Network Weathermap -- A Free Monitoring Tool You Should be Using

I'm down here all week at the Interop event, where conference sessions are already underway, and the exhibition floor opens up tomorrow.

One of the really cool new open source tools that's on display this year is called Network Weathermap.

According to the Network Weatherap web site: "Network Weathermap is a perl tool that displays in a visual way the utilization of the network links of your network. The required data are acquired from graphs created by the MRTG package and are displayed as two ways colored arrows on a map representing the logical topology of the network. The resulted image is presented in a web page using extra DHTML and JavaScript code for web-over pop-ups, based on the OverLib JavaScript library."

At Interop, I installed Network Weathermap to monitor the InteropNet -- the event network that delivers wireless, VoIP, and high speed internet access throughout the huge exhibition center here at Mandalay Bay.

If you go to this link, you can check it out. I'll apologize in advance -- there are so many layers of security on top of the InteropNet that this particular link will be down periodically throughout the week (it works perfectly here on the local subnet).

What you're looking at is a core topology for the network that shows the connection to the Internet and the firewalls and the main core routers inside. At the bottom of the page is a clickable link that shows the nodes in the NOC that are doing the monitoring, as well as some performance stats on them. There's also a subnet map that you get when you click on show floor and the PEDs -- and you can get detailed analysis of the interface that are on all of the routers and equipment.

If you were to set up this sort of visio map of a big enterprise network with an Openview or similar, it would cost you a ton of money. I think one of the themes that's really going to surface at this year's event is that there are some VERY compelling open source monitoring tools out there that can be easily plugged in, and that can perform under the rigors of just about any environment.

I'll be reporting back on some other cool open source monitoring tools throughout the week, here from the show.