You are a system administrator, managing a set of servers. As a part of your job, you need to ensure that all the servers are up and running 24X7, they are resources are utilized optimally. And that no single server is overloaded or consuming huge memory or some similar abnormal behavior over a time period. Obviously, you will be needing a monitoring tool. Munin is one such tool, which helps system administrators to keep track of system resources.

Munin Architecture

Munin derives its name from mythology. It means memory. This monitoring software memorizes what it sees and hence the name.

This monitoring tool uses Master-node architecture. Master periodically pulls data from all the configured nodes and processes it to create graphical dashboards.

Munin Architecture
Munin Architecture – Source:

One of the advantages of Munin is its vast plugin eco-system. There are several hundred plugins available, which make it a powerful monitoring system. Munin itself uses RRDTool, which is written in Perl, whereas plugins could be written in any language. This tool is available on various distros such as Debian, Ubuntu, and CentOS.

Munin graph depicting memory usage over a week
Once data is collected from nodes, it is processed by the master and various graphs are made available on the dashboard. One of the components is – Munin-limits – which monitors the values between configured “ok”, “warn” and “crit” levels and can create a notification for the administrators.

Alternate Server Monitoring Tools

Several alternatives are available.

  • Nagios
  • NewRelic
  • Netdata
  • Zabbix

Considering that most of the deployments are in the cloud these days, you may want to use the monitoring tools provided by your cloud providers:

  • AWS Cloudwatch
  • Azure Monitor
  • Google Cloud – Stackdriver monitoring

Related Links

Related Keywords

Server Monitoring, AWS Cloudwatch, Azure Monitor, Nagios, NewRelic


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