Monitoring Linux server performance with procallator

I manage a fair number of Linux hosts, and like to keep tabs on how my systems are performing. One way I accomplish this is with procallator, which is a Perl script that collects performance data that can be graphed by orca. The graphs that orca produces are great awesome for trening server performance over time, and can be extremely valuable when debugging performance problems.

To setup procallator to collect performance data, you first need to retrieve the latest orca CVS snapshot from the orcaware snapshots directory (the procallator script is included with the orca snapshot, and the latest version contains a number of fixes). Once orca is downloaded, you will need to extract the tarball and run configure to modify the variables in the header of the procallator script:

$ tar xfj orca-snapshot-r529.tar.bz2

$ cd orca-snapshot-r529

$ ./configure --prefix=/opt/orca-r529 --with-html-dir=/opt/html

After the configure operation completes, you can install the procallator scripts with the Makefile’s install option:

$ make install

This will place the procallator perl script in $PREFIX/bin. To make sure the script starts at system boot, you can copy the $ PREFIX/data_gathers/procallator/S99procallator script to /etc/rc3.d
(or /etc/init.d depending on how you install your init scripts):

$ cp S99procallator /etc/rc3.d

Once these files are in place, you can start procallator by invoking the init script with the start option:

$ </strong>/etc/rc3.d/S99procallator start</strong>

This will start the procallator script as a daemon process, and the script will write performance data to the directory defined in the procallator script’s DEST_DIR variable every 5 minutes (this is tunable). The performance files will contain the name proccol-YYYY-MM-DD-INDEX, and one file will be produced each day. To graph the data in the procallator files, you can use orca and the procallator.cfg file that is in the $PREFIX/data_gathers/procallator directory. I placed a sample set of performance graphs on my website, and you can reference the article monitoring LDAP performance article for details on setting up orca to graph data. I digs me some procallator!

This article was posted by Matty on 2007-06-15 13:07:00 -0400 EDT