Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Grafana Network Weathermap

The screen capture above shows a simple network weathermap, displaying a network topology with links animated by real-time network analytics.
Hovering over a link in the weathermap pops up a trend chart showing traffic on the link over the last 30 minutes.

Deploy real-time network dashboards using Docker compose, describes how to quickly deploy a real-time network analytics stack that includes the sFlow-RT analytics engine, Prometheus time series database, and Grafana to create dashboards. This article describes how to extend the example using the Grafana Network Weathermap Plugin to display network topologies like the ones shown here.

First, add a dashboard panel and select the Network Weathermap visualization. Next define the three metrics shown above. The ifinoctets and ifoutoctets need to be scaled by 8 to convert from bytes per second to bits per second. Creating a custom legend entry makes it easier to select metrics to associate metric instances with weathermap links.
Add a color scale that will be used to color links by link utilization. Defining the scale first ensures that links will be displayed correctly when they are added later.
Add the nodes to the canvas and drag them to their desired locations. There is a large library of icons that can be used to indicate the node types. The Enable Node Grid Snapping makes it easier to line up nodes.
Add links to connect the nodes. Each link needs to be associated with in/out metrics and and a link speed. Setting the Side Anchor Point values correctly ensures a clean layout.

Network weathermaps are only one method of displaying network telemetry - work through the examples in Deploy real-time network dashboards using Docker compose to learn how to construct dashboards of trend charts and analyze traffic flows.

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