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Sep 30, 2008

Adding Charts in AXIGEN, SNMP Configuration, Integrating the AXIGEN Reports within the Cacti Network Graphing Solution

As with all modern email servers, AXIGEN also provides graphical reporting charts to monitor the server’s health and display its status in a quick fashion. This feature has been designed to provide servers administrators with great flexibility and an extensive range of parameters to monitor. For this purpose, a graphical representation offers a faster and more detailed view of what exactly is going on with the services provided by the AXIGEN Mail Server.

Another alternative would be using complicated command-line tools and commands to search for the needed information, a time consuming action that would also take a lot of server resources that could otherwise be redirected to other tasks. In this respect, the reporting feature does not cause a visible overhead since it is based on data that is recorded in real-time at an user adjustable interval, and not on processing log files. It offers access to the information in a fine-grained fashion, with a low resource usage.
By reading this article, you will find out how to make best use of the AXIGEN reporting service, including the steps for adding AXIGEN performance charts, configuring SNMP parameters and integrating the AXIGEN Mail Server reports within the Cacti network graphing solution.

1. Reporting Configurations based on Frequently Used Parameters

1.1 Enabling the AXIGEN Reporting Service

First, you need to enable the Reporting service using the Web Administration interface (WebAdmin):
  • Login to the WebAdmin interface and click on the Services drop-down menu;
  • Click on the Services Management tab at the top;
  • Locate the Reporting service in the displayed list of AXIGEN running services and click on its corresponding START button.

Enabling the AXIGEN Reporting Service 

1.2 Chart Configuration Steps

Now that the Reporting service is enabled, you can further navigate to the Status &
tab in WebAdmin and configure your first chart:
  • Click on the Status & Monitoring drop-down menu;
  • Click on the Charts tab.

Accessing the Charts Section

When first viewing the Charts page, a list of pre-configured charts and their corresponding groups will be displayed. These charts are automatically created by AXIGEN and record information based on common parameters that frequently interest server administrators, such as the system load average, the quantity of messages stored in the queue or number of HTTP user messages read, SMTP inbound messages, SMTP outbound total connections, IMAP total connections, POP3 total connections and much more.

Clicking on one of the Chart Groups on the left will result in displaying all the charts assigned to that specific group and enable you to edit or delete them.

As a note, these pre-made charts may not meet every administrator's requirements right from the beginning, but they can be used as a starting point for creating additional ones, of great help for sysadmins.

Adding a New Chart

As previously explained, the AXIGEN reporting service can be configured to monitor various parameters of interest. As a hands-on example, the following charts will detail the quantity of messages processed by the SpamAssassinBundled filter, depending on their status.

Example: Defining a chart that displays the quantity of messages passing the SpamAssassinBundled filter with the verdict of Spam:
  • Login to the WebAdmin interface;
  • Click on the Status & Monitoring drop-down menu;
  • Click the Charts link;
  • Click the Add chart button;
  • Type the name of the new chart group: Spam, in this example;
  • In the Chart Name field, type the name of the chart to be created (in our case Spam_messages);

Adding the Spam_messages Chart

  • Within the Data Aggregation section, select the Built-in Filter: SpamAssassinBundled Match parameter to collect.
  • As Aggregation function, select Total;
  • As Aggregation interval select by the minute;

Configuring the Spam_messages Chart

  • Click on the Save configuration button at the bottom to save the newly-introduced data;
  • Click on the OK button from the warning message box to complete the creation of the chart; since this is a new chart, there is no data stored regarding the specified parameter.