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linux graph traffic for all LAN computers

We have a Debian linux based iptables firewall machine controlling access to the network.  Occasionally we receive complaints that some users are having a hard time connecting to the Internet or that it is 'slow'.  What we would like to do is be able to keep a historical graph for each host on the network (approx 50 computers) so when they complain we can look and see if there were any people using a lot of bandwidth at that time.  Then we can decide what to do later.

Currently we use mrtg to graph the data in and out but we would like to be able to break that down per LAN computer.  What tools are available to help us with that?
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bdhtechnology
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bdhtechnology
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amitnepalCommented:
You can achieve the graph per LAN Computer using mrtg just like you do for data in/out.

Where do you have the mrtg currently installed ? If you have it in your iptables based machine, you can use the same mrtg to graph the interfaces on the lan side , you would just have to enable snmp on each client machine in order to get the graph.  Once you enable snmp on each client machine then you would just collect the data from each lan client for the lan interface just as you would do for your main interface.

There are also various other tools that can help you get the graphs like cacti and zabbix . Zabbix combines the feature of mrtg/cacti with an addition of monitoring just like nagios.
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bdhtechnologyAuthor Commented:
mrtg is installed on the same linux box that runs the iptables firewall.  I was searching the Internet for info on how to do this and found some info regarding snmp, but not being very familiar with snmp I wasn't sure that it would give me the results that I need.  The problem is that the computers are owned by individuals and not by the company so we cannot install anything (or enable anything) on individual computers.  Can snmp be used without enabling anything on the client machines?

It sounds like cacti or zabbix may be the best option for us.
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amitnepalCommented:
Not if snmp is not already enabled, also in order to use snmp you would have to know the community string. zabbix can be a better option, because you can use your custom scripts or calculation and generate graphs on zabbix.

Thanks
Amit
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bdhtechnologyAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the tip, while searching for examples on how to do what I am looking for in cacti and zabbix, I came across NfSen, which looks like it will do what I need it to: http://nfsen.sourceforge.net/

I am checking this out now.

To me it seems like there should be more tools for just this sort of thing.  I would think that many people would want to see what computers on a network are using what kind of bandwidth at certain times, without requiring anything to be enabled/installed on the LAN client devices.  Is this not a common thing people do?
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amitnepalCommented:
Well ! really i have not found this situation common in my work experience because usually inside LAN, things are a little more trusted, controlled and  owned. However, some cases could be like yours where you need to see the usage. But I think yes , nfsen seems to be useful in your case, it analyzes the netflow as it says.

Thanks
Amit
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