[mrtg] Re: Newbie question

PAUL WILLIAMSON pwilliamson at mandtbank.com
Tue Apr 6 15:24:51 MEST 2004

>>> Admin-Stress <meerkapot at yahoo.com> 04/06/04 03:39AM >>>
>I need some clear answer about mrtg (http://www.mrtg.org). I know that I can read the
>documentation, and I did. But I am still dont quite understand (I am newbie).

No problems, ask away...

>(1) Do I need to install SNMP to use MRTG ? is it a MUST ? I want to use MRTG to monitor network
>traffic and cpu load in particularly.

It all depends.  If you want to query all the boxes in the same manner (via snmp) - probably.

If all you want to do is trend the cpu on the box where MRTG is installed - you can, but 
you can also do so through external programs. 

For my MRTG box, I have an external script inspired by Alex van den Bogaerdt's FAQ that 
gives me very detailed information on the CPU activity, which is not normally available 
via SNMP.

For all my Netware and Windows boxes, I use SNMP to query them remotely.

>(2) What is the difference between MRTG and RDDTOOL ? Can I use MRTG without RDDTOOL ? If >yes,
>what is the consequencies ?

MRTG is a completely self-contained program (pretty much) that collects the data, stores the 
data, draws the graphs and generates the html pages housing those graphs.

RRDtool is more of a database, with external plug-ins to collect the data, draw graphs and 
generate html.

These are basic differences, and I'm sure there are opinions about what I just said.
MRTG does everything you need automatically using it's own process.  RRDtool needs something 
(like MRTG) to collect the data, something to insert the data (again, like MRTG), something to 
draw the graphs (like 14all or mrtg-rrd) and something to write out the html (again, 14all or 
mrtg-rrd).  There are other tools (like Cricket, routers, et al.) listed on the RRDWorld link 
that can do the same thing as MRTG.  But they all need RRDtool to store the data.

Yes, SNMP is a protocol, but it is also commonly referred to as the application daemon running 
on the host (or client) machine.



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