"Load Balancing": How Busy are the servers?

Matthew Seaman m.seaman at infracaninophile.co.uk
Wed Dec 28 01:29:07 PST 2005

Chuck Swiger wrote:
> Marc G. Fournier wrote:

>> Basically, I'd like to keep track of multiple servers and be able to 
>> say "this server is running >75% of capacity, time to upgrade or move 
>> things off of it" ... if its possible ... ?

> Take a look at Big Brother, www.bb4.org?, it will at least give warnings 
> for high load average, disk space, and so forth.

Yep -- BB, or for my preference, Nagios is good, but by their nature they
alert you to abnormal conditions -- peaks in load or traffic, failure of
connectivity etc.  That's important, but it doesn't really help with getting
an overview of how hard a server is running over time.

For that purpose I find that programs like Cacti or Cricket do much better.
Essentially anything you can express as a number and that you can get a SNMP
daemon to present as an OID can be graphed.  Cacti comes with pre-canned
queries on system load, disk space, memory usage, swap usage, number of processes,
as well as graphing all of the network traffic.  Adding extensions to do stuff
like monitor how much work MySQL is doing is not too difficult.  

Not only that, it produces graphs pretty enough to convince even the
pointiest-haired management.



Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.                       7 Priory Courtyard
                                                      Flat 3
PGP: http://www.infracaninophile.co.uk/pgpkey         Ramsgate
                                                      Kent, CT11 9PW
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