i’ve used mrtg for monitoring network statistics. it’s a bit of a challenge to configure but cfgmaker helps A LOT. unless you know shell scripting, you can’t monitor more than network statistics. mrtg begat rrdtool? rrdtool begat mrtg? i forget. either way, there’s an opensource project called ‘cacti‘ which allows a nice graphical configuration for setting up and monitoring network-enabled devices.

if you have an existing debian or ubuntu installation configured for web and database services, there’s a couple more steps to making it run properly. cacti uses command-line php scripts to perform data queries and update the database. default installations of php on debian or ubuntu don’t have php enabled for command-line.

time for the dependancies:

  • apt-get install mysql-server snmpd apache2 php5-mysql php5-gd php5-cli php5-cgi php5-imagick php5-xmlrpc

time for cacti


  • if the device you’re monitoring can support SNMP version 2c or 3, use it.  when you create your interface graphs, choose 64-bit counters (whether bits/sec or bytes/sec depends on your needs.)  in today’s gigabit world, you can roll the 32-bit counters within one polling intereval

updated 11/30/2008

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