Cacti 0.8 Beginner's Guide


Cacti 0.8 Beginner's Guide
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Overview
Table of Contents
Author
Support
Sample Chapters
  • A complete Cacti book that focuses on the basics as well as the advanced concepts you need to know for implementing a Network Operations Center
  • A step-by-step Beginner's Guide with detailed instructions on how to create and implement custom plugins
  • Real-world examples, which you can explore and make modifications to as you go
  • Written by Thomas Urban – creator of the "Network Management Inventory Database" plugins for Cacti

Book Details

Language : English
Paperback : 348 pages [ 235mm x 191mm ]
Release Date : March 2011
ISBN : 1849513929
ISBN 13 : 9781849513920
Author(s) : Thomas Urban
Topics and Technologies : All Books, Networking and Servers, Beginner's Guides, Networking & Telephony, Open Source

Table of Contents

Preface
Chapter 1: Installing Cacti
Chapter 2: Using Graphs to Monitor Networks and Devices
Chapter 3: Creating and Using Templates
Chapter 4: User Management
Chapter 5: Data Management
Chapter 6: Cacti Maintenance
Chapter 7: Network and Server Monitoring
Chapter 8: Plugin Architecture
Chapter 9: Plugins
Chapter 10: Threshold Monitoring with Thold
Chapter 11: Enterprise Reporting
Chapter 12: Cacti Automation for NOC
Appendix A: Mobile Access / Administration
Appendix B: Online Resources
Appendix C: Further Information
Appendix D: Pop Quiz Answers
Index
  • Chapter 1: Installing Cacti
    • Preparing the system—basic prerequisites
      • Web server
      • PHP
      • MySQL database
      • NET-SNMP package
    • Installing Cacti on a CentOS 5 system
      • Preparing the system
    • Time for action – installing the missing packages
      • Downloading and extracting Cacti
    • Time for action – downloading Cacti
      • Creating the database
    • Time for action – creating the database
      • Configuring Cacti
    • Time for action – configuring Cacti
      • Creating the poller cron entry and Cacti's system user
    • Time for action – creating the poller's cron entry and Cacti's system account
      • Installing the Spine poller
    • Time for action – installing Spine
      • Differences between source and APT/Yum installations
    • Installing Cacti on a Windows system
      • The community-built Windows Installer
    • Time for action – starting the Windows setup
      • Installing the Spine poller under Windows
    • Upgrading Cacti
    • Time for action – upgrading Cacti
    • Using Cacti for the first time
    • Time for action – configuring Cacti
    • The Cacti web interface explained
      • The Console tab
        • Create section
        • Management section
        • Collection methods section
        • Templates section
        • Import/export section
        • Configuration section
        • Utilities section
      • The Graphs tab
    • Before we continue
    • Summary
    • Chapter 2: Using Graphs to Monitor Networks and Devices
      • An introduction to Cacti graphs and the RRDtool
        • Creating graphs with the RRDtool
          • Basic RRDtool graph creation
          • Advanced RRDtool graph creation
        • Further reading
      • Adding devices to Cacti
        • Creating a device
      • Time for action – creating a new device in Cacti
        • Selecting host templates for the device
      • Time for action – adding a host template to the device
        • Adding graphs to the device
      • Time for action – adding graphs to the device
        • Adding interface graphs to a device
      • Time for action – adding interface graphs to a device
      • Adding devices to the Cacti tree
        • Creating a tree
      • Time for action – creating a Cacti tree
        • Sub-tree items
      • Time for action – adding a sub-tree
        • Adding a device to the tree
      • Time for action – adding a device to the Cacti tree
      • Before we continue
      • Summary
      • Chapter 3: Creating and Using Templates
        • An introduction to templates
          • Data templates
            • Data input methods
          • Graph templates
          • Host templates
            • Data queries
        • Defining a data template
        • Time for action – defining a data template
        • Defining a graph template
          • CDEF definition
        • Time for action – defining a CDEF in Cacti
          • Defining the graph template
        • Time for action – defining the graph template
          • Adding the threshold line
        • Time for action – defining a graph template
          • Adding the green, yellow, and red areas
        • Time for action – adding the color areas
          • Adding a legend to the graph
        • Time for action – adding a legend
          • Back to basics—rrdtool graph command
        • Defining a host template
        • Time for action – defining a host template
          • Assigning a host template to a device
        • Importing/exporting templates
          • Importing templates
        • Time for action – importing a template
          • Exporting templates
        • Time for action – exporting a template
        • The template repository
        • Before we continue
        • Summary
        • Chapter 4: User Management
          • An introduction to Cacti user management
            • Users
            • Groups
            • Permissions
          • Creating a user
          • Time for action – creating the first Cacti user
          • General user settings
            • Graph Options
            • Authentication Realm
          • Realm and graph permissions
            • Realm permissions
              • Management permissions
              • Collection methods permissions
              • Template permissions
              • Import/export permissions
              • Configuration permissions
              • Utilities permissions
          • Time for action – setting realm permissions
            • Graph permissions
          • Time for action – setting graph permissions
            • Graph settings
          • The template user
          • Time for action – installing the missing packages
