[mrtg] Re: Best Practices

Patrick Bartkus patrckb at hotmail.com
Fri Jan 4 17:14:32 MET 2002

>From: "Labelle, Michel" <mlabelle at city.coquitlam.bc.ca>
>Subject: [mrtg] Best Practices
>Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2001 13:13:51 -0800
>I'm setting up a new installation of MRTG and I'm trying to put together a
>"best practices" worksheet for it.
>What I'm looking for are comments on how YOU would organize the
>data/log/config files etc.  ... Any other
>administration guidelines would be appreciated


You haven't heard anything back because your question is not so much 
technical as it is artistic.

My soapbox always has been that network management is more of an art than a 
science. Setting up MRTG is technically easy. Deciding what to monitor is 

How you monitor your network depends greatly upon what you, your management, 
or your users, cares about.

Does your company have a disaster recovery (DR) plan(AKA business resumption 
plan)? My former employer's plan had determined the business units that were 
critical to the survival of the company. We then used that as a blueprint to 
determine what IT resourses those business units relied upon. We then were 
going to set up to monitor those resourses.

No DR plan? See if you can get your management to tell you what are the 
business-critical processes. My experience has been that network management 
projects are always the hardest for which to get funding or time allocated. 
Why? Because it is hard to determine an ROI on having pretty graphs.

We all get pretty good at troubleshooting problems. That's because we get a 
lot of opportunities to do it when we are in a re-active mode.

To prevent problems from happening, we need to be in a pro-active mode. But, 
it is much harder to be pro-active. It takes much time, creativity, critical 
analysis, and some political skills. Get your management to tell you what's 
important and then you can show them how you will be pro-active to monitor 
those things.

I wrote a FAQ answer to the question "I just got MRTG up and running. It 
looks great! But now what do I do with it?" The answer is here: 

Good Luck!
Patrick Bartkus, SCE, CCNP, CCDA Certified	Systems Engineer
Future Com (http://www.myfuturecom.com/)   Atlanta, GA
If truth was not absolute, how could there be justice?

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