Measuring data usage

Discussion in 'Networking & NAS' started by tdenson, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. tdenson

    tdenson
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    I have just set up a network in Kenya which is driven by a cellular modem. I want to be able to measure data usage of the network as a whole, since the internet provider (Orange) can't provide any information as to when we are approaching the FUP cap. I also would like to be able to measure usage of individual machines to see if there are any heavy usage culprits. I am planning to put a server machine in but wondering whether I should make it Windows or Linux (or a Mac Mini) according to what the best monitoring tools are. Any suggestions please ?
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2014
  2. mickevh

    mickevh
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    The "problem" with monitoring packet switched networks, is that there's nothing that "sees" all the traffic in order to be able to collect statistics on it.

    If you're only interested in Internet traffic, it's a bit easier as you can engineer a "pinch" point through which all the Internet traffic passes and thereby collect the stats on it. You ISP router is an obvious example of such. If the router itself doesn't posses such functionality, then you could introduce a monitoring device in front of the routers LAN port that monitors the traffic (either using a mirrored switch port if you switches avail such, or using a hub if you can find one - hubs are really rare these days.) However, that would miss any wi-fi traffic in the ISP router, so you'd have to not use wi-fi on the ISP router and vest wi-fi elsewhere and it would miss any traffic through the routers "other" LAN ports, so you couldn't use them.

    To monitor the data storage on a Windows server, you could either use quotas or use something like TreeSize from time to time. It depends on how often you want to monitor the stats.

    Rather that spell out all the details, I've just outlined some of the challenges because it's much more complex than simple buying a widget or a package and installing it "somewhere."

    It's cold comfort since your infrastructure is already built, but it would have been better to consider this sort of thing at the network design phase as it would of influenced the design and equipment selection. It's tougher (though by no means impossible) to add such functionality retrospectively.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2014
  3. tdenson

    tdenson
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    As it happens, I have just discovered the router I am using does collect stats. They are broken down by MAC and ip address. Only problem is that it doesn't total them (which seems a strange omission), still nothing a spreadsheet won't fix.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2014
  4. thebiznes

    thebiznes
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    You could install untangle or pfsense with lightsquid for more reporting.

    Added benefit if you install pfsense is squid cache which would save you some mb's of data download also caching pages and updates etc.
     
  5. tdenson

    tdenson
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    I was wondering whether there might be any software around that will log on to a router and scrape the stats data into a spreadsheet file. Alternatively, I could write something.
     
  6. Kristian

    Kristian
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    Does the router support SNMP or syslog?
     
  7. tdenson

    tdenson
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    Afraid not. However I have just noticed scrolled off on the status page is a traffic summary which gives me exactly what I need
     

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