            • Copying permissions – the Batch Copy mode
          • Time for action – the Batch Copy
          • Integrate LDAP/Active Directory authentication
            • External user management
          • Time for action – setting up Active Directory authentication
          • Managing users with the Cacti CLI
            • Importing a list of users
          • Time for action – importing users from the CLI
            • Input validation
            • Check the existence of the template user
            • Reading the import file
        • Before we continue
        • Summary
          • Chapter 5: Data Management
            • An introduction to Cacti data management
              • Data input methods
              • Data queries
            • Creating data input methods
              • Preparation—creating the script
                • Gathering the data
                • Preparing the data for output
                • Installation of the script
            • Time for action – creating a data input method – Step 1
            • Time for action – creating a data input method – Step 2
              • The data template
            • Creating data queries
              • Building the XML data file
                • XML header
                • XML input
                • XML output
                • Installing the XML file
              • Creating the data query within Cacti
            • Time for action – creating a data query – Step 1
            • Time for action – creating a data query – Step 2
            • Create a remote SSH data input method
              • Preparation
                • The remote script
                • The local script
                • SSH public key authentication
            • Time for action – create SSH keys with PuTTY Key Generator
              • Creating the data input method
            • Time for action – creating the data input method
              • Creating the data template
              • Creating the graph template
              • Adding the graph to the device
              • Alternative methods
            • Before we continue
            • Summary
            • Chapter 6: Cacti Maintenance
              • An introduction to Cacti maintenance
                • Database
                • RRD files
              • The Cacti directory structure
                • docs
                • include
                • install
                • log
                • resource
                • rra
                • scripts
              • Backup and restore procedures
                • The MySQL database
              • Time for action – backup your Cacti database
                • Enhancing the database backup
                  • Automatic file naming
                  • Removing old backup files
                  • The database backup
                  • Compressing the backup
                  • The whole script
                • The Cacti files
                  • Building the backup file list
              • Time for action – backup your Cacti files
                • Enhancing the database backup script
              • Time for action – enhancing the backup script
                • Creating the cronjob—automating the backup
              • Time for action – creating a cronjob
                • Restoring from a backup
                  • Restoring the Cacti database
              • Time for action – restoring the Cacti database
                • Restoring the Cacti files
            • Time for action – restoring all Cacti files
            • Time for action – restoring the Cacti config.php file
            • Log file management
            • Time for action – configuring Logrotate
            • Cacti maintenance
              • List RRD files with no associated host
            • Time for action – finding orphaned RRD files
              • Automating the orphaned RRD file check
            • A short overview of the Cacti CLI functionality
              • Repairing templates
              • Repairing the database
            • Summary
              • Chapter 7: Network and Server Monitoring
                • An introduction to network and server monitoring
                  • Network devices
                  • VMware ESX
                  • Linux server
                  • Windows WMI monitoring
                • Monitoring a network device
                  • Configuring SNMP access on a Cisco switch
                • Time for action – set up SNMP on Cisco devices
                  • Adding Cisco switch to Cacti
                • Time for action – adding a Cisco switch to Cacti
                  • Configuring SNMP access on a Cisco PIX firewall
                • Time for action – set up SNMP access on Cisco PIX
                  • Adding Cisco PIX Firewall to Cacti
                • Time for action – adding a Cisco PIX Firewall to Cacti
                • Monitoring VMware ESX servers
                  • Set up SNMP access for VMware ESXi 4
                • Time for action – set up SNMP access on an ESXi 4 server
                  • Set up SNMP access to VMware ESX 3.5
                • Time for action – set up SNMP access on an ESX 3.5 server
                  • Adding VMware ESX servers to Cacti
                • Time for action – adding a VMware ESX host to Cacti
                • Windows monitoring
                  • Windows SNMP setup
                • Time for action – enabling the SNMP server feature
                  • Configuration of the Windows SNMP service
              • Time for action – configuring the Windows SNMP service
                • WMI setup
              • Time for action – setting up a Windows WMI user
                • Installing the CactiWMI add-on
                  • Installing the wmi.php Cacti interface
              • Time for action – installing the CactiWMI add-on – Part 1
                • Installing the wmic command
              • Time for action – installing the CactiWMI add-on – Part 2
                • Performance measurement with CactiWMI
              • Time for action – performance measurement with CactiWMI
              • Summary
