[mrtg] VitalNet vs. other frontends?

Steve Shipway s.shipway at auckland.ac.nz
Mon Oct 27 22:36:15 CET 2008

You're really comparing apples and oranges here.  All the software you mention covers different areas.
Routers2 is a frontend for the RRDtool-based MRTG system, which is a very good performance graphing tool.  It has a trending plug-in, which could be improved on but works.  MRTG has a basic alerting system but it does not have the alerting features you need in a large enterprise - however, if all you want is to submit alerts into a master consolidator, then this could well be suitable for you.
Cacti is a complete RRDtool-based graphing and monitoring system but again is primarily graphing, not alerting.  This is very feature-rich but is more complex to set up and maintain, IMHO.
Big Brother is an alerting system, possibly with some graphing add-ons.  This is not suited for larger installations (IMHO), and you'd be better off with something like Nagios.
Here, we used to use Big Brother, but then moved to Nagios as our alerting system, which I can definitely recommend.  It has the ability to send downstream alerts or accept upstream ones, and there is a migration path from Big Brother.  It also is easy to integrate Nagios with Routers2, and MRTG and Nagios can share the same plug-ins for monitoring.  We use this method here, with Nagios doing the alerts and MRTG/Routers2 doing the graphing,  While Nagios can do graphing, it has no trending and the options are limited.
I can't comment on the abilities of Vitalnet as I've never heard of it before.
From: mrtg-bounces at lists.oetiker.ch [mailto:mrtg-bounces at lists.oetiker.ch] On Behalf Of PAUL WILLIAMSON

I have an installation of VitalNet that I've been "competing" with for
the last few years, and I revisit this topic with management roughly
once every 6-8 months.

Does anyone have any pros or cons about VitalNet vs. any of the
fairly popular front ends like:


I only am concerned with trending and alerting to a master monitor.
We've got an entrenched installation of Netcool and we're working
on replacing our aging Big Brother deployment, but I need to give
some fresh information to keep VitalNet at bay, or just a
incredibly strong argument to eliminate it from use.

Or, if there really is a compelling reason to use it vs. something like
Cacti or Routers, I'd like to heard that as well.


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