Visualizing server traffic

October 6, 2007

My boss claimed it was pretty much impossible to create a good visualization of server traffic and events in a short time, so I whupped this up on a Saturday evening.

glTail.rb

The picture shows the traffic from a friends site, as well as some personal websites. Each blob represents a request to the servers, and the information is gotten by tailing Apaches access log and Rails’ production log, via SSH. The result is rendered in OpenGL using ruby, and is a real-timeview of what happens. If you click the image, there is a Flash movie showing what it looks like.

 It’s a lot of fun seeing your traffic and custom events in real-time. At work we have events defined for each sale, and people often stop by and just watch the money roll in. 🙂

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