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  1. #1
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    Default Bandwidth Monitoring suggestion

    I have been testing Untangle for use at a school/boys ranch and find it very powerful and just what we need. However, I have some suggestions for improvement based on other products I’ve seen.

    Right now we are using Open-Mesh’s wireless access point products (www.open-mesh.com). They have a web portal that allows WONDERFUL reporting of wireless access that comes free with their product (www.cloudtrax.com). This portal allows us to see the bandwidth usage in clear graphical display. I’m including a screenshot of the Network Overview, where you can see the network traffic in graphical form for quick analysis along with the top applications (basically websites) using bandwidth and the top clients using the bandwidth. The timeframe for viewing can be set to view the Last Week, Last Day, or Last 2 Hours. This shot shows the Last Day.

    Network Overview.jpg

    I am also including a screenshot of the client analysis page. The highlights I show are a pie chart of the applications used, a Bandwidth Traffic chart, and mini charts from each individual client that shows up when you click on “Show”. You will note that when you click on a particular client as I did in this shot, you can view on the Traffic Chart in clear graphic detail in a different color the client download over time. In the highlighted case, it was mostly likely they were watching Netflix. It clearly shows they downloaded 1.2GB of data and when.

    Client Analysis.png

    In this last example, notice it was a wired device. This can be monitored because it is a wired device behind the wireless access point. If an Open-Mesh device is placed in bridged mode between the router and main network switch like Untangled can do, then it can monitor all bandwidth, not just wireless bandwidth.

    Can you see how amazing your Bandwidth Monitor would be if it presented a graphical analysis like Open-Mesh’s CloudTrax website does? Can you see that all I have to do is make a one-time purchase of an Open-Mesh device and I can get a beautiful graphical analysis for free for life? I also run Easy Tomato on my home router and can get a nice graphical analysis of my bandwidth overall and per device. You have some competition and need to step up to the plate.

    May I make a further suggestion? I suggest that you offer a real time graphical analysis for free called something like Bandwidth Control Lite. We can already use IFTOP for free, but that is nothing compared to what you could offer in a beautiful graphical display. However, I also suggest you offer a graphical bandwidth analysis report like those I show as part of your paid product. Showing the real time analysis will really get people interested in paying for the full Bandwidth Control product.
    junglechuck likes this.

  2. #2
    Untangle Ninja jcoehoorn's Avatar
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    Default

    The views you're looking for are mostly already available. What Untangle needs to work on is connections between them, so that it's faster to drill down from an aggregate view into the specifics for a client or user. It's already pretty quick for those who have the knowing, but it could be more intuitive. They could also do more for the hosts views (third image below).

    Some of these can already be made available in v12 on the Dashboard page, and I understand they're working on adding more customizations for the dashboard.

    You don't see a lot of detail in the third image from my screen capture because I have a routing switch between my clients and Untangle, and because I don't use captive portal or other authentication for my users. It would be extremely easy to get username data by adding Captive Portal, but we made the decision not to do this, so that it would be easier to get online for things like smart TVs/Rokus, guest users (admissions candidates/alumni) who don't have accounts, and game consoles. I could fix the host mac data by using Untangle to route between vlans, but I've opted not to do that for performance.

    UT1.png
    UT2.png
    UT3.png
    Last edited by jcoehoorn; 05-14-2016 at 03:19 PM.
    Five time Microsoft ASP.Net MVP managing a Lenovo RD330 / E5-2420 / 16GB with Untangle 16.2 to protect 500Mbits for ~450 residential college students and associated staff and faculty

  3. #3
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    Default

    jcoehoorn, thanks for the information. I see my problem. I got the trial edition to run at my home and it expired before I got to test bandwidth control. So I don't have that report to look at any longer. Beyond that, the information presented still seems difficult to interpret at a glance. What I (we?) need is a quick look at a graph like the Traffic chart giving bandwidth over time. I can quickly look at the chart and see where usage is. I can quickly start to discern where abuse might be. Then I can drill down to the device specific charts on the same page that displays an overlay of the current devices usage on the Traffic chart. It is interactive, not static like the reports seem to be that you are displaying. Then I can see where the abusers are pretty quickly or if there are none. I can see when the abuse took place and then design rules to curb the abuse. Again, since I don't have access to the bandwidth reports, this may all be possible to see and I just don't know.

