Thursday, 10 December 2009

Starting my first book review

I read a lot, that's clearly not the problem -- although sometimes I wish it was fewer technical documents and more fiction...

It somewhat surprised me when I was contacted out of the blue by someone from Packt Publishing to ask me to review a new book on Cacti: Cacti 0.8 Network Monitoring, by Dinanhkur Kundu and S. M. Ibrahim Lavlu (ISBN 13: 978-1-847195-96-8).

I love Cacti, it's clearly one of those network monitoring tools that are both easy to implement and easy to configure, and does a terrific job at aggregating historical information on what happened on machines. I had it implemented on roughly 200 systems with sometimes easily 40 graphs per system (switches, firewalls, etc), and although speed can be an issue, it is one that can be easily solved with Spine.

Back to the book: at first glance, it looks well written. I can't speak for its physical aspect since Packt won't ship to Canada, but it seems clear and to the point, with a good amount of background information on SNMP, which is often just what someone will be lacking when first trying out monitoring and Cacti. I'll write of my final opinion after reading the book in full though ;)

If there's at least one very good point: anyone could start with just this and a Ubuntu or Debian system and very quickly get rolling, since it mentions all the prerequisites of a Cacti install and the basic tricks on how to deal with installing, patching, and upgrading Cacti.

Expect my full report on it in a later post!

Update: I forgot to mention you can also check out this free chapter excerpt: