[mrtg] Re: Plain mrtg or RRDtool ?

Greg.Volk at edwardjones.com Greg.Volk at edwardjones.com
Fri Feb 22 17:06:30 MET 2002

> Resources.  If you need to monitor a lot of elements, 
> MRTG alone is not the tool.  RRDTool needs to be 
> running as the backend storage medium.  MRTG is ok as 
> the collection medium, but there are others that do a 
> fine job as well.
> More than two items in a graph.  MRTG does 2.  No 
> more, no less.  You can make it look like it's doing 
> one, but I can guarantee you need two.
> Pretty colors based on threshold.  RRDTool has way 
> more graphing capabilities.
> Storing non-integer values (what are they called, real 
> numbers?).
> Storing negative numbers.

Definitely RRDtool for all of the above reasons and then
some, but do understand that mrtg w/rrdtool generates
all graphs dynamically so if you are going to be working
with big config files (lots of targets) then you may want
to consider running on a pretty fast box. It used to be
that you could throw mrtg on an old slow box with a 
stripped down linux install and that would be fine. Such
is not the case anymore as you will be required to sit
there and wait while that old machine with its old slow
proc and old slow IO digs through a big config file and
on-the-fly generates graphs.

To go off on a performance tangent, I was recently asked to
take my existing mrtg system (1850 five minute targets) and
move it off of its current hardware (AMD dual-proc 1400MP)
to a pretty phat Sun 220R (two 450mhz procs, 2GB ram, 10Krpm
drive, etc). 
Why you ask? Well, we are solidly a Sun Sparc shop when it 
comes to unix, and my AMD box is somewhat of a redheaded step 
child that nobody likes to admit exists. I don't have a problem
with this, but my management does, so....

Anyway I have to say that I had high expectations for the 220R.
I was expecting it to outperform the dual-AMD box on big indexes.
However this is not the case. The AMD beats the sparc box hands
down on big indexes. When I say "big index" I'm talking about 
130 dynamic graphs on a single page. I can only gather that 
RRDtool likes doing a lot of integer math and this is what a 
fast-clocked x86 chip does well, whereas the sparc box is more 
geared towards fast-IO? So is it safe to say that the optimal
platform for mrtg w/RRDtool is x86...in most cases anyway?

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