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ZDNet: Traffic analysis almost for free

Jan 17, 2001, 22:02 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bob Currier)

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"Over the past several months we've watched the Internet bandwidth consumption on our university network jump from an average of 55 megabits/second to more than 150 megabits/second. The biggest spike in usage occurred at the end of August and the beginning of September. Care to take a guess as to what caused the bandwidth barrage? Yup -- students returning from summer vacation and taking advantage of their blazingly fast dormitory Ethernet ports...."

"While there are several traffic analysis products on the market (such as Shomiti Systems' Surveyor) they were priced well above our budget. We elected to go with an open source application for Linux called Iptraf. Iptraf version 2.3.1 provides network managers with a console-based network statistics utility that is easy to install, a snap to use, and robust enough to win a permanent place in our network management toolkit."

"To build your own Linux-based traffic analysis system, first get your hands on a decent desktop workstation. We used an HP Pavilion 6630 that came configured with a Celeron 500MHz processor and 64MB of memory. We boosted the memory to 256MB and added a 30GB IDE drive to store logging data. Thirty gigabytes of disk space may seem like overkill, but log files can grow at an incredible rate. Put the extra drive in, you'll thank yourself later."

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