[mrtg] VitalNet vs. other frontends?

PAUL WILLIAMSON pwilliamson at mtb.com
Tue Oct 28 00:31:13 CET 2008

I'm aware that it *seems* like I'm comparing 
apples to oranges but I'm really not.

I've been using MRTG since about 2001.  Very 
proficient with it, and know all the options for 
templating and the whole nine yards.

MRTG is just a poller with no fancy front end.
I use MRTG to poll, 14all to graph, and RRDTool to store.
We have Big Brother tied into some rrdtool/mrtg-based graphs.
We also wrote an alerting system to send traps from BB to 
a product we use here called Netcool.  We also send traps 
to Netcool right from MRTG, but we have some conditions where 
it requires the custom code.

Routers and Cacti are just fancy front ends.
Cacti can send alerts via syslog directly to Netcool.
I don't know if routers2 can do the same.

The kicker is that we already have a Cacti installation for 
our servers, but I figured it could be extended to everything 
(mainly routers and switches, but some custom OIDs as 
well) while being able to transition the old RRDs to 
Cacti and not lose any history.

Nagios is ok, but is way overkill for the functions 
we need - trending, graphing and alerting.

We have over 3,500 routers and switches being graphed 
by the MRTG/RRDTool/14all/BB solution.  At last count, 
it was about 18k different metrics (in, out, cpu, temp,
drops, etc.) for the targets.

QIP VitalNet is sort of like Cacti, but from what I can find out, 
the biggest difference is that VitalNet has a fancy portal, 
but can't do custom OIDs.  Other than that, I really don't 
know because the team managing that is not very open 
to outsiders poking around in there.

Nagios is ok, but it's a toy compared to Netcool.
To be fair, so is BB, and Hobbit, and ZenOSS, 
and some of the others I know of.

Most of the system monitoring functions provided by 
BB now are going to be replaced by System Center Operations 
Manager.  I have no control over it and it is not my 
worry how we're going to monitor non-SCOM 
capable clients, but we'll cross that bridge when we 
come to it.

I just need to come up with a reason to continue
with a FOSS trending and graphing solution, rather than 
a closed solution with seemingly the same (or less) 
technical functionality.

Thanks for the input about routers2 Steve!


This email may contain privileged and/or confidential information that is intended solely for the use of the addressee.  If you are not the intended recipient or entity, you are strictly prohibited from disclosing, copying, distributing or using any of the information contained in the transmission.  If you received this communication in error, please contact the sender immediately and destroy the material in its entirety, whether electronic or hard copy.  This communication may contain nonpublic personal information about consumers subject to the restrictions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.  You may not directly or indirectly reuse or disclose such information for any purpose other than to provide the services for which you are receiving the information.
There are risks associated with the use of electronic transmission.  The sender of this information does not control the method of transmittal or service providers and assumes no duty or obligation for the security, receipt, or third party interception of this transmission.

More information about the mrtg mailing list