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.

18 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 😉

    Reply
    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.

      Reply
  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.

    Reply
    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).

      Reply
  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.

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
    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.

      Reply
  5. Jan

    How will tell my boss, there are any of these coloful arrows now anymore.. 😀 No really. Thanks a lot for this piece of software. Helped me a lot over the years!

    Reply
  6. Lior

    Hello Howard

    We have been using cacti since its came out and used your weather map plugin since it came out,
    they are both integrated into our network monitoring system that We can’t see it without them.
    And we must say a BIG thank you to your for what you have done and archived with this plugin.
    THANK YOU !

    However I have postponed our upgrade or our cacti servers to version 1.X.X Since it came out
    due to the fact that your plugin didn’t work with it and I have been waiting to you to finish
    that support for it. (you wrote august 2019 somewhere).
    Now that you have stopped your development of the project I really don’t know what to do?
    From one side I want to upgrade to cacti 1.x.x due to the new features it has, but on the other hand
    I can’t lose the weather maps since they are widely in use and are a must for us.

    Due to this and the fact that We are not the only ones in this position
    I have few questions I want to ask you :
    1. Is there a way that you can make the 0.98/0.98a maps work under the cacti 1.x.x NOT as a plugin
    but as a stand alone , this way we can still see and use the maps we already have under the 1.x.x?
    2. make the 0.98/0.98a editor work as a stand alone and just change the code so it can access the new cacti 1.x.x DB for link/graph selections.
    3. can you provide me with ideas/code/list of TO DO’s/general instructions on how to make it work myself ?

    Again thank you for the wonderful work you have done over the past years !! 🙂

    I hope you would one day complete this project for us cacti users 😉

    Lior

    Reply
    1. Howard Post author

      You have always been able to do this. Weathermap started out in 2005 with no Cacti plugin at all 🙂 You can just use the command-line tool, and cron.

      So it’d be something like:

      */5 * * * * cacti php /var/www/html/cacti/plugins/weathermap –config /var/www/html/cacti/plugins/weathermap/configs/map1.conf

      in /etc/crontab. And either make sure that your maps include a full path for OUTPUTFILE and HTMLOUTPUTFILE, or add –output and –html-output to the command-line above, also.

      If you have a lot of maps, you might want to have a shell script to run them all in sequence, instead. Just put that shell script in the crontab entry, instead of weathermap.

      You would need to have the output go somewhere else though, it won’t appear in the Cacti user interface. That’s what the plugin did. You might want to look at the External Pages (aka Superlinks) feature in Cacti to help you here.

      As far as I know, the Editor should be able to find data in Cacti 1.x exactly the same.

      Reply
      1. Lior

        Thank you for your answers, i would create a virtual server with cacti 1.x.y and weather map
        and see ihow it works.

        one question , does the maps thumbnails web page is created by the cacti plugin part of
        weather map or the standalone part ?
        I can’t seem to find anything about it.?
        (can you point me please to the right direction? How to create this thumbnail html page?)
        thank you

        Reply
          1. Lior

            Ok I have looked in the link you sent me and I have an idea on how to create the thumbnails .

            So i’m left with one question , would the weather map standalone script create
            the proper HTML page of the map with all the links active using POINT/Hover/Click ON with the mouse and see the graphs in the small preview window when hovering over a link or jump to the map?

            thank you

          2. Lior

            Ignore my last question , I just read the html part of –htmloutput
            I’ll check it and see if it works.

            thank you

  7. Dengi

    I used PHP-Weathermap for 10 years with Cacti. It’s a great tool.
    Now it works on standalone mode with Cacti 1.0, It’s work fine.
    Anyway, thank you for your great job.
    —From China

    Reply

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