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AXIGEN Reporting Service Configuration and Integration with Cacti

This extensive article describes in full details how to properly configure the AXIGEN reporting service, including the steps for adding AXIGEN activity charts, configuring the SNMP service and integrating the AXIGEN reports within the Cacti network graphing solution.

As with all modern email servers, AXIGEN also provides graphical reporting charts to monitor the server’s health and display its status in a quick fashion. This feature has been designed to provide servers administrators with great flexibility and an extensive range of parameters to monitor. For this purpose, a graphical representation offers a faster and more detailed view of what exactly is going on with the services provided by the AXIGEN Mail Server.

Another alternative would be using complicated command-line tools and commands to search for the needed information, a time consuming action that would also take a lot of server resources that could otherwise be redirected to other tasks. In this respect, the reporting feature does not cause a visible overhead since it is based on data that is recorded in real-time at an user adjustable interval, and not on processing log files. It offers access to the information in a fine-grained fashion, with a low resource usage.

By reading this article, you will find out how to make best use of the AXIGEN reporting service, including the steps for adding AXIGEN performance charts, configuring SNMP parameters and integrating the AXIGEN Mail Server reports within the Cacti network graphing solution.

1. Reporting Configurations based on Frequently Used Parameters

1.1 Enabling the AXIGEN Reporting Service

First, you need to enable the Reporting service using the Web Administration interface (WebAdmin):

* Login to the WebAdmin interface and click on the Services drop-down menu;

* Click on the Services Management tab at the top;

* Locate the Reporting service in the displayed list of AXIGEN running services and click on its corresponding START button.

1.2 Chart Configuration Steps

Now that the Reporting service is enabled, you can further navigate to the Status &Monitoring tab in WebAdmin and configure your first chart:

* Click on the Status & Monitoring drop-down menu;

* Click on the Charts tab.

When first viewing the Charts page, a list of pre-configured charts and their corresponding groups will be displayed. These charts are automatically created by AXIGEN and record information based on common parameters that frequently interest server administrators, such as the system load average, the quantity of messages stored in the queue or number of HTTP user messages read, SMTP inbound messages, SMTP outbound total connections, IMAP total connections, POP3 total connections and much more. Clicking on one of the Chart Groups on the left will result in displaying all the charts assigned to that specific group and enable you to edit or delete them. As a note, these pre-made charts may not meet every administrator's requirements right from the beginning, but they can be used as a starting point for creating additional ones, of great help for sysadmins.

1.2.1 Adding Charts in AXIGEN:

As previously explained, the AXIGEN reporting service can be configured to monitor various parameters of interest. As a hands-on example, the following charts will detail the quantity of messages processed by the SpamAssassinBundled filter, depending on their status.

Example no. 1 – Defining a chart that displays the quantity of messages passing the SpamAssassinBundled filter with the verdict of Spam:

– Login to the WebAdmin interface;

– Click on the Status & Monitoring drop-down menu;

– Click the Charts link;

– Click the Add chart button;

– Type the name of the new chart group: Spam, in this example;

– In the Chart Name field, type the name of the chart to be created (in our case Spam_messages);

– Within the Data Aggregation section, select the Built-in Filter: SpamAssassinBundled Match parameter to collect.

– As Aggregation function, select Total;

– As Aggregation interval select by the minute;

– Click the Save configuration button at the bottom to save the newly-introduced data;

– Click the OK button from the warning message box to complete the creation of the chart; since this is a new chart, there is no data stored regarding the specified parameter.

Please note that any changes to a chart's data recording settings will lead to a reset of the chart's information.

1.2.2 Chart Display Settings

In the Predefined Styles section, you can use different chart types, filling and outlining colors for configuring the graph details of the chart. Additionally, a live preview of the current chart is available.

2. How Chart Information Is Collected & Processed
Now we will detail how the AXIGEN Mail Server collects and processes chart data and how various settings can influence the display of the charts. This will help you in the process of understanding and reading the defined charts, and further help in the process of creating new charts based on the available parameters.

When the sample interval is reached (default: once every minute), AXIGEN performs the following operations:

– Increases or decreases all the SNMP counters based on the read parameter information;

– Stores all the parameter information based on which charts can be created;

– The AXIGEN configuration file is checked for defined charts;

– After all the defined charts are inventoried. The remaining parameter data that does not correspond to a defined chart is discarded;

– If the aggregation interval is reached, the aggregation function is applied on the previously recorded values of the remaining parameters. The resulted value is written in the defined chart's database used for displaying charts;

– If the aggregation interval is not reached, then the recorded values of the parameters are stored in memory with each sample interval until the aggregation interval is reached.

For more information on configuring the AXIGEN Reporting Service, including the steps for setting the SNMP service and integrating the AXIGEN reports within the Cacti network graphing solution, please visit: http://www.axigen.com/articles/axigen-reporting-service-integration-with-cacti_38.html

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