                • Chapter 8: Plugin Architecture
                  • Introduction to the Plugin Architecture
                    • Why plugins?
                    • Plugin features
                    • Common plugins
                      • MAC Track plugin
                      • Network WeatherMap
                      • Thold
                  • Installing the Plugin Architecture
                  • Time for action – installing the Plugin Architecture
                  • Upgrading the Plugin Architecture
                  • Time for action – upgrading the Plugin Architecture
                  • Configuring the Plugin Architecture
                  • Time for action – configuring the Plugin Architecture
                  • Downloading and installing plugins
                    • PIA directory structure
                    • Pre-PIA 2.x plugins
                    • PIA 2.x plugins
                    • The plugin repository
                      • The settings plugin
                  • Time for action – installing the settings plugin
                    • Removing a plugin
                  • Time for action – removing the settings plugin
                  • Updating a plugin
                  • Adding plugin permissions
                  • Summary
                  • Chapter 9: Plugins
                    • Plugin design
                      • Plugin hooks
                      • Plugin settings
                        • The ntop_config_settings function
                      • Display plugin data within Cacti
                        • The ntop_show_tab function
                    • Commonly used plugins
                      • The settings plugin
                        • Functionality
                      • The superlinks plugin
                        • Functionality
                        • Installation
                        • Configuration and usage
                    • Time for action – adding an external page to Cacti
                    • Creating a new plugin
                      • File structure
                      • Concept and design
                        • PIA hooks
                      • The plugin setup
                        • The plugin_cbEnhancedInfo_install function
                    • Time for action – adding the realm permission functions
                      • The cbEnhancedInfo_draw_navigation_text function
                      • The cbEnhancedInfo_config_form function
                      • The cbEnhancedInfo_api_device_save function
                      • The cbEnhancedInfo_setup_table_new function
                  • Time for action – adding additional fields to the host table
                    • The cbEnhancedInfo_config_settings function
                    • The cbEnhancedInfo_config_arrays function
                  • Data presentation
                    • Retrieve data from the database
                  • Time for action – retrieve data from the database
                    • Presenting data on the tree view page
                  • Time for action – presenting data on the tree view page
                    • Creating the table list web page
                      • The action section
                  • Time for action – deleting data
                    • The data retrieval section
                  • Time for action – sorting and retrieving data
                  • The data presentation section
                  • Time for action – presenting the data
                    • Creating the add items form
                      • The form_display function
                      • The form_save function
                  • Time for action – retrieving data from the form post
                  • Time for action – creating a new database item
                  • Time for action – updating an existing item
                    • Installing the plugin
                    • Publishing
                  • Summary
                    • Chapter 10: Threshold Monitoring with Thold
                      • Threshold monitoring
                        • Thold
                      • Installing Thold
                        • Downloading and installing Thold
                      • Time for action – installing Thold
                      • Configuring Thold
                        • General options
                        • Default Alerting Options
                        • Default Emailing Options
                        • Default Baseline Options
                      • Using Thold
                        • Assigning permissions and setting up an e-mail address
                      • Time for action – give permission to a user
                        • Creating a threshold
                      • Time for action – creating your first threshold – Part 1
                        • The threshold creation page
                    • Time for action – creating your first threshold – Part 2
                    • Time for action – installing the stress tool
                      • Viewing threshold breaches
                    • Time for action – viewing breached thresholds
                      • Creating threshold templates
                    • Time for action – creating your first threshold template
                      • Assigning threshold templates
                    • Time for action – assigning a threshold template
                    • Summary
                      • Chapter 11: Enterprise Reporting
                        • Overview of Nectar and CereusReporting
                          • Nectar
                          • CereusReporting
                        • Nectar
                        • Time for action – installing Nectar
                          • Report generation
                        • Time for action – create your first Nectar report
                        • Time for action – adding report items
                        • CereusReporting
                          • Installation
                        • Time for action – installing CereusReporting
                          • Plugin configuration
                        • Time for action – configure CereusReporting
                          • Report generation
