Friday, January 17, 2020

Netdata Cloud on FreeBSD: First Impressions

SanyalNET Labs: Netdata on FreeBSD 12-RELEASE
Netdata Cloud on FreeBSD 12-RELEASE

Though my primary network monitoring tool for Sanyalnet Labs continues to be Pandora FMS with eHorus, I have been coming across hobbyists running Netdata Cloud and decided to give it a shot on my Dell PowerEdge 2950 FreeBSD 12-Release hypervisor that hosts a bunch of QEMU, Oracle Virtualbox, SIMH and Hercules virtual machines.

Static screenshots of Netdata Cloud do not do justice to the dynamism seen on the web interface - all the dials, gauges and graphs update at intervals in the order of single seconds - it is visual candy just by itself!

The instructions for installing Netdata Cloud on FreeBSD are fortunately simple and clear. A minor hiccup was the auto-update tool failing to install complaining "sed: -I or -i may not be used with stdin". Not a big deal for me since I am usually not keen on auto-updaters for anything, though I reported the issue. I must mention here that the ever-alert Netdata Cloud community deserves kudos - my bug-report issue #7788 was seen and assigned almost as soon as I had posted it!

This note displayed during installation is important to get Netdata Cloud to start at boot:

Note: To explicitly enable netdata automatic start, set 'netdata_enable' to 'YES' in /etc/rc.conf

Other important messages included:

netdata by default listens on all IPs on port 19999,
so you can access it with:


To stop netdata run:

  service netdata stop

To start netdata run:

  service netdata start

At the end of installation, I was happy to see:

--- We are done! --- 

  |.-.   .-.   .-.   .-.   .-.   .  netdata                          .-.   .-
  |   '-'   '-'   '-'   '-'   '-'   is installed and running now!  -'   '-'  

  enjoy real-time performance and health monitoring...

The version installed at the time of writing this post was 1.19.0-336-nightly.

Following the getting-started guide was the next step. This is where the Cloud part of Netdata kicks in. It is free for all Netdata users.

As documented at Registration and Signing in, the cloud feature is activated by registering from the "Sign In" link in the local browser itself. The cloud feature ties together all systems running Netdata Cloud registered to the same account in a single web page available from a "Nodes" link at the top. Not only that, important dynamic data for all systems are visually available on the right side of the web interface. And the most awesome cloud feature: all of this is available on the web pages presented by every individual system running Netdata Cloud logged in to the same account!

Netdata Cloud: All Systems on Onc Screen

There are two themes to chose from at this time - a dark theme as in the first screenshot at the top of this post, and a white theme as in the second screenshot above.

All information is dynamically presented by Netdata. I was impressed by the fact that even in the text below, the graphs are dynamic and keep scrolling leftwards within the text:

SANYALnet Labs: Netdata Cloud Monitoring

The default set of sensors is pretty impressive too. The Linux installation even has a sensors for software interrupts and entropy pool size which is used for random number generation, though they are missing at this time from the FreeBSD installation.
Netdata Cloud - default Linux sensors
Netdata Cloud - default FreeBSD sensors

Overall, the first impression of Netdata Cloud: it impresses! I plan on deploying it on my numerous bare-metal and virtual machines to allow me to keep an eye on all my toys from one central web interface - actually any of the web interfaces presented by the monitored systems thanks to the Cloud feature.

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