have been Sniffer Pro or 3COM Network Supervisor? –  joeqwerty Sep 24 '09 at 16:08
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My assumption is that you were looking at something like Cricket or Cacti. Both of those (like MRTG) can look at the SNMP counters and record graphs of usage. Very awesome and powerful stuff. I have added links to a couple VMApps that have Cacti bundled in. NOTE I have not used either of these VMapps but one is recommended by www.petri.co.il, always a good site.

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