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I want to monitor RAM & CPU usage on several machines. Nagios is deployed on one.

What's the easiest way to perform these checks for machines that don't have the nagios server running on them?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

The easiest in my opinion is to install SNMP on the remote machines and run Cacti on them. Other ways would be to install Munin, however that requires a client/server configuration (easy to set up). I believe there is a way to do this with Nagios (don't quote me), however, it requires a set up like Munin where this is a client on the remote machines. Again, in my opinion, I like the snmp approach.

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Read subject, didn't actually read question. – jgoldschrafe Dec 14 '10 at 17:24
SNMP is pretty easy to set up. It only gets hard when you're trying to debug why it's not working. – jldugger Dec 14 '10 at 20:04
i've decided to go with snmp. didn't want to install another daemon on all clients. thanks. – damas Dec 15 '10 at 15:19

nagios has it build in - install nrpe on the remote server and call what you need
load disk space

for example (load using a generic service as template)

define service{
name                system-load-2cpu
service_description     System Load
check_command           nrpe_load!1!1!1!2!2!2
contact_groups          alerts_to_admin
use             generic-service
notification_options            u,c,r
register            0


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Install a nagios client/plugin on them and configure the server to collect data from the clients, of course. See the nagios manual for reference.

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it looks like a nightmare to do. lots of custom configuration, poking with inetd, etc. is there an easy way to do all this? – damas Dec 14 '10 at 17:01
Yes, like I said in my answer. Do you have to use Nagios? If so, then disregard this, however, Cacti can do all this for you. It's written in PHP and uses SNMP (almost no configuration required on the snmp client side). – drewrockshard Dec 14 '10 at 17:04
yes, unless cacti provides alerting. i'm already graphing data with ganglia, but the lack of alerting makes its value limited. – damas Dec 14 '10 at 17:14

If you have a Nagios server just setup the clients..

NRPE - Unix client / NSClient++ - Windows client

If you need help on configuration just ask.

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