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ZDNet UK: Monitor Linux Routers and Firewalls with MRTG

Aug 02, 2002, 13:00 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Thomas Nooning)

"MRTG, or Multi Router Traffic Grapher, is a popular monitoring and statistics tool for use on Linux platforms. It was designed to monitor the traffic load on network links, but it's highly extensible and configurable. Not only can you watch interfaces on routers and switches, but you can also analyze Linux system variables. Although this is usually done with the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), MRTG also supports the use of local scripts to feed it data. The data is then converted into HTML with graphs in PNG format for a visual representation of your network.

"Before we delve too deeply into the installation and configuration of MRTG, it is important to understand how MRTG and SNMP work together. By default, MRTG will take an SNMP community string and a device hostname or IP address and discover what it needs to know. This is done by polling Management Information Base (MIB) objects predefined for all SNMP-ready devices. A MIB is basically a database of variables that corresponds to a system value. Basic examples include information such as system name, interface type, and uptime..."

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