[rrd-users] Effects of RRAs on CPU, disk I/O, and memory resources

Bernard Li bernard at vanhpc.org
Fri Sep 24 22:59:01 CEST 2010

Hi Matt:

My $0.02 is to look at rrdcached if you are concerned about I/O, it
has done wonders to lower the load on servers running RRDtool updates
on a lot of RRD files.



On Fri, Sep 24, 2010 at 11:44 AM, Matt Kassawara <mkassawara at gmail.com> wrote:
> My organization wants to record more detailed information for longer
> periods of time without consuming excessive resources on the server
> performing RRD operations and storing RRD files.  I know RRD files
> maintain the same size on disk after creation.  However, I'm unsure how
> the number of RRAs and RRA step/row values affect CPU, disk I/O, and
> memory resources particularly during update operations and periodic
> internal consolidations.  Further complicating the situation, each
> graphing application manages RRD files differently.  For example, Zenoss
> creates one RRD file with a single DS and associated RRAs for each OID
> retrieved from a device.  Retrieving just a few OIDs from a large number
> of devices results in Zenoss operating on many small RRD files per
> update cycle.  I haven't found a way to configure it otherwise.  On the
> other hand, Cacti creates one RRD file with a variable number of DS
> based on templates.  I can configure and implement these templates to
> perform roughly the opposite management style of Zenoss by increasing
> the size and complexity of each RRD file, but reducing the overall
> number of them.  I know discussion of Zenoss vs. Cacti wanders
> off-topic, but in this case providing the methods they use for managing
> RRD files may greatly affect answers to my primary question.
> I currently use Zenoss to retrieve about 11000 OIDs every 5 minutes.
> Each of the 11000 RRD files contains 4 RRAs providing data for about 2
> days at 5 minute intervals (essentially no consolidation), 2 weeks at 30
> minute intervals, 50 days at 2 hour intervals, and 600 days at 1 day
> intervals.
> What sort of effects on CPU, disk I/O, and memory resources can I
> anticipate during update and periodic internal consolidations if, for
> example, I change these RRAs to 1 year at 5 minute intervals
> (essentially no consolidation), 2 years at 1 hour intervals, and 3 years
> at 1 day intervals?  Can anyone provide a formula or general way to
> estimate resource consumption for various RRA configurations?  When
> confronting resource issues, which forms of RRD tuning (e.g., increasing
> RRA steps, reducing RRA rows, or even eliminating RRAs) provide the most
> effect?  I'm also somewhat interested in determining how various RRA
> configurations might affect resources needed for graph operations.
> Thanks,
> Matt
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