Enhancing automation with network growth

Kevin St John kstjohn at rising-light.net
Fri Jan 22 01:51:13 UTC 2010

I think Cacti (www.cacti.net) can do this pretty simply if that’s any help…

From: Tom Wright [TWright at internode.com.au]
Sent: Thursday, January 21, 2010 4:54 PM
To: Steve Bertrand
Cc: nanog list
Subject: Re: Enhancing automation with network growth

Hi Steve,

Our MRTG is fully automated.  We ditched cfgmaker (too slow) in favour of
our own developed Perl using the Net::SNMP module from CPAN.

If you use 'non-blocking' SNMP calls, Net::SNMP can be blisteringly fast.

In the case of our routers/switches, we query our NMS (assume this is just a
table of hostnames and IP addresses) for a list the devices we want to
graph, and then re-generate MRTG configurations a few times a day - meaning
that we pick up new devices/port changes automatically.

Capital expenditure = $0 :)

-- Tom

On 21/01/2010, at 1:24 PM, Steve Bertrand wrote:

Hi all,

I'm reaching the point where adding in a new piece of infrastructure
hardware, connecting up a new cable, and/or assigning address space to a
client is nearly 50% documentation and 50% technical.

One thing that would take a major load off would be if my MRTG system
could simply update its config/index files for itself, instead of me
having to  do it on each and every port change.

Can anyone offer up ideas on how you manage any automation in this
regard for their infrastructure gear traffic graphs? (Commercial options
welcome, off-list, but we're as small as our budget is).

Unless something else is out there that I've missed, I'm seriously
considering writing up a module in Perl to put up on the CPAN that can
scan my RANCID logs (and perhaps the devices directly for someone who
doesn't use RANCID), send an aggregate 'are these changes authorized'
email to an engineer, and then proceed to execute the proper commands
within the proper MRTG directories if the engineer approves.

I use a mix of Cisco/FreeBSD&Quagga for routers, and Cisco/HP for
switches, so it is not as simple as throwing a single command at all

All feedback welcome, especially if you are in the same boat. My IP
address documentation/DNS is far more important than my traffic stats,
but it really hurts when you've forgotten about a port three months ago
that you need to know about now.


Kind Regards,

Tom Wright
Internode Network Operations
P: +61 8 8228 2999
W: http://www.internode.on.net<http://www.internode.on.net/>


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