                            • On-demand report generation
                        • Time for action – creating an on-demand report
                          • Pre-defined report generation
                      • Time for action – creating a pre-defined report
                        • Scheduling a report
                      • Time for action – scheduling a pre-defined report
                        • Report Backup and Restore
                      • Time for action – Backup and Restore a pre-defined report
                      • Report scheduling and polling performance
                      • Time for action – setup of a cron-based report generation
                      • Advanced reporting features of CereusReporting
                        • mPDF Report Engine
                        • DSSTATS Reports
                        • Availability reports
                        • Smokeping reports
                        • Mobile client support
                        • Report templates
                      • Summary
                        • Chapter 12: Cacti Automation for NOC
                          • Overview of Cacti automation
                            • The Cacti CLI
                              • Users
                              • Permissions
                              • Trees
                              • Devices
                              • Graphs
                            • Overview of Autom8
                              • Trees
                              • Graphs
                          • Using the Cacti CLI
                            • Adding permissions
                          • Time for action – adding permissions to a user
                            • Adding a Cacti tree
                          • Time for action – adding a Cacti tree
                            • Adding a device
                          • Time for action – adding a single device to Cacti
                            • Importing a list of devices into Cacti
                            • Adding a graph to a device
                          • Autom8 – true Cacti automation
                            • Installation
                          • Time for action – installing the Autom8 plugin
                            • Patching the Cacti files
                          • Time for action – patching the Cacti files
                            • Autom8 rules
                              • Tree rules
                          • Time for action – adding a new Tree Rule
                          • Time for action – applying an Autom8 rule to devices
                            • Graph rules
                        • Time for action – adding a Graph Rule
                          • Further information
                        • Summary
                          • Appendix A: Mobile Access / Administration
                            • Overview of mobile solutions for Cacti
                              • iCacti—the iPhone/iPad client
                              • BBCacti—the BlackBerry client
                              • nmidMobileClient—the Windows mobile client
                              • The mobile plugin—mobile enhanced Cacti web page
                            • The iPhone/iPad client
                              • Requirements
                              • Advantages
                              • Disadvantages
                              • Support
                            • BBCacti—the BlackBerry client
                              • Requirements
                              • Advantages
                              • Disadvantages
                            • The nmidWebService plugin
                            • Time for action – installing the WSO2 WebService framework
                              • Installing the nmidWebService plugin
                            • Time for action – installing the nmidWebService plugin
                              • BBCacti installation
                            • Time for action – installing the BBCacti client
                              • BBCacti configuration
                            • Time for action – configuration of BBCacti
                            • Time for action – using the BBCacti client
                            • The mobile plugin
                            • Time for action – installing the mobile plugin
                            • Summary
                            • Appendix B: Online Resources
                              • Cacti website
                              • Spine
                              • Plugin Architecture
                              • Cacti documentation
                              • Cacti forum
                              • Cacti bug reporting
                              • Cacti plugin hooks overview
                              • Cacti Users' site
                              • Howie's stuff
                              • RRDTool
                              • Tobi Oetiker
                              • RRDTool, Cacti, and time zones
                              • Xing German Cacti group
                              • LinkedIn Cacti Group
                              • NMID plugins and CereusReporting
                              • Appendix C: Further Information
                                • The Round Robin Database Tool
                                  • The RRD file architecture
                                • SNMP: The Simple Network Management Protocol
                                  • The Management Information Base
                                  • SNMPv1
                                    • Security
                                  • SNMPv2 / SNMPv2c
                                    • Security
                                  • SNMPv3
                                  • SNMP support in Cacti
                                • MRTG – Multi Router Traffic Grapher
                                • Where to get support?
                                  • Cacti forums
                                  • Mailing list
                                  • Commercial support

