[nycbug-talk] Cacti Sucks, So what do I replace it with.

Charles Sprickman spork at bway.net
Thu May 5 20:33:29 EDT 2011

On Thu, 5 May 2011, David Lawson wrote:

> On May 5, 2011, at 12:18 PM, Mark Saad wrote:
>> Talk
>>  I have a good question for you. I started to hate cacti for a few
>> reasons I dont want to get into.
>> I know that a few other trending / monitoring projects have reached
>> critical mass have a good number of people using them.
>> What do you recommend I move to.  Here are my requirements.
>> 1. SNMP Polling
>> 2. RRD , SQLite, or Berklydb data storage
>> 3. I don't want it to lower my tco or bake me a cake .
>> 4. Flexible trend management.  (If I want to trend nfs read operations
>> for 100 servers into one graph I should not have to jump threw hoops)
>> So people have pointed me to
>> 1. zabbix.com
>> 2. munin-monitoring.org
>> 3. ganglia.sourceforge.net
> I have some experience with both Zabbix and Munin and wouldn't recommend 
> either of them.
> The Zabbix interface is horrific, there's no on disk config so you have 
> to configure it through the web interface and it tries to do far, far 
> too much and doesn't accomplish very much of it well.  It has some 
> upsides but they're few and far between.  I've got it for 
> monitoring/trending at work at the moment and am trying hard to replace 
> it with Nagios and anything else.

Regarding Nagios, it sounds like the OP is probably working with a much 
larger environment, but I've been moving to just letting Nagios be my 
single point of data collection.  I figure it's already going out and 
polling stuff for monitoring, so why have something else like Cacti mirror 
it?  Why add devices/services in two places?  I'm using pnp4nagios for 
graphing everything that's monitored.  It works, not sure how it scales, 
but it gives us the info we need.  It uses rrd for storage and the graphs 
are generated on demand.  You can browse graphs either through nagios or 
directly.  The limitation here is of course that you're stuck with nagios' 
polling interval.  But pretty much any plugin you download (or make 
yourself) should work with pnp4nagios - if it spits out performance data, 
you're all set.

I tried Zabbix once and as you noted, found it very difficult to configure 
- I'd set one thing up and want to edit a config file to duplicate it a 
zillion times, but no such luck - db or nothing.


> Munin works, but from what I've seen of the plugins and plugin configuration, it's needlessly complicated when compared to something like Cacti even.  I haven't had any problems with it, but it's not as flexible, nor as simple as I'd like it to be.
> I'd chime in with all the other recommendations for Graphite, I'm hoping to get that set up sometime soon and get some hands on time with it, but I think it's a nice framework to build on and doesn't seem to suffer from the problems I've seen in other trending/reporting tools.
> --Dave
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