Cacti Network Management Installation Tutorial

Cacti Network Management Installation Tutorial

Cacti Nms

Cacti Network Management Installation Tutorial

Network management has to be, one of the most neglected pieces of networking. I am sure we all have our hypotheses as to why but that is for another day. This tutorial is for installing the latest stable release 0.8.8a, released on 04/29/12. I needed to proof Cacti and get a scripted installation together. Cacti has been around a long time and has a nice ecosystem of plugins. Like any open source there is much more code then documentation. That said, the Cacti community forum is fantastic and full of community contributions. I tested the installation on both current CentOS and RHEL. It could be easily ported to Ubuntu s/yum/apt-get/g.

Cacti Network Management Plugins

Here are some supported and user built plugins part of this install.

  • Discovery – Auto Host Discovery
  • Mactrack – End Device Port Tracker and General Network Toolkit
  • Monitor – Monitoring for Cacti
  • Realtime – Realtime Graph Viewer
  • Routerconfigs – Router Config Backup
  • Syslog – Sylog Viewer for Cacti
  • Weathermap – Generate maps and diagrams using data collected by Cacti or other sources

Examples of Cacti

A couple of my friends in have some public examples of similar Cacti network management deployments using the Weathermap plugin for Cacti.

Cacti Installation ScreenCast

Cacti Network Management Installation Script

I started writing my own script from the doc and realized I needed better documentation. Poking around on the forum I found a nice script that had already done most of the work on the forums. I modified it for the latest releases, modified a couple of PHP configs and updated a couple of plugins.

The Cisco Catalyst 6500 template I used for the screencast can be downloaded here. Simply copy and paste it into the templates section and then associate it to the 6500 you populate. Check the forums for more templates.

Post Installation and Plugins

If you have issues with RHEL you may need to run the following.

Enable plugins under settings -> Management as shown in the following screen capture. Just click the blue down arrow to add it into the console as tab.

Cacti Plugins

So checkout the forums if interested and see if any of the project can help your operations, maybe even contribute what you do back.
Thanks for stopping by.

About the Author

Brent SalisburyI have over 15 years of experience wearing various hats from, network engineer, architect, devops and software engineer. I currently have the pleasure of working at the company that develops my favorite software I have ever used, Docker. My comments here are my personal thoughts and opinions. More at Brent's BioView all posts by Brent Salisbury →

  1. sh0xsh0x12-03-2012

    A few additional “must have” plugins (for larger deployments): boost, dsstats, and autom8!

  2. Brent SalisburyBrent Salisbury12-03-2012

    Thanks will add that in! Have you used the netflow module before?

  3. Nick BuraglioNick Buraglio12-03-2012

    This is amazing. I’d done this years ago and promptly forgotten all the pieces and parts. After 30 minutes of tinkering and this script, I have a complete graphing setup for a project I was working on. Thanks.

    • Brent SalisburyBrent Salisbury12-04-2012

      Thanks Nick! And thanks for showing me the nice build your shop has.

  4. sh0xsh0x12-04-2012

    The netflow plugin in cacti is a front-end for flowtools collector, which is kind of old school now days (but still useful). Flowtools doesn’t have a GUI, so the Cacti plugin provides that… Nfsen is another open source collector that comes with its own WebUI. Neither are pretty but get the job done in a pinch 🙂

    Similarly the Routerconfigs plugin is a front-end for accessing data in RANCID, and alternatively RANCID configs can be viewed and diffed using ViewVC.

    • Zoltan OriZoltan Ori01-24-2014

      Check out Silk as another possibility

  5. sh0xsh0x12-04-2012

    Another thing, flowtools only supported netflow. Nfsen supports netflow and sflow. To use sflow with flowtools, flows have to be converted.

    • Zoltan OriZoltan Ori01-24-2014

      Flowtools also only supports v5 netflow.
      The ability to do tagging and create filters made netflow a great tool. Flow Viewer is a great frontend for flowtools.

  6. Brent SalisburyBrent Salisbury12-04-2012

    Thanks Shox. Appreciate the info. Great stuff. Will add it in and important insight for us.

  7. Anthony @pandom_Anthony @pandom_12-10-2012

    Mate. Super post. There are some solid custom builds around that are compiled. I am currently investigating – It is built with a raft of popular plugins and scripted deployment.

    Great post Brent.

  8. Brent SalisburyBrent Salisbury12-10-2012

    Now thats cool! thanks bro.

  9. erteckerteck01-10-2013

    ,how about the installation of CactiWMI in cacti Version 0.8.8a in CentOS,
    anyone here knows how to install the WMI???

    plsss,,help me 🙁

  10. daviddavid01-30-2013

    Hi Brent,

    Nice article, but I think the title doesn’t meet with cacti, as far I know cacti isn’t a network management it’s only network monitoring system.

    cheers 🙂

    • Zoltan OriZoltan Ori01-24-2014

      True, but monitoring and trending are all part of management. There have been a lot of plugins developed that push it beyond its’ basics.

      It’s all only eye candy without a good understanding of SNMP and mibs. But, I see less control put into manufacturers mibs than previous and just legacy standard counters which is odd since there is now some security with v3 instead of obscurity of v1 & v2c