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Set Up a Cacti Monitoring Server in Minutes with this GoGrid Community Server Image

May 19th, 2011 by - 12,545 views

One of the best open-source tools ever created and maintained is Cacti. Cacti can be used to monitor and log critical information for your servers, applications and other network devices. The monitored data can be graphed in a variety of ways and becomes a valuable resource when troubleshooting problems and projecting future resource utilization.

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However, the initial configuration can take hours to complete, not including the server OS install process and pre-configuration.

Deploying Cacti Easily in GoGrid

To make this process a bit easier for GoGrid users, I have performed the routine installation of Cacti 0.8.6 along with the package requirements within a Community GSI (GoGrid Server Image). Also, I have added DenyHosts for added system level protection. The ssh_banner will provide the details of what was configured on the system. All that needs to be done is going into your account within the GoGrid portal, clicking on the Add button and filter for “Cacti”.

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The select “Add Cloud Server”:

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Filter for “Cacti“. You will then see the Cacti image. Highlight that image and click the Next button to deploy into your GoGrid infrastructure environment.

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Now simply name your Cacti Monitoring Server and give it an available public IP, along with the amount of RAM you need. 2GB is usually a good baseline.

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Click Save and then the server will enter the deployment process. You will see it on your Grid in the amber state.

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In a few minutes the server will show green and you will be able to find the login information under the Passwords tab.

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Use the login provided in the Passwords tab (within the “Support” section of the portal) to SSH into the server as root. Now, read the ssh_banner (also posted here in this blog) for more detailed information on the system.

More about Cacti

The online community that contributes to Cacti is huge. There are so many host templates out there ranging from Windows pagefault to Zeus ZXTM load balancer. The Import and Export tools that Cacti has built in become very useful in regards to using and sharing templates within the community.

If you are totally new to Cacti – then I highly recommend you review the manual.

http://www.cacti.net/downloads/docs/html/

Also – comb through the forums for more insight and possible answers to your questions.

http://forums.cacti.net

SSH_BANNER Information

Below is the SSH_BANNER that will display within SSH on the server you deployed using the Cacti Community GSI.

SSH_BANNER:

—–Community GSI Setup Report—–

    Steps accomplished to make this Community GSI: 

1. Enabled RPMForge repository  
2. Installed PHP5
3. Installed Cacti 0.8.6     
4. Installed MySQL Server 5.0.7
5. Installed DenyHosts (please update ADMIN_EMAIL in /etc/denyhosts/denyhosts.cfg
   with your email
6. Set httpd, mysqld, snmpd, denyhosts to start on boot
7. Created MySQL user cacti and new database named cacti
8. Set password for database to < omitted > - recommend you change this to your own pw.
9. Imported cacti settings from cacti.sql into cacti database
10. After this VM is deployed - log into Cacti from servers IP - http://cacti/
   (don't forget the trailing '/')
11. Follow GUI Login steps to complete installation. The initial user/pw is admin/admin
    Login with this and then you will be prompted to update pw.
12. Modify /etc/httpd/conf.d/cacti.conf --- change "Allow" line to IP(s) you want to give
    access to this graphing utility. Now it is set to all.
13. The forums.cacti.net is a good place to find device templates.
    http://www.debianhelp.co.uk/cactitemplates.htm is a good source for templates and
    documentation
14. Copy the above information and then feel free to delete this ssh_banner file. It is
    located in /etc/ssh/ssh_banner
15. Also don’t forget to assign your new Cacti Monitoring Server a private IP from your
    private network.
    This is the preferred way to communicate with your other servers on GoGrid.
16. Update IPTables to meet your firewalling needs. 

----Community GSI Setup Report----

Deploy the new Community GSI and start monitoring your applications and servers today! Once you have what you want in your Cacti setup (in regards to devices being monitored) then save your server image using MyGSI functionality. The image that you save will be private and securely accessed only from your account. You can later redeploy it to commit new devices to the configuration and then resave.

More tutorials on the way!

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