                                Thomas Urban

                                Thomas Urban is currently employed as Senior Systems and Network Engineer in the valve industry. He is also the founder of Urban-Software.de, a small consulting company that provides services and software for Cacti. He had his first experience with Cacti when working in the Strategic Outsourcing business at IBM Germany where he introduced Cacti to several external customers.
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                                Please let us know if you have found any errors not listed on this list by completing our errata submission form. Our editors will check them and add them to this list. Thank you.


                                Errata

                                - 3 submitted: last submission 20 Jan 2014

                                Errata Type: Other | Page Number : 12

                                After step number 3 which is:

                                3. You'll need to become the root user in order to be able to setup Cacti properly. 

                                Should that not be an option, performing these steps with sudoshould achieve the 

                                same results.

                                add a 4th step as:

                                4. After the installation, you should make sure that the apache and mysql servers are running and restarting after a reboot. Execute the following commands to do so:

                                                chkconfig mysqld on

                                                chkconfig apache on

                                                /etc/init.d/httpd restart

                                 

                                                /etc/init.d/mysqld restart  

                                Errata Type : Code | Page Number : 14

                                mysql -p cacti < /var/www/html/cacti/cacti.sql

                                should be replaced with

                                 mysql -u root -p cacti < /var/www/html/cacti/cacti.sql

                                Errata Type : Others | Page Number : 15

                                After the 4th point:

                                4. Change the line $config['url_path'] = '/' to $config['url_path'] = '/cacti/'

                                Add a Information Box as:

                                This specific line from the config file should be changed from #$config['url_path'] = "/cacti/"; to //$url_path = "/cacti/"; in Version 0.8.8. 

                                 

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                                You can view our sample chapters and prefaces of this title on PacktLib or download sample chapters in PDF format.

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                                What you will learn from this book

                                • Set up Cacti on Linux and Windows systems
                                • Extend the core functionality by using the plugin architecture
                                • Build your own custom plugins
                                • Create your own custom data input method to retrieve data from your systems
                                • Use SNMP, SSH, and WMI to retrieve remote performance data
                                • Design and create enterprise-class reports with the reporting plugins
                                • Implement threshold-based alerting using the Thold plugin
                                • Automate common administrative tasks utilizing the command-line interface and the autom8 plugin
                                • Enable mobile access to your Cacti installation for your end users

                                In Detail

                                Cacti is a performance measurement tool that provides easy methods and functions for gathering and graphing system data. You can use Cacti to develop a robust event management system that can alert on just about anything you would like it to. But to do that, you need to gain a solid understanding of the basics of Cacti, its plugin architecture, and automation concepts.

                                Cacti 0.8 Beginner's Guide will introduce you to the wide variety of features of Cacti and will guide you on how to use them for maximum effectiveness. Advanced topics like the plugin architecture and Cacti automation using the command-line interface will help you build a professional performance measurement system.

                                Designed as a beginner's guide, the book starts off with the basics of installing and using Cacti, and also covers the advanced topics that will show you how to customize and extend the core Cacti functionalities. The book offers essential tutorials for creating advanced graphs and using plugins to create enterprise-class reports to show your customers and colleagues.

                                From data templates to input methods and plugin installation to creating your own customized plugins, this book provides you with a rich selection of step-by-step instructions to reach your goals. It covers all you need to know to implement professional performance measurement techniques with Cacti and ways to fully customize Cacti to fit your needs.

                                By the end of the book, you will be able to implement and extend Cacti to monitor, display, and report the performance of your network exactly the way you want.

                                A comprehensive guide to learning Cacti and using it to implement performance measurement and reporting within a Network Operations Center

                                Approach

                                Written for beginners to Cacti, this book contains step-by-step instructions and hands-on tutorials for network operators to learn how to implement and use the core Cacti functions. The book is designed in such a way that you can explore it chapter-by-chapter or skip any chapter without missing a beat.

                                Who this book is for

                                If you are a network operator and want to use Cacti for implementing performance measurement for trending, troubleshooting, and reporting purposes, then this book is for you. You only need to know the basics of network management and SNMP.

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