SUMMARY: Popular Performance Evaluation Methods

From: Kelly Feagans (
Date: Tue Apr 27 1999 - 12:46:02 CDT

First, let me thank all of the people who emailed me suggestions, answers, and
URLs. I followed every one of them and gained invaluable insight on exactly
what I was looking for.

Anyway, here goes:

Big Brother--
I received a large number of messages pertaining to the package "Big Brother",
that can be found at . This tool is pretty
nice for what it costs (free!). It takes performance measurements at specified
intervals and creates a dynamic web page complete with colored icons to depict
the status of a certain item (CPU, Disk, etc.).

Sun SyMon--
Although I have not installed this product, the literature looks promising.
This seems to be more of what I was looking for, both real-time performance
monitoring and trend analysis. This tool can be found at:
http:/ .

I have no experience with this package either, but it looks interesting, and
from what I can tell it is free. This package appears to be customizable, if
you don't mind writing a little code. The nice part of this package is that
you don't have to download a monolithic package that eats up disk space ... It
seems to be somewhat modular. You can find it at:

I have looked at these tools, and they do offer some interesting alternatives.
Here is the description of RRD Tool -- "RRD is the Acronym for Round Robin
Database. RRD is a system to store and display time-series data (i.e. network
bandwidth, machine-room temperature, server load average). It stores the data
in a very compact way that will not expand over time, and it presents useful
graphs by processing the data to enforce a certain data density. It can be used
either via simple wrapper scripts (from shell or Perl) or via frontends that
poll network devices and put a friendly user interface on it." ORCA is a tool
useful for plotting arbitrary data from text files onto a directory on a Web
server. These tools can be found at:
RRD Tool:

SiteScope Software--
I have not installed this software, but I have visited the web page, and read
all the details. This looks similar to some of the others, except that it
costs more (around 2k for the server and remote license(s)). It does offer
some cool options - server monitoring without the need for agent software,
immediate error notification via e-mail, pager, or SNMP trap, escalation of
notification(s), and service level monitoring. A lot of good stuff in here,
but I don't see much in regard to trend analysis. You can take a look at:

Taken from the SARGE Web Page: Sarge graphs the output from sar, the System
Activity Reporter. It reads a file containing the hosts to monitor, executes
rsh or remsh sar commands, captures the output, and graphs the results. It
currently generates graphs for Solaris 2.x, HP-UX 10.x and IRIX, except for
IRIX 6.5 (SGI changed the sar output format).
This looks really quite cool ... I will check this one out soon. Take a look


This by no means is a "comprehensive" list of performance reporting tools. There are many more out there.



----------------------------------------------------------------- Kelly Feagans Raytheon ITSS Sr. Systems Engineer Pasadena, CA ITSS Division, Raytheon Corp. 626-744-5464 -----------------------------------------------------------------

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