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The tables and lists of questions have been created by Sridhar Rao <Sridhar.Rao@spirent.com>

 

There are numerous opensource monitoring solutions available, with varying approaches and architectures. In this study, we compare only the 'agent' component of the monitoring solution, and will not consider the server-side component(s). Because, there can be multiple implementation options of the 'server' - for example, with collectd, it could be simple collectd-web or a timeseries database such as Influxdb, telemetry system based on Apache Kafka, etc. - and considering all the options would be extremely difficult. Typically the server side components could include some or all of the following (a) Metric collection infrastructure - raw-metric receiver, message-queues, etc. (b) Metric Modifier - add contexts, perform-aggregation, filter, etc. (c) Storage solution (d) Alarm/Alerting System (e) Visualization/Graphing - dashboards. (f)  Publishing.

 

Terminology Definition

TermWhat we mean by that?
MetricA Measurement of a particular characteristic.
Ex: %ge of CPU used, Amount of Bandwidth used, etc. Complete definition can be found here
EventA record of something that has happened - A simple immutable fact.
Example: Link has gone down. A packet from a flow is dropped, etc. Complete definition can be found here 
AgentSoftware that runs on a node/system that needs to be monitored.
Client NodeA node that is monitored (Node on which agent runs)
Server NodeA node that collects metrics and events from the client node.
Sampling IntervalHow frequently the metrics are sent.
Push ModeFetching of events by subscribing
Poll ModeFetching of events via polling.
Writing of Metrics/eventssending/outputting of metrics or events.
Reading of Metrics/eventsreceiving/reading of measurements
Logging of Metrics/eventsLogging of monitored/received metric or event
Metric Types (data source types)

Guage: Value stored as-is
Derive: Derivative - Change of the value (rate)
Counter: Similar to Derive - but it is NEVER negative (due to wrap-around)
Absolute: 

 

 

Parameter Table

 

Parameters\Tools

Collectd

Ceilometer

Polling agent.

MonascaSNAPnode-exporter and other exporterssensu client: metric collection pluginsmunintelegraf

NRPE + Plugins

(NSClient++,

ICINGA,

OpenNMS)

diamondReimann

Elastic Beats

Note:
1. For some parameters the answer could be just YES/NO,
2. Whereas, for some we may have to provide a description/details
3. For some we may have to choose from the list [], whereas for some we may append a value to the list.
4. For some parameters, please provide the number of 'actual metrics' provided under that category. For example, collectd would provide 12 metrics for Processes-category

Use NA - If Not applicable.
Use NK - If it is Not Known
CPU metricsidle, system, wait, stolen, user (% & time), util, vcpusidle, system, wait, stolen, user (% & time), util, vcpusidle, system, wait, stolen, user (% & time)idle, system, wait, stolen, user, guest, irq, nice (% & jiffies)idle, system, wait, stolen, user (% & time), util, vcpusidle, system, wait, stolen, user (% & time), util, vcpus

Freq,

usage - idle, system, wait, user, util and vcpus.

Same as ceilometer or monasca

user, system, iowait, idle in (% and time).

average-load

idle, system, wait, user, nice.idle, system, wait, user, nice, stolen, irqidle, system, wait, user, nice, stolen, irq
Disk IO metrics

Read and write (bytes, rate, time, sectors)

disk-free

read and write (bytes, rate, req)read and write (bytes, rate, req)

read and write (ops, octets, merged, time)

disk-free

read and write (bytes, rate, req)Read and write (bytes, rate, time, sectors)read and write (bytes, rate, req)Same as ceilometer or monasca

read and write (ops, octets, merged, time)

disk-free

read and write (bytes, rate, req)

read and write (merged, sector, time, req)

