Thursday, October 16, 2008

Setting up Monitoring

In the relative calm of today, I've been working on getting a graphing solution up and running. I had to decide whether I was going to use the all-in-one solution of Zenoss. They even have a commercial release for support and additional plugins if I needed to go that route.

I might still be inclined to go that route if I didn't already have a working Nagios config. I've put a fair amount of work into learning the ins and outs of the configuration, so I don't want to lose that braintrust. I'm used to how it works, and I like it.

That leaves the vacuum of graphing and trending. I used to use MRTG, but because of the way it works, it bogs down the machine way too much. It generates every graph every time it receives the information, which it retrieves every 5 minutes. That's a lot of graphs I'm never going to look at, and eventually it takes longer than 5 minutes to generate the graphs each time.

To fix this, I'm going with Cacti. It's based on RRDTool, which was written by Tobi Oetiker after he wrote MRTG. Cacti has a very neat option, called CactiEZ, which is a bootable ISO which installs a CentOS 4 based OS that does all the installation and initial configuration for you. I just installed it in a VM and it was very smooth. Even has webmin all set up for you and ready. All you've got to do is configure your devices. It's slick.

I think that I'm going to end up recreating the Nagios configuration from scratch. There's a lot I've learned since I first set it up, and I think I can streamline the configuration. One key I'm missing from this is a tool to modify the nagios config for me. It really is a pain in the butt sometimes, and it's screaming for a web-based tool to take care of it, I just haven't seen one, and now that Nagios v3 is out, I'm sure it'll be forever for the few tools out there to update. I think I'll be stuck doing it by hand.