Why I Enthusiastically Switched from Cacti to Zabbix for System Monitoring

Cacti is a "complete network graphing solution" according to their website. It has also been a thorn in my side for a long time.

See what I did there? Thorn... because it's a cactus... never mind.

When Cacti is in a steady state-when I could get it to a steady state-it was good. Not great, because there was a lot of effort to get it into what I consider "steady state", but good. The rest of the time... thorny.

There are five major things that have driven me up the wall. In no particular order:

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OpenBSD 5.1 SNMP MIBs

It's May and that means a new version of OpenBSD is out. My SNMP MIBs have been updated for 5.1 and are available for download on the OpenBSD SNMP MIBs page. THIS WILL BE ONE OF THE LAST RELEASES OF THE MIBS FOR NET-SNMP During the OpenBSD 5.1 development cycle, I committed the CARP MIB to the base OpenBSD snmpd. The kernel sensor MIB has been in the base snmpd for a few releases now.
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Net-SNMP and snmpd Coexistence on OpenBSD

Although it would be awesome to ditch Net-SNMP altogether now that the base OpenBSD SNMP daemon has support for all of the OpenBSD-related MIBS (CARP, PF, kernel sensors), reality is that Net-SNMP still offers some features that are needed. OpenBSD doesn't have any SNMP tools (snmpwalk, snmpset, etc) so these are still required from Net-SNMP. There's also some unique features in the Net-SNMP daemon that are still useful if you want to do things like monitor BIND9 or Postfix statistics.

Here's how to run both at the same time and leverage snmpd for the OpenBSD-related MIBs and the Net-SNMP daemon for its ability to retrieve data from scripts and extend itself using loadable modules and smux sub-agents.

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Switching from Net-SNMP to snmpd for CARP, PF and Sensor Monitoring

Update: For help running both snmpds at the same time, see Net-SNMP and snmpd Coexistence on OpenBSD

Now that OPENBSD-CARP-MIB and OPENBSD-PF-MIB have been added to the base snmpd in OpenBSD (CARP-MIB will be in 5.1-release, PF-MIB in 5.2, and the SENSOR MIB has been there since 4.5), I wanted to document the differences between these MIBs and the corresponding implementation of the MIBs that I wrote for Net-SNMP.

Both implementations provide the same set of OIDs and allow the same data to be retrieved. Whatever you were querying via Net-SNMP is available via snmpd.

What has changed is the base OID where the CARP and PF MIBs are rooted at as well as the name of certain OIDs.

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Net-SNMP v5.7 Issues

The last time I upgraded Net-SNMP it wasn't reporting the hrSystemProcesses OID. I wrote about that here. This time around I've upgraded to v5.7 and discovered two issues so far.

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OpenBSD 5.0 SNMP MIBs

The OpenBSD SNMP MIBs are now updated to compile under OpenBSD 5.0. Full details of how to install and use the MIBs are on the SNMP MIBs page.

There is no functional change in this release.

Download: obsd-mibs50.tar

As usual, if you find OpenBSD valuable, please make a donation to the project as they are dependent upon donations to cover many of their costs.

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Net-SNMP 5.6.1 Missing hrSystemProcesses OID

I just upgraded a couple of machines to OpenBSD 4.9 and noticed the hrSystemProcesses OID was not being returned by Net-SNMP 5.6.1 (from the 4.9 ports/packages collection) . joel@theta:~% snmpwalk -v2c -c public theta .1.3.6.1.2.1.25.1.6.0 SNMPv2-SMI::mib-2.25.1.6.0 = No Such Instance currently exists at this OID I know for sure this worked on OpenBSD 4.8/Net-SNMP 5.4.2.1. Turns out there is a bug in Net-SNMP 5.6.1 (bug 3166568) that's causing this. It's been fixed in their SVN tree.
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OpenBSD 4.9 SNMP MIBs

I've updated my SNMP MIBs to support OpenBSD 4.9.

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