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

Jason Dixon jason at dixongroup.net
Thu May 5 20:42:42 EDT 2011

On Thu, May 05, 2011 at 08:33:29PM -0400, Charles Sprickman wrote:
> 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.

The limitation with PNP4Nagios (and those like it) is that it only lets
you visualize a single data point. Very often it's invaluable to
correlate disparate datapoints in a single graph. Tools like Graphite
(and Reconnoiter) let you do this easily.

The talk and slides I mentioned recently demonstrated how you can get
more use out of your existing Nagios installation by using PNP4Nagios
(to extract perfdata into RRD) and Graphite (to do more advanced graph
composition). So I agree that PNP4Nagios has some usefulness, but I
wouldn't be satisfied with it as your sole trending utility.

Jason Dixon
DixonGroup Consulting

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