[rrd-users] A new RRDtool interface: Network Resource Grapher ("NRG")

steve rader rader at teak.wiscnet.net
Fri Oct 1 23:00:44 MEST 1999

I'm pleased to announce that the first stage of my RRDtool interface
(named NRG) is ready for general use.  NRG is a MRTG-like package for
the generation and automation of very large quantities of RRDtool
databases and their graphs.  (WiscNet has over 8,000 MRTG graphs
in production.)  It's testing against RRDtool v1.0.7.

A verbose description of NRG follows after my signature.  The source
code tarball is available at [1].  An example graph page is available
[2] and it's config file is available at [3].

I have done six releases of this software into production on
the WiscNet internal RRDtool machine.  I'm confident installing,
configuring and using this package will be easy.

As time progress, NRG will go through two more stages of evolution.

The second stage of NRG will include a "meta configuration" layer
where a single configuration line can generate large quantities rrd
databases and web pages.  For example, a meta layer config line
may generate web pages for all the network interfaces on a router or
a well defined set of system related resource graphs for a server.

The third stage will include data collection scripts for graphing
Unix host resources and Internet services (dns, web, web proxy, smtp,
pop, etc).

Comments, questions, snide remarks, heckling and donations of cash,
perl code or substances of almost any kind will be gladly accepted.

- - -
systems guy

 [1] ftp://teak.wiscnet.net/pub/src/nrg/nrg-0.33.tar.gz
 [2] http://teak.wiscnet.net/nrg/NoSuchSD.html
 [3] http://teak.wiscnet.net/nrg/nosuch.conf.txt

- - -

Network Resource Grapher - an RRDTool front-end based on MRTG

NRG is a front-end to RRDTool for graphing internetworks.  It's intent
is to provide a simple environment for operating and managing RRDtool.
NRG maintains databases of network resource data and generates web pages
for visualizing network resource utilization.  It has two layers of
configuration that allow you to easily generate, index and manage large
quantities of MRTG-like web pages and their corresponding RRD databases.

The lower layer uses (.conf) files that look a lot like MRTG configuration
files.  They generate NRG run scripts for data collection (via cron)
and rrdcgi scripts for data display (via the web).

At the low layer, nrg-runmaker takes a set of .conf files and creates
a perl shell script that collects SNMP counters via snmpget and other
(non-snmp) data by running "collector scripts".  nrg-cgimaker creates
rrdcgi scripts that generate web pages that look a lot like MRTG web 
pages.  nrg-cgimaker has a HTML "template" facility: you can easily define,
create and alter NRG web pages (en masse) by using nrg-cgimaker templates.
Lastly, nrg-crontabmaker creates crontab entries to submit the Unix cron
facility to collect data via nrg-runmaker.

The upper ("meta") layer uses terse (.metaconf) files that look vaguely
like Unix /etc/passwd files.  A single configuration line a .metadata file
may generate many rrd databases and web pages.  For example, a .metaconf
entry may generate web pages for all the network interfaces on a router
or a well defined set of system related resource graphs.

At the meta layer, nrg-sitekeeper takes a .metaconf file and creates a set
of .conf files for sites (spokes off your network backbone).  This data can
be used for billing purposes.  These graphs are intended to repesent "in"
as "from the internet" and "out" as "to the internet".  nrg-sitekeeper
reports about changes to the configuration of site traffic graphing.
It also creates an "InstallMe" script that implements these changes ("puts
them into prodution").

Also at the meta layer, nrg-corekeeper takes a .metaconf file and creates a
set of .conf files.  nrg-corekeeper automates management of autodiscovering
backbone (core) network devices.  nrg-corekeeper reports about changes to
autodiscovery of device interfaces and creates an "InstallMe" script that
implements these changes.

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