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Using the BorderManager Proxy Statistics Tool (BRDSTAT)

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Lee Greenough

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Posted: 24 Oct 2002

Recently we conducted a Cool Tools Contest and invited our readers to explain how they use any of the 500+ tools and utilities available on the Cool Tools page. We got some great entries, and are blown away by how useful those freebies are at solving real-life problems. Here's one of the top five award-winning entries.

Tool in this Solution:

  • I am the network manager for a Public K-12 school board. I run BRDSTAT periodically against the proxy log files to see what sort of sites kids are getting to. Since we have such a large number of users in each school, I needed more than the top 10 or 20, so I modified the results to display the top 500 for most categories. This makes for a large output file, but it is a simple matter to use a text search to find the top of each category.

    Here's how I use the data that is output from BRDSTAT:

    I generally look to see what the top few sites are. I may add a few to the ACL list if they look like sites students should not visit or if the students visiting them have used a lot of bandwidth for noneducational uses.

    Next I look at the top few users and figure out what they have done to be on top. I may go look at their personal file store for downloads or jpgs.

    Next I search the entire file for URLs containing words such as 'sex' or 'porn'. These sites may be against board policy. If it looks like a student has intentionally surfed such a site, I turn the evidence over to the school administration to deal with.

    BRDSTAT has given me the ability to quickly check for abuse and take action. I also use it in schools that don't force authentication of users to access the internet. I can't tell who the individual users are, but I can do a quick check of what the student body is up to.

    Thanks for making this useful utility available.

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