More Open-Source Network Management Tools on Software Gone Wild

After listening to Open-Source Network Engineer Toolbox Nick Buraglio sent me an email saying “we should do another podcast on open-source network management tools…” and so we did. In Episode 56 of Software Gone Wild Nick, Elisa Jasinska and myself discussed a whole range of network management challenges and open-source tools you can use to address them.

We started with syslog tools, and after proper deliberation (including mentioning Splunk) decided beginners should choose Graylog over ELK stack.

We had to mention the protocol we all love to hate (SNMP), tools that could be used to play with it, including LibreNMS, and the cool things that will replace SNMP (including something as ugly as screen scraping of NETCONF outputs).

Then there’s sFlow that can also be used for streaming telemetry on Linux hosts and Docker containers, and ended in a debate discussing nfdump versus pmacct.

Also, I finally found someone who wanted to explain the differences between NetFlow, sFlow and JFlow.

The one thing that got Elisa really excited was latency measurement, and Nick was more than happy to provide details on perfSONAR and OWAMP (and admit that none of them is close to what ThousandEyes do when trying to pinpoint the cause of the reduced performance).

But what about (in Nick’s own words) the “most useful overlooked pieces of data” – routing protocol data like BGP updates? You can start with something as simple as SNMP polling of BGP MIB (to verify you still get the usual amount of routes from your BGP eers), or you could use a tool like BGPmon.

Other topics we couldn’t possibly avoid were “should you buy a tool or build a solution out of open-source components” and “who do we blame if open-source software fails?” and concluded that usually it doesn’t hurt to rely on communities behind the tools.

Oh, and we had a lot of fun. Hope some of it will rub off on you while listening to our chat ;)

Last but definitely not least, you might want to know more about universe being built in Perl and how RegExp heroes deal with RegExp problems.


  1. Have a look at OpenNMS.
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