Cacti: Network Monitoring and Graphical Reports

Cacti Opensource Network Monitoring
Cacti Opensource Network Monitoring

Cacti is an open source tool that allows to obtain data over time, coming from different types of equipment, in order to create graphs of their behavior over time, useful for example for network monitoring.

What is Cacti?

Cacti is a graphical interface for RRDTool (Round Robin Data Tool), which is a tool that allows the collection and graphing of data in a time series, polling equipment to respond on some performance variables of its components.

It also allows data collection through SNMP (simple network management protocol).

What is Cacti used for?

Cacti can be used, for example, to measure and graph over time, the percentage of CPU utilization, memory utilization, channel bandwidth, fan speed, network monitoring, etc.

This allows to observe the behavior over time, so that if a failure occurs, it can be determined at what time it starts, at what values it was maintained, and when the normal values were restored.

What are the data sources?

This system can handle any script that collects data, running it periodically, to save the Round Robin files in a MySQL database.


Once the data source and its collection periodicity have been indicated, different types of graphs can be created from the RDDTool.

Additionally, the graphs can be organized in a tree structure for categorization and better ordering.

User Creation

Cacti allows the creation of users with different permissions, so that they are allowed to perform all or only certain actions on the graphs.

Use of Templates

Cacti allows the creation of templates associated to both the data source and its graphs, which facilitates their reuse with other elements of the same type.

Installation Requirements

Cacti requires at least the following to run:

  • Linux operating system such as Debian, Gentoo, Redhat, Fedora or SUSE.
  • Apache web service.
  • PHP.
  • MySQL
  • RRDTool
  • If SNMP is used, net_snmp must be installed.
  • A web browser to run Cacti.

This system can be downloaded along with its installation instructions from its official website.

Cacti is a very useful tool to monitor variables over time of different types of equipment, such as servers, routers, switches, etc., in order to observe anomalous behavior of their performance variables.

At ITSoftware SAS we are specialists in the installation, configuration, use and modification of this tool, so that you can monitor the performance variables of your company’s equipment.

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