stories of war between boy and machine

Project: Switchy McPortface


Switchy McPortFace (SMPF) is a way to get useful information about client computers and the switches that they are connected to on a network. Rather than use SNMP to get information about devices connected to a switchport, SMPF gets information about the switch connected to a device’s network interface.

The original motivation was to find a cheap alternative to Fluke testing tools, so that I could trace cables from patch ports and figure which switch a given PC was connected to. The scope quickly grew and I developed a desktop application to run on startup and report that port to a central database.

The project consists of three applications which can all be viewed on github;

  • Desktop client – a device client (Windows/Linux/Mac) written in C/C++ with libpcap/winpcap for packet capture
  • Database and web front-end – the server component, which uses PHP to receive client data and a Javascript and d3.js frontend to display and utilise the data (growing in scope constantly)
  • Windows config file generator/editor – a configuration file generation tool, written in C#

My focus since has been on creating a nice web portal to view and manage infrastructure within a building, for which this data is very useful.

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