Creating Cacti Graphs

Reporting & Monitoring

After adding the Axigen machine as a monitored host, you need to create graphs based on the SNMP information provided by Axigen. To do that, click on the "Create Graphs" for this Host link, after the host was added.

The next screen will require you to provide information regarding the configuration of the new graph. For now, only the graph template information is required, in order to let Cacti know what type of information you are interested in.

From the "Graph Templates" section, select the "SNMP - Generic OID" template using the provided drop-down menu and click on the Create button.

The next screen will require more details about the looks of the graph and how the information is displayed:

  • The "Title" parameter contains the text displayed, of course, as the title of the graph. It is recommended that you add the name of the service to be monitored next to the |host_description| - text; for example, if you would like to create a graph that displays the number of SMTP connections, the "Title" parameter should then have the following value: |host_description| - SMTP connections;
  • The "Vertical Label" parameter determines the text displayed vertically, in order to let the user know the type of values displayed on the Y axis; in the given example, the term "Connections" will be used;
  • The "Legend color" parameter determines the color of the graphic display, while the "Legend Text" determines the display of a colored box and the specified text next to it on the graph, useful in case the graph displays multiple values; these are non-critical parameters of the graph; they were mentioned only for your information;
  • In the "Data Source" section, you can find the parameters that determine some of the configuration settings of a typical Cacti data source, since the chosen way to create a graph in Cacti is considered to be a wizard which automatically creates all the required elements of a graph.

The "Name" parameter in this section is similar to the graph "Title" parameter only that, in this case, it determines the data source name rather than the graph name. There is no problem using the same value as the graph name since these two values are used for different purposes.

  • The "Maximum Value" parameter is required to let Cacti know the upper limit of the value represented on the Y axis; this is important since the X axis value represents the time, and you already know the maximum value for the X axis, but the vertical axis can take any value depending on the resource being monitored;
  • The "Data Source Type" parameter will tell Cacti how to interpret the values read from the data input. Since Axigen uses an incremental value, it required to set this parameter to the COUNTER value.
  • In order to tell Cacti what OID value you want to monitor, you need to check the Axigen MIB file.

Below you can find a piece of the MIB file to help in explaining in more detail how to find the OID value and what Axigen parameter is representing:

After copying the OID value from the MIB file, you need to paste it in the OID field of the Cacti configuration screen. The final step in creating this first graph is to click the "Create" button.

You will then see the same screen with the configuration settings to create more graphs for the selected host. Repeat the process as many graphs as required. Please note that the graphs are rendered only when the sample interval of Cacti is reached; the default being 5 minutes, it may take as long as 5 minutes for any graph data to be actually seen. Here is how graphs will look like:

This concludes our article about Axigen's reporting service and its usage. Since Cacti deals with a complex process of creating graphs, in the next article we've included some graph customization tips.