io- reqs, time, weighted

read and write (count, time and bytes)
Memory metricsfree, swap, total, used (bytes and percetages)usage, bandwidthfree, swap, total, usedfree, available, total, used.free, swap, total, usedfree, swap, total, used (Mb and percentages)free, swap, total, used, slab.Same as ceilometer or monascafree, available, total, used. (bytes, %ges)free, total, swap, active, dirty, inactive, buffers.free, used, (bytes and %ges) actual-used.free, used, (bytes and %ges) actual-used.
Process metricsI/O, memory, CPU-Usage, read-write (bytes and count)NONOI/O, memory, CPU-Usage, (bytes and count). Same as collectd.status, thread-count, uptime. IO, memory, cpu-usage. connections.Cpu and memory, read-write (bytes, count), and various other fields Cpu and memory, read-write (bytes, count)CPU, memory, uptime,btime, ctxt, processes, blocked, runningI/O, memory, CPU-Usage, read-write (bytes and count)I/O, memory, CPU-Usage, read-write (bytes and count)
Network Interface MetricsInterface plugin: Standard 4 fields of rx/tx (octets, packets, errors, dropped).
Netlink plugin: uses netlink sockets and covers others
Standard 4 fields of rx/tx (octets, packets, errors, dropped).Standard 4 fields of rx/tx (octets, packets, errors, dropped).sent and recv : bytes, compressed, drops, errors, fifo, frame, multicast, packetsStandard 4 fields of rx/tx (octets, packets, errors, dropped).Standard 4 fields of rx/tx (octets, packets, errors, dropped). Also includes, fifo, compressed, and frame stats.rx/tx (octets, packets, errors, dropped).Same as ceilometer or monascarx/tx (octets, packets, errors, dropped). SNMP (3)

Rx and Tx.

MBs

Standard 4 fields of rx/tx (octets, packets, errors, dropped)Standard 4 fields of rx/tx (octets, packets, errors, dropped).
Libvirt MetricsYES - YESYESYESYESNONONOYESYESNONO

Container resource usage Monitoring

(memory, restarts, status, uptime, etc)

YESNONODockerDockerDockerNODockerYES (Docker, LXC)DockerYES (Docker)YES (4)
Databases Monitoring : [Influxdb, MongoDb,  MySql, PostgreSql, Carbon(graphite),  Prometheus, RRDCache,Redis, TSDB]YES for all

MySql, PostgreSql, MongoDb

Influxdb, Vertica, MySql, PostgreSql, Cassandra Influxdb, mysql, mongodb, Cassandra

ALL (4)

All

NO

All.

YES for allMongoDb, mysql, postgresql, and RedisYES for allYES for all (4)
Publish metrics to databases - (influxdb, mysql, TSDB, Postgresql, MongoDb, Carbon, Elasticsearch)YES for allNONOYES for all.NONO (1)NOYes for allNOYes for AllYES for all.YES (4)
Encryption SupportYESNONOYESNONONONOYESYESYESYES
Language (written)CPythonPythonGoGoRubyPerlGoperl, shell, c, (varies)PythonVaries - ruby, c, c++, etc.Go
Extensibility - multilanguage support [Python, Java, Golang, C/C++, Lua]YES for allJavaJava

Python

C++

Java, Python, RubyGo, Python.Python, RubyNone.Perl, shell, C.NoneMultipleNO?
Interoperability [with other monitoring solutions]Sensu, statsd, telegraf?

Nagios zabbix

ceilometerCeilometer, Facter, Reimann, PrometheusCollectdNagios, Zabbix.NOReimannNSClient, Icinga.NagiosCollectdCollectd?
Write to Message Queues and protocols (AMQP, Kafka, MQTT, NSQ)YES for ALLAMQPKafkaAMQP, Kafka.NOAMQPNO

kafka,

MQTT,

NSQ

NOYes for ALLYES for allYES for all (4)

Metrics Pub/sub Mode Support

(Metrics push/pull mode support ?)

