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|Developer(s)||The Cacti Group, Inc.|
|Initial release||September 23, 2001|
|Written in||PHP, MySQL|
|License||GNU General Public License|
Cacti is an open-source, web-based network monitoring and graphing tool designed as a front-end application for the open-source, industry-standard data logging tool RRDtool. Cacti allows a user to poll services at predetermined intervals and graph the resulting data. It is generally used to graph time-series data of metrics such as CPU load and network bandwidth utilization. A common usage is to monitor network traffic by polling a network switch or router interface via Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP).
The front end can handle multiple users, each with their own graph sets, so it is sometimes used by web hosting providers (especially dedicated server, virtual private server, and colocation providers) to display bandwidth statistics for their customers. It can be used to configure the data collection itself, allowing certain setups to be monitored without any manual configuration of RRDtool. Cacti can be extended to monitor any source via shell scripts and executables.
The Cacti project was first started by Ian Berry on September 2, 2001. Berry was inspired to start the project while working for a small ISP while also still in high school, learning PHP and MySQL. His central aim in creating Cacti "was to offer more ease of use than RRDtool and more flexibility than MRTG".
Version 0.8.7 was released for use in October 2007. In June 2012, a roadmap on the website indicated that version 1.0.0 was scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2013, but by August 2013 it was replaced by a notice that "This roadmap is out of date. We are reorganizing to improve the development cycle of Cacti. More information coming before the end of 2013!".
Version 0.8.8c was released in August 2014 with numerous bug and security issues patched, and a few new features.
Version 0.8.8d was released in June 2015 with numerous bugs patched.
Version 0.8.8e was released in July 2015 with numerous bug and security issues patched.
Version 0.8.8f was released in July 2015 with some bugs patched.
Version 0.8.8g was released in February 2016 with numerous bugs patched.
Version 0.8.8h was released in May 2016 with some bugs patched.
Version 1.0.0 was released in January 2017
The year of 2017 has been an active one for the Cacti Group. They have released over 30 versions of Cacti since the initial 1.0.0 release in January of 2017. The GitHub community has grown and there are now several dozen developers working on perfecting the 1.x release for use in homes, small companies and enterprises throughout the globe.
The primary features of Cacti include:
- unlimited graph items
- auto-padding support for graphs
- graph data manipulation
- flexible data sources
- data gathering on a non-standard timespan
- custom data-gathering scripts
- built-in SNMP support
- graph templates
- data source templates
- device templates
- tree, list, and preview views of graph data
- user and user group based management and security
- remote data collection
- graph aggregation
- device, graph and tree automation
- network discovery
- RRDtool, the underlying software upon which Cacti is built
- MRTG, the original multi-router traffic grapher from which RRDtool was "extracted"
- Comparison of network monitoring systems
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