Your servers won’t tell you when they’re starting to feel sick. You have to keep a close eye on them for signs of poor health. One good way to do that is with SysUsage. This system monitoring and reporting tool, whose latest version came out this week, generates historical graph views of system activities using the sar utility from the sysstat package and system commands, giving you the information you need for performance analysis, troubleshooting, and resource management.
SysUsage is easy to install, configure, and use. Once it’s set up, point your browser at http://yoursystem/sysusage/ and you’ll see as much information as you can handle – or if not, you can add to the software via its plugin menu.
Creator Gilles Darold began building SysUsage in his spare time in 2003. For the last 10 years, he has been a network and system administrator for French company Group SAMSE, a big organization with 4,500 employees and 250 Linux servers. “In my work I use all of the available tools for system and network monitoring, but they are all incomplete and/or painful. Take Nagios, for example, which we use. It’s perfect for uptime monitoring, but if you want to monitor your systems’ health it’s really a hassle. SysUsage is simpler, more pragmatic, and SysUsage can even make threshold report to Nagios on everything it monitors.
“Another problem with using a complex, centralized tool occurs when you want to keep track of WAN systems and the link is down. You can lose the remote server health monitoring. With some applications, if you lose your central monitoring server, you’ve lost all your history. With SysUsage each monitored server is responsible for its own reports, and you don’t need a central server to display them – just a web browser.”
In addition to hosting the project on SourceForge.net, he also lists it at freshmeat.net, “where users can subscribe to receive notifications about new releases of software. This is a known lack in SourceForge.”
While SysUsage is a mature package, Darold says the application will evolve as Linux evolves. He also says the next upcoming release will concentrate on plugin development, to give users a strong plugin database. “I can always use help, not so much in SysUsage development itself, as Perl is like my native language, but with features requests and plugins. The future of this software is more in the plugin community than in major code development.” The best way to get in touch is to drop a line to Darold via the contact link on the project’s home page.