YESYESYESYESYESYESNOYESNOYESYESYES
Metrics Req/Resp Mode Support NONONOYESNOYESYESNOYESNOYESYES
Support for Events (polling, Pushing)YesNO (1)NO (1)NONOYESNOYESYESNOYESYES
Notification SupportYESNO (1)NO (1)NONO (1)YESNONOYESNOYESYES
Logging Support YESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYES
Hypervisor metricsYESNONOYES (KVM)YESYES (XenTop)NONOYESXEN, KVM.NONO
Log-File AnalysisYESNONOYESYES (mtail)NONOYESYESNOYESYES
Other Writing (output) Support:
[CSV, HTTP, RRD, UnixSocket, Multicast]
ALL that are listed.NONONOHTTPNORRDSocket,NOHTTPNOYES?
Transport ProtocolDepends on the end point it's communicating with.TCP*TCP*TCPTCP, UDP. (5)TCPTCP

TCP, UDP

TCPTCPTCP, UDPTCP, UDP
 Data-Format
[XML, JSON, etc]
JSON, Custom, XMLJSON XMLJSONJSONJSON ?JSONCustomCustomCustomJSONCustomCustom, JSON
Data-modelCustomKVPKVPKVPKVPKVPCustomCustomCustomKVPKVPKVP
Hardware:
IPMI, Battery, Sensors, 
YES for allIPMIIPMIIMPIYES for allYES - IPMIYES (3)IPMI sensorsYESNONO?YES for all
Metric Types: Guage, Derive, Counter, absoluteYES for allGauge cumulative deltaGauge, rate, counter.gauge, derive, counter.Gauge, Counter, Histogram, summaryGauge, Counter, derive.Gauge, Counter, derive.Gauge, Counter. Gauge, Derivative, deltaGauge, sum, counter, deriveGauge, sum, counter, derive
Last-Updated201720172017Varies(5)Varies (5)Varies (5)Varies (5)2017varies(5)Varies (5)Varies(5)Varies(5)
Commercial Versions?NONO?NONOYESNONoYESYES?YES?YES?
Run-Time Analysis [^]

CPU: 14.8%
VM:958205952
RSS: 2066
Code:14442496
Data:831705088
StackSize:2288

      

CPU:17.5%
VM:345899008
RSS:7880
Code:15036416
Data:321084800
StackSize:416

    
LicenseMIT/GPL v2 or laterApache License, Version 2.0 Apache License, Version 2.0 Apache License, Version 2.0Multiple (5)MITGPL V2.MITGPL V3MITMITApache License, Version 2.0
Webserver monitoring
[Nginix, Apache]
YES for allApacheApacheYES for all.Nginix, Apache, Passenger varnishApache, Nginix, Unicorn.NOYes for allYES for allNOYES for all.Yes for all

Platforms - OS?

Linux (unix'es), Windows.

Supports windows, linux, freebsd, etc.LinuxLinux

Linux, MAC,

Windows (soon)

Linux

Windows(3)

Linux, Windows,Linux, WindowsLinuxALLLinuxALLALL
Configuration Tool support [Puppet, Chef, Ansible, Salt]YES for allPuppet ChefPuppet, Chef, Ansible,Yes for all.

Yes for all.

YES for allNOYes for All.Yes for allPuppetALLALL
Deployments: servers, VMs, containers,ALLALLALLALLALLALL.ALLAllALLALLALLALL
Openstack ModulesNO (2)NOALL.CEPH, Cinder, Glance, Keystone, Neutron, NovaNONONONOYES (All)NONONO
Intel PCM and SSDs SMART metricsNONONOYESNONONONONONONONO

Cluster Mgmt.

(Kubernetes, Mesos, Swarm)

NONONOKubernetes and MesosKubernetes and mesosKubernetes and mesosNOKubernetes and MesosYESNOYESYES

Modifiers - (filtering, threshold, tags, contexts)

 

Filtering and threshold - yes.

Tags - YES.

