During a meeting one day me and a coworker were speculating on how many people were connected to a given access point. We were trying to decide which access point was being used the most in an effort to beef up the wireless coverage in buildings that were being used the most around campus. After a min or two I decided that speculation just wasn’t going to cut it.
After a bit of googe’n I was able to use some of the base SNMP classes in PacketStorm to harvest data from our Cisco Wireless LAN Controller. After I was able to begin gathering the number of clients connected to each access point (AP) I made a graph. Shortly after that I decided to group the access points together so that entire buildings could be correlated together to get a better understanding which buildings were being used.
This was pretty much all we needed. It only provides a current snapshot view of the number of clients connected to wireless network.I plan on adding the ability to view data over a time period with later releases.
The graphs were cool but I wanted some extra flare. So I decided to see if I could take it a bit further. I ended up adding the ability to place the groups of APs on a map using latitude and longitude. It was pretty cool to see which buildings were being used the most just by glancing at a map. One side effect that was not originally planned is that you can actually watch the student population migrate around campus. For example, when it gets close to lunch time you see the connections in the dorm rooms get smaller and the connections in the dining commons grow.
Here is a screen shot taken during the day. The students are pretty much evenly spread throughout campus.
At night though they have mostly moved to the dorm rooms that can been seen in this screen shot.
All in all this was a pretty cool little project. With only a day or two invested in it I’m pleased with the result. You can grab a copy of the code over at my gitHub account.