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Load Balancing Metrics

MRTG is an extremely useful tool that combines data collection with graphical trending. In its simplest configuration, you can graph the bandwidth in and out of any SNMP enabled network device. This includes, but is not limited to, servers, routers, and switches. With some modification you can also graph other statistics, including those of a load balancing device. I've compiled various OIDs and MRTG configuration files for a variety of load balancers, including Alteon, ArrowPoint, and F5. Depending on the load balancer vndoer, with MRTG and the correct configuration, you can graph the following:
  • Bandwidth in and out in megabits per second
  • Connection rate (in connections per seconed)
  • Bandwidth in an out of a particular VIP/virtual server or node/real server
  • Total number of concurrent sessions
  • Any parameter that has an SNMP counter or gauge OID
  • Many, many more

I'm working on gathering metrics for even more vendors.

Here is an example of what MRTG configured for load balancers can do. This is a graph showing connections per second, such as HTTP hits.

[Max con/s: 215.0 connections/s ] [Average con/s: 172.0 connections/s ] [Current con/s: 173.0 connections/s ]

courtesy of vegan.net

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* I am in no way affiliated with F5 Networks, nor has F5 Networks endorsed me as a qualified consultant.