MangoES data/traffic use
I have a few MangoES units set up at remote sites which are serviced by 3G only. As they are only being used to log data locally, plus send a weekly email report, the stations have only 150MB/month data allowance each*.
I'm seeing the stations go through this small data allowance quite quickly, usually by the 20th day of the billing cycle.
Does the MangoES do anything that might account for this? Automatic updates or checks of some type?
If there is some way of locking this down it would come in very handy!
(I am in Australia, where 3G/4G data is very expensive, especially on the carrier that services the area our stations are in).
Off hand I can't think of anything. Mango will do a check for updates every day but it won't download them. I'm sure there are other security update checks that happen. One idea is we can add in the network traffic into our system monitor so we can track the usage. I'm not sure how hard it will be to break it up between local and internet but that would be ideal.
The other thing is you can could do a TCP dump or user Tshark on it to capture a log file of all the network traffic. I'm not sure but if you could filter for internet related traffic you might be able to let that run overnight and then you should be able to see the exact traffic. I'll see if I can set that up on a local one here.
Thanks for the reply,
I was mainly interested to see whether the MangoES downloads and installs security patches automatically.
To gain a bit of insight I have installed the package ntop and configured it to listen on eth0.
Under the Summary > Traffic page it displays a quite useful set of charts:
It does not (unless I can work out how to filter it) differentiate between local traffic and 'internet' traffic, but it should be a good start to figuring out where the extra data traffic is coming from.
For anyone else wishing to install this tool, Ntop is already in the ubuntu repos so you can install it as simply as:
# apt-get install ntop
Then set the interface to monitor to 'eth0' and enter an admin password and that's it. You can access the tool at http://mangoes-ip:3000.
this is cool. We did a bit of research on this today and I think you can set up IP tables to filter and monitor traffic. We should be able to run some tests on one of our units in the next few days. I think there are some security patches that are automatically downloaded and I can get back to you on how to turn those off or make sure they are turned off.
It would be nice if the MangoES configuration module exposed some of the Ubuntu package update settings (in the same way that it allows you to adjust the network configuration) but -speaking personally - I don't really feel that network monitoring is something that should be part of Mango's scope nor something I expect Mango to try to do.
That said, in the same way that the MangoES units come with Webmin installed (which is hugely useful) perhaps they could come with ntop preinstalled too, if the license permits that. Not sure if the ntop database size would be an issue.
In any case, ntop is a useful tool for any MangoES administrator.