Cacti (Was: Re: "Load Balancing": How Busy are the servers?)

Marc G. Fournier scrappy at
Sun Jan 1 22:12:20 PST 2006

On Mon, 2 Jan 2006, Francisco Reyes wrote:

> Marc G. Fournier writes:
>> I just installed cacti, which seems fairly useful for 'long term views' of 
>> how a server is doing
> Have not played with it, but have read good/favorable comments about it.
> I would be nice if you did a mini report of your early impressions 
> later.. In particular I think it would be good to know how easy it is to 
> setup and what it covers.

'k, I'm terrible at 'reports', but ... to be totally honest, this has 
gotta be one of the nicer pieces of software I've played with as far as 
documentation *especially* for OSS ...

I installed it out of ports, initially directly on one of our servers, 
mistakenly thinking I needed to do one install per server ... ended up 
moving it into a vServer so that I can easily move it around as I get more 
powerful servers, instead of having it tied to a specific machine ...

On all our other servers, I just had to install the net-snmp port, to give 
it something to talk to ...

The hardest part about setting things up with setting up snmpd, but ended 
up running snmpconf -i to do this (snmpconf -g basic is apparently 
slightly easier too) ... once I built the initial snmpd.conf file, I just 
copied that to the other servers, instead of building one for each ...

The Cacti port ends up with a short message that tells you step by step 
what needs to be done ... it has one "error", in that the crontab entry it 
tells you to create appears to be wrong ... does Linux support a 'user to 
run as' arg within their crontab?

After that, so far, I've just used the 'default net-snmp' settings that 
come with Cacti ... haven't had a chance to dive into snmp yet, to figure 
out what else can be monitored ...

I currently have it monitoring CPU, Load, Traffic and Memory Usage

You can setup "Graph Trees", so you can group Graphs together .. ie. all 
the CPU Usage graphs for all (or groups of) servers, so that you can 
compare them ...

So far, at least, definitely a tool I'd recommend ... so far, seems to 
work well ...

Marc G. Fournier           Hub.Org Networking Services (
Email: scrappy at           Yahoo!: yscrappy              ICQ: 7615664

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