• United States

Accounting for the use of network bandwidth

Jul 21, 20032 mins
Data Center

Nutter helps a reader looking for an affordable bandwidth monitoring tool

We recently had an IS audit done at our company. One of the things the auditors wrote us up on was the fact that we had no monitoring system in place to watch for or account for bandwidth utilization of the network. I’ve been looking for a monitoring package, but what I’ve found is expensive or does more than what we need. Can you suggest anything?Multi Router Traffic Grapher (MRTG). This is an application/script that runs under Perl and can talk to SNMP-enabled devices. Depending on the OS you’re most comfortable with, you can run this under Windows 2000 or your favorite version of Linux. I was able to download and install Perl and the MRTG scripts in less than an hour. You’ll also need a Web server on the system that MRTG will be running There are install instructions for Windows and Linux. I got the latest version of Perl from When enabling SNMP on the device you want MRTG to monitor, I would suggest enabling the read-only portion of SNMP and use a community string that isn’t a common word or something easily guessed.

 – Via the Internet

I recently came across a package called 

You can get this handy monitoring utility by going to 

When you feel comfortable with how MRTG works, look on the other pages at the MRTG site to see the additional monitoring that can be done by downloading and customizing some scripts. What I like about this package so far is that you really don’t have to know Perl in order to get it running or to do some basic customizations to the HTML pages generated. Since MRTG initially only polls for information at 5-minute intervals, you can even run this on a Pentium II 300-MHz processor if you don’t have anything faster to use.