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pmGraph

pmGraph is a software application for network monitoring, which is an important part of bandwidth management and optimisation. It enables administrators of large networks to easily monitor and analyse how their Internet bandwidth is being used. It is the first component of our BMO Tools project to be released as free, open source software.

pmGraph is a visualisation and graphing tool that is designed to complement pmacct, a network monitoring and auditing tool. The two tools are supplied together as a debian package, and instructions for installing pmGraph cover the installation of both tools.

pmacct monitors traffic on a firewall, router or bridge, or collects information from multiple routers, and stores the network data in a database. The database permits powerful analysis, however there is no user-friendly interface to access the data. pmGraph addresses this issue by providing a graphical overview of the pmacct data, with a user friendly interface.

We have compiled a list of other available network monitoring software for reference and comparison.

Main features

  • User friendly, simple interface
  • Shows info about the connections between remote and local machines, and ports used
  • Host name resolution using DNS and DHCP servers
  • Shows usage for a specific IP address or port
  • Configurable number of results

If you investigate pmGraph and decide not to use it, please let us know why in order to help us to improve it.

Usage and requirements

pmGraph is designed to compliment pmacct, a piece of network monitoring software. More information about using pmacct can be found here. pmacct runs on Unix-like systems (including Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X and Solaris), so there must be at least one such system in the network. it does not currently run on Windows.

pmGraph is platform independent software. It has been developed in Java and is designed to work in a servlet container such as Tomcat, which is available for all common platforms.

pmGraph is quite lightweight, and requires only 8MB of disk space. However, it relies on other, bulkier programs. If you don’t already have Tomcat, Java, MySQL server and pmacct, you will have to install them as well, which may take around 300 MB of disk space. These components will be installed for you if you use the package installation and you can install pmGraph without learning much about them.

Installation

Instructions for installing pmGraph

Documentation

Various documents are available, including the User Guide and FAQs.

You can also get the documentation in PDF format (1.4MB).

Help us to develop pmGraph

pmGraph is under active development by Aptivate staff and volunteers, to make it a more flexible and powerful tool, with advanced user-friendly graphing capabilities. Collaborators on the project are both welcome and important for further development. Please contact us if you’d like to get involved, or see our more detailed developers’ guide.

Known limitations of pmGraph at present:

  • Proxy servers interfere with network monitoring
  • Would be useful to classify hosts into groups (e.g. departments or customers)
  • Pmacct database size grows without bounds unless pruned

See the Known Limitations page for more details.