Contexts - No. (1)

NOYESYES for all.Tags, Filtering and threshold.NO(1)NOTaggingYESTagsYESYES
Dynamic Loading of plugins.NONONOYESYESYES.YES?NOYESNOYESYES

Intervals:

 

LSI: can go down to a nano second resolution

NTI: Cannot be specified - depends on size of the buffer and reading interval

PI: Configurable default: 60s

CF: Configurable

Further controlled by per-plugin "collect_period"

 

Based on Task Configuration.

Interval: Can go down to ns resolution.

Configurable scrape interval.

Command specific check-interval.

 

      

Other Services monitoring:

(DHCP, DNS, FTP, NTP, HAProxy, Consul)

HAProxy, DNS, NTPNOHAProxy, NTP.HAProxyDHCP, HAproxy, NTP, Consul.YES for all.NOHAproxy, NTP, Consul, DNS,YESNOYES (4)YES(4)

Legends

(1) This aspect is realized either as a server-side component or by a 'customized' agent.

(2) Custom solution exist, and may not be part of main distribution.

(3) Support with strong dependency on additional tool/library.

(4) Supports more-options than the ones provided in column-1 

(5) A single value cannot be entered due development of logically-independent modules by different community groups.

[^]: Runtime analysis process and considerations:

  1. Isolate the CPUs on the monitoring node. [ Add isolcpus option in the grub. CPU0]
  2. Run the agent on the isolated CPU (CPU0). [ Use taskset command to run agent-processes with appropriate CPU-mask: 0x01]
  3. Plugins: Configure agent to monitor following metrics - CPU, Memory, Disk, Interface, IPMI, processes, libvirt, Caches, OVS, hugepages.
  4. Output: Make agent to send metrics over network (Ex: influxdb running on separate node)
  5. Workload: stress-ng + iperf.
  6. Monitoring duration: 5 minutes.
  7. Frequency: 1sec.
  8. Collect Metrics (using any other tool) to analyze agent's runtime performance  [ Ex: Used Snap to collect ‘collectd-process’ metrics and CPU and memory data]
  9. Note the iperf performance ( to study any effect on it due to collectd]

#: Interval Definitions:

Lowest Sampling Interval (LSI) - How frequently the plugins can read values from source(s) of truth.

Network Transmit Interval (NTI) - Interval at which the metrics are sent over the network.

Polling Interval: Freqency at which metrics are read.

Check Frequency(CF): frequency at which all plugins are run. This may map to LSI and NTI.

Inference Questions

The Questions The Answer
Lowest Interval: Which agent supports the lowest sampling interval, and what is the value? 
Interoperability: Which agent is 'most interoperable'?  (Work with maximum of 'servers' (collection node) 
Large-scale deployment: Which agent is ideal for large-scale monitoring (Provide description in a separate page, if needed) 
Low-footprint: Which agent has the lowest footprint (memory and CPU)? 
Metrics: Which agent supports maximum number of metrics? 
Gaps: Are there any metrics that are not supported by any of the agent and that are relavant to NFV? 
Which agent is ideal for realtime analytics?- [Support for maximum scalable datastores, visualization tools and Analytics engines?] 
Is any of the agents been used in large-scale real-world deployments? If so, please provide the details on the performance. 
Which agent has the least/maximum dependency - Libraries, OS/Kernel versions, etc.? 
Which agent provides maximum 'freedom' w.r.t. Licenses (core agent + plugins)? 
Which agent is best for the following datastores: Influxdb, Graphite, ElasticSearch? 
Which agent support dynamic configuration? 
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
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4 Comments

  1. Thresholding and filtering support? is that of interest?

    thresholding will tell you when particular values are out of a valid range. while filtering allows you to blacklist metrics or send notifications/modify metrics on the platform where they are collected...

  2. Multicast support and ipv6 support for the transport protocol.

  3. dynamic loading support of plugins... 

  4. Sridhar Rao This might be a handy reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_network_monitoring_systems (I know it's a wiki, but it has some interesting parameters in the legend also)