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Google Maps Mania

Two years ago, WildPackets released the first version of the Google
Map Plug-in for OmniPeek. It was an instant hit then, and continues to
be the most downloaded plug-in on the WPDN.

The Google Map Plug-in is free, so that is a pretty good reason to
at least try it. But more than that, it is a compelling mash-up of two
very useful applications. Since then buy mechanical bull, WildPackets has released a
virtual army of Google Map downloads, including two OmniPeek Google Map
Plug-ins, a remote Google Map client for the OmniEngine called
OmniMapper, and a very simple to use, standalone Google Map application
called PlaceMap. Ok, so that’s only 4. Still, it is more Google Map
applications than most companies have.

In case you don’t know, the OmniPeek Google Map Plug-in maps the
locations of network devices to the Google Map. Different colored
markers are used to represent network devices, where each marker has a
color that specifies the amount of traffic from a device. By clicking
on a marker, a balloon appears with more information about the IP
address. In the balloon, there are also helpful links that will take
you to websites with more information about that IP address. The
websites include DShield, Whois, SpamCop, and SenderBase.

This week, WildPackets posted a new version of the Google Map
Plug-in, as well as a new version of the PlaceMap application to the
WPDN. The new Google Map Plug-in is sporting a new look, with a fancy
tool bar, and much better marker drawing. PlaceMap has all of the new
features of the plug-in, plus it runs all by itself. No OmniPeek
necessary. Of course, running within OmniPeek provides much more
information about the network. But for high level monitoring, PlaceMap
is a good place to start.

The Google Map Plug-in is what we call the good map. It represents
all network traffic, or at least the traffic that can be mapped from an
IP address to GPS coordinates. This is great for some types of
monitoring, but when it comes to network troubleshooting, most IT
people are only interested in the bad map. This is the map that
displays network devices that are experiencing unacceptable levels of
latency. In OmniPeek, we call this an Application Performance Index or
APDEX score, and when a users APDEX score exceeds a certain threshold,
an event is generated. Sound interesting? Well, we wrote a song about
it. Actually, it is a plug-in called the APDEX Google Map. It is the
“bad map”, and only maps nodes whose APDEX scores have exceeded the
specified threshold.

But ah, you have an OmniEngine? Or even better, you have multiple
OmniEngines, running at different sites? Hmmm, then you should try
OmniMapper. OmniMapper is a standalone Windows client that aggregates
nodes from multiple distributed OmniEngines, and maps them all to the
same Google Map.

And this is just the tip-o-the-berg. Who knows what we will do next.
Actually, I do. :-} But if you have any requests, please let us know.

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