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General software and network General OS-independent software and network questions, X11, MTA, routing, etc.

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Old 2nd September 2008
Yuka Yuka is offline
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Default Hardware bandwidth meter?

I'm looking for a device that I can put between two devices to monitor the bandwidth usage between the two. Just a simple hardware meter that shows me % used (up/down). Preferably configurable but something hard-coded for 100 mbps is fine. It also needs to be able to do its job without interfering with anything... 100% true passthrough.

It needs to be RJ-45 w/ cat 5e/6 compatability.

I currently am using an old Netgear Hub that has a primitive bandwidth meter on it, however that is not desirable because it is not full duplex. The available bandwidth is only 30 mbps so I'm not really losing performance much, although the risk of collision is there.

Has anyone seen any device that'll do that?
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Old 2nd September 2008
BSDfan666 BSDfan666 is offline
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I'm not aware of any commercial solutions, but a "transparent firewall" i.e: OpenBSD+pf+bridge(4) is viable.

In this scenario, you would have a system with 2 interfaces... 1 port connecting to your LAN, the other to your router or modem.

There is a post, somewhere in the OpenBSD section about a bandwidth monitoring... ephemera has a little daemon that might help you out, but, there are also similar things in the port tree..

As for doing this with other OS's, I can't help you... wouldn't know where to begin.
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Old 2nd September 2008
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Plunk in any kind of bridge (*BSD-based, Linux-based, hardware-based, whatever), and enable SNMP. Then configure MRTG on another device to query the snmpd for network stats. Then you get nice little graphs updated every 5 minutes.

Unless you need real-time stats, of course.
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Old 2nd September 2008
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Most cable/DSL modem/routers have some form of data counter available from their configuration webpages. Point your web browser at the modem and see what you can find.
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Old 2nd September 2008
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I'm actually looking more for something that is in my network rack that I can look at on the device itself. I'm a bandwidth junkie, one who enjoys knowing where his bandwidth is and how it is being utilized. I also enjoy watching blinking lights caused by consumption of bandwidth. It's a strange addiction. And this device will just feed this addiction. I just want to feed it in a more efficient way than using a 10-year-old hub that has a bandwidth utilization meter on it.

That and when things are running slow on the network, it'll let me see if the bottleneck is my internet connection or a device that needs to get bounced on my internal network.
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Old 2nd September 2008
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Hmm. This is in the realm of a personal project.

Write some scripts to get the data you need from your existing router or firewall, and post it to some form of display. I believe that those two-line LCD panels are quite easy to drive.

I highly doubt that you will find a pre-made commercial solution.
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Old 2nd September 2008
Nonesuch Nonesuch is offline
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I doubt a pre-made commercial product for full-duplex inline bandwidth metering would be priced affordably, and so would never make it to market, though perhaps one of the Fluke or other similar test devices might have a mode in which they could do this.

Any managed switch would be likely to have utilization counters, and if there's not already a display, it would be trivial to hack something together either with SNMP or just on the serial port (an LCD plus a PIC to send "Show int FastEthernet 0/1 | include ..."?)

I strongly recommend getting your hands on an old Cisco FastEthernet managed switch and having a go with some of the various open source SNMP and Netflow tools. You can produce some amazing graphs and displays with minimal configuration effort.
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