Cacti: RRDTool-based Graphing Solution - Final Thoughts
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Reaching this page means that by now you should have understood what Cacti is about, how it works, and chances are you have already deployed it on a test server. Give it a try, play around with the scripts and configuration files, and browse the official Cacti forums and Cacti Users community. At the latter link you’ll find lots of plug-ins!
Most system administrators appreciate the ability of Cacti to query network switch or router interfaces via SNMP. There is fairly active support for Cisco devices as well. In a nutshell, you can query and poll services at predefined intervals, and based on your own needs, you can ultimately generate graphs. The ground architecture of Cacti makes it possible to extend it beyond your imagination.
You migth want to look into the following possible scenario: monitoring CPU load, memory usage, swap space/HDD space, temperatures, and the up state of hosts. Now if something goes wrong, mind you, Cacti could notify the sysadmins, even via text messages (and other ways as well) and explain what’s up. And during everyday management, users can generate reports, graphs, and flow charts to monitor the entire infrastructure. Moreover, it can also serve as a resource for logging and statistics later on.
This article is going to be followed by a sequel where we will explore how to monitor CPU temperatures, fan speeds, and other sensors of motherboards via Cacti. To accomplish this under Linux is easier since we have lmsensors, but with the MS Windows operating systems we’ll use SpeedFan along with its SNMP extension, and then we can execute some queries—thus drawing some charts based on the values.
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