A reader needs a dynamic, graphical count of network traffic and wants to use scripting to do it. Bill points to a few sources for understanding scripting.
- By Bill Boswell
Is there anyway by means of VB script or a plain
VB program to capture the network I/O packet count on a machine? I'd like
to write a program to dynamically retrieve all the network traffic counts
for my network and display them graphically. Any ideas?
Dennis: Your best bet at getting any kind of hardware or
device information from Windows is by using WMI. The Win32_PerfFormattedData_TCPIP_NetworkInterface
class collects the same network information as shown in Task Manager on
Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. If you have experience writing WMI
scripts, then it should be a simple thing to capture the network statistics
in this class at various periods of time and display the results in HTML.
Help from Bill
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If you haven't written much WMI, then I'd suggest downloading Microsoft's
Script-o-Matic tool at www.microsoft.com/downloads/
9ef05cbd-c1c5-41e7-9da8-212c414a7ab0, which automates the enumeration
of a WMI class.
A commercial scripting tool from PrimalScript (http://www.primalscript.com)
also has a WMI scripting engine and also includes support for VBScript
syntax coloring and class expansion.
There's a three-part WMI tutorial from the Microsoft Scripting Guys that
helps introduce WMI techniques and syntax. Go to www.microsoft.com/scripting
and look for the WMI Scripting Clinic links. The same authors have a book
called "Microsoft Windows 2000 Scripting Guide" that's available
If you intend on doing a lot of WMI scripting, you should also take a
look at Developing WMI Solutions by Craig Tunstall and Gwyn Cole.
It's a great resource for putting together really useful scripts. The
best price I found was at Bookpool at www.bookpool.com/.x/37xjoikv50/sm/0201616130.
And, my editor reminds me that I should put in a plug for MCPmag's
own Chris Brooke, who writes a monthly scripting column; you can catch
the latest one at http://mcpmag.com/columns/scripting/
If you're wondering how I knew which class to choose for collecting network
data, I absolutely assure you that I don't have them memorized. I used
CIM Studio to search for any classes that contain the word "network,"
then went down the list of Win32 classes until I found one that had the
properties I wanted. Download CIM Studio as part of the WMI Tools bundle,
which includes a WMI Object Browser and WMI Event Viewer, at www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=6430f853-1120-
Hope this helps.
Contributing Editor Bill Boswell, MCSE, is the principal of Bill Boswell Consulting, Inc. He's the author of Inside Windows Server 2003 and Learning Exchange Server 2003 both from Addison Wesley. Bill is also Redmond magazine's "Windows Insider" columnist and a speaker at MCP Magazine's TechMentor Conferences.