    Another nice feature in Cloudtrax is that the MAC address and host name is given and we can Edit it and add a description to it. I can't memorize every MAC address. IP addresses change. But the MAC address is constant and using that I can add a description like "Abraham Lincoln's Laptop". This can halfway be done in Untangle with Static DHCP entries, but if devices don't have static IP addresses, there is an issue. Adding a MAC address description tab would allow a MAC address to be manually equated to a description. Then when reports are given, even if the IP address is dynamic, we can see names instead of IP addresses.

    Maybe I actually asking for interactive reports instead of static reports. The CIO or CEO wants to see static charts in a board meeting. I want to see interactive charts that I can click on and see what is going on in my network very quickly. I can do that with my home router running Easy Tomato and see where my kids have been using a lot of internet time and when and if they should have been in bed at that time. I can click on a device and it superimposes that devices Traffic usage interactively on the main Traffic usage chart so I can see how much that device used as a part of the whole. Since the chart is bandwidth usage over time, it gives a really nice interactive snapshot like the screenshots I posted for Cloudtrax. Like Cloudtrax, Easy Tomato allows me to change the time frame of the snapshot from hours, to days, to a week. I can easily see if there are patterns for that device/user this way. Does my daughter get up early each day and get on the computer? I want to be able to quickly see that.

    Thanks for listening.

  4. #4
    Untangle Ninja jcoehoorn's Avatar
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    Mac addresses can change, too. Really. It's actually not that hard. And most DHCP servers can be configured to keep handing out the same address to the same device over time. That's how I do it... slightly longer dhcp lease times and dhcp that re-assigns the same address when possible.
    Five time Microsoft ASP.Net MVP managing a Lenovo RD330 / E5-2420 / 16GB with Untangle 16.2 to protect 500Mbits for ~450 residential college students and associated staff and faculty

  5. #5
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    I know that a MAC address can be spoofed/faked. That can be a legitimate concern, but that is an outlier concern that we deal with when it rears it's ugly head. For normal bandwidth monitoring, these suggested additions would be a valuable tool to quickly get a view of and manage a network bandwidth usage. I know because I'm already doing it with Cloudtrax and Easy Tomato. It would just be nice to have it baked into Untangle.

  6. #6
    Untangle Junkie dmorris's Avatar
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    Very cool. Thanks for the feedback.

    You can edit the device hostname inside the device list.
    Attention: Support and help on the Untangle Forums is provided by volunteers and community members like yourself.
    If you need Untangle support please call or email support@untangle.com

  7. #7
    Untangle Junkie dmorris's Avatar
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    We added something similar to this in the upcoming 12.1

    Basically you can now view bandwidth like before, but sliced by any attribute you want (user, client, application, port, whatever)

    Here is one for host and application. Its shown as stacked area, but you can do line as well.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  8. #8
    Untangle Junkie dmorris's Avatar
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    Here is one as a line chart.

    By default its pulls the top 10 hosts from the specified time period.
    You can create custom charts that show more, or only show a specific host or whatever if you need that on your dashboard.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  9. #9
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    Default

    Oh dmorris, those look nice. Any idea when 12.1 will be available in release or beta?

  10. #10
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    Default

    dmorris, thank you. You show that you are listening to us and replying with good answers. I'm sure this is going to fill a great need. Bandwidth monitoring that allows a very quick glimpse to discover abusers is very important. Numbers can provide the same information, but often it's like looking at "The Matrix". A nice picture is fast and easy to understand, especially for the non-tech bosses.

    I echo cybrwulf's questions. When will 12.1 be available in release?

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