Biological approach to traffic visualization

    Visualization of traffic is a very important task, which should allow the network administrator to assess with a glance the picture of network performance, identify important patterns, anomalies and potential threats to security. The human brain perceives color 3D graphics much more easily than long rows of numbers.

    In addition, traffic visualization is also a very interesting task from the point of view of the developer. There is a huge field for innovation. A review of the available visualization programs only confirms that the developers have not yet found the ideal solution and continue the experiments, sometimes very exciting.

    Packet garden- Perhaps the most original program of its kind. It shows a traffic picture in the form of a “plant world”, in which each port has its own plant ( screenshots ).

    For example, file sharing (ports 10000-10010, 6881, 4662, 4672, 6346, 2240) and IM traffic (5004, 5005, 64064, 20000, 20019, 5000, 5001, 5050, 1863, 6901) correspond to various flowers, games ( Quake3 and Unreal 2004) - bushes, trees correspond to web pages (HTTP: 80). Additionally, email (IMAP: 143, POP3: 119, 110, 995), secure connections (SSH: 22, HTTPS: 443) and FTP (FTP: 20, 21) are recognized. Everything else (unknown traffic) is depicted in the form of hills.

    In addition, the client program, which runs on the PC in the background, registers all the IP addresses with which the computer establishes a connection. These addresses are also displayed on the screen, next to the plants. It is assumed that the program will analyze traffic constantly, so you can view the “herbarium” for each month. The Packet Garden distribution is distributed in versions for Windows, Linux, and MacOS X. This program was created alone by New Zealand programmer Julian Oliver .

    In its biological focus, Packet Garden is very similar to the Texone Tree applet ., which shows the structure of any site (with all web pages) in the form of a tree. For a large site, not even one tree is obtained, but a whole forest.

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