End of Cacti 1.x plans

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while, but figured it was time…

I’m no longer working on an update to Weathermap to support Cacti 1.x

As I’ve said before, I don’t use Cacti or Weathermap myself anymore, so there isn’t really much motivation to work on it. It’s a job now, and I have another one of those!

It’s been 14 years, and while it was fun for the first 10 or so of those, it’s never really grown to be a collaborative project, mainly thousands of hours of my personal time (and some money too). There are a few exceptions for specific features along the way, but 5000 forum posts later, I don’t have a network ops job anymore, so it’s going to have to have some other motivation to keep going.

My immediate plans for Weathermap are to split it up into multiple repos, for at least the core map-drawing stuff, and the Cacti plugin, and possibly the editor. I will probably continue working slowly on the core, although I’m more interested in rewriting that in Javascript at this point. I’m not aware of  many issues with the core drawing and data collection, currently.

One of my design goals has been to separate out the Cacti-specific stuff for some time, to make it easier to integrate with other NMS tools (e.g. LibreNMS or Zabbix). That will also make it easier for someone with a vested interest to take on those parts for their platform, without having to deal with the others. The actual core map-drawing and data managing stuff is actually fine, and faster than ever! So someone else could take over the Cacti part – either starting from the 0.98 (“old”) version again, or carrying on with React. That said, there have been only a few outside code contributions to the project over the years. Hopefully that can change.

For anyone interested in taking on that Cacti support – it’s not as huge as it looks, once you take away the map-drawing! It’s managing entries in a few tables, plus some stuff specific to Cacti’s poller (“boost support”), and the datasource plugins that are only relevant to Cacti. A good starting point would probably be cigamit’s patches from a couple of years ago. Ask, and I will go digging in the change history for them.

I’d like to thank everyone who has supported Weathermap over the years – mostly within the Cacti community, but also outside (thanks UKFAST for hosting support in the last year, for example, and Groundwork Open Source all those years ago for a chance to meet with fellow projects). You were definitely in the “fun” part! 

Finally, I think I have enough confirmation now to make 0.98a an actual release version, too. So I will do that later today. That’s 0.98 with appropriate updates to work on PHP 7.

8 thoughts on “End of Cacti 1.x plans

  1. Mark Brugnoli-vinten

    Will help out with the Cacti integration if you can separate it out. May have questions though so be prepared 😉

    1. Howard Post author

      Oh, that would be fantastic, Mark! I’ll let you know when it’s all picked apart. Totally happy to fill in any gaps – if others are to do the same for other NMS, that documentation will need to exist anyway.

  2. sjthespian

    While I haven’t used Cacti for years either, thank you for all the work you have put into supporting it over the years! Now if you ever remove the graphite support, I might have to finally get off my butt and start writing code again. 🙂 Some day I need to look into the influxdb work that has been done so I can shut down my graphite server.

    1. Howard Post author

      I’ve never added graphite support, so this is a bit confusing! 🙂 In fact, I’ve wanted to add support for some newer data sources (zabbix, influx, graphite and maybe Prometheus) for a while. I think there are good applications for Weathermap outside networks, or integrating networks with application-layer metrics (e.g. queue sizes between microservices).

  3. Diego Barrios

    We`ve used Weathermap for many years. Excellent tool.

    Thank You very much for all the hard work to make it. Unfortunately we are not a development company with knowledge to help, but we thank you very much for everything.

  4. Andy

    Sad to see this come to an end. You did a great thing here Howard.
    You should be proud, and it releases your time for new projects 🙂

    Desperately hope you can split it apart so it will work nicely with Observium and LibeNMS?

    Would you be willing to let other dev teams like Observium’s and LibeNMS’s, take it and completely integrate it into those projects now? Not sure of your license model for that?

    Thanks again, and looking forward to hearing about your next project.

    1. Howard Post author

      The thing that’s ended (for now at least) is the Cacti support. I realized that it wasn’t any kind of priority for me, and stringing people along that it’s still coming wasn’t really helpful for anyone. So now we’re talking about breaking it all up into components. Hopefully Mark can take on the actual Cacti UI. I’d already separated out most of the poller stuff, with the intention of helping other integrations. That’s still a possibility. I’m still planning on working on the (slower moving, more interesting to me) core tool. The license is MIT for the github version though, so it can be integrated completely into something else if someone wanted to, and take on the ongoing work required to do that.


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