Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
When I was investigating the Abilene/Internet2 network sometime back, I found its "network weather map," which graphically shows the load on network segments, to be an interesting tool. I thought something similar could be helpful on our network. Today, we're using Weathermap4RRD to show a high-level graphical representation of our network.
When I started looking for a package that I could use to create a visual weather map of our campus network, I tested a couple of packages, such as Indiana University's WxMap (used to create the above Abilene map). WxMap seemed outdated and bore a restrictive license. By contrast, Weathermap4RRD and Network Weathermap, the Perl package on which it is based, are licensed under the GPL. The project provides a fair bit of documentation on installing and configuring Weathermap4RRD, which is not the case with some of the other projects I had looked at.
One nice feature of Weathermap4RRD is its ability to gather data from either RRDTool databases or MRTG files.