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Date:	Mon, 02 Jun 2008 14:20:45 +0930
From:	Glen Turner <gdt@....id.au>
To:	Bill Fink <billfink@...dspring.com>
CC:	Alan Cox <alan@...rguk.ukuu.org.uk>,
	James Cammarata <jimi@...x.net>,
	Andrew Morton <akpm@...ux-foundation.org>,
	linux-kernel@...r.kernel.org,
	Linux Netdev List <netdev@...r.kernel.org>
Subject: Re: [PATCH] net: add ability to clear stats via ethtool - e1000/pcnet32


> Yes, every individual Linux network administrator can re-create the
> wheel by devising their own scripts, but it makes much more sense
> to me to implement a simple general kernel mechanism once that could
> be used generically, than to have hundreds (or thousands) of Linux
> network administrators each having to do it themselves (perhaps
> multiple times if they have a variety of types of systems and types
> of NICs).

Hi Bill,

If you pull the stats using a SNMP polling tool (torrus, cacti, mrtg)
then those package's graphs give nice "did this get better or worse"
output for debugging network issues.

I'd suggest you use one of those tools rather than writing your
own scripts.  Even if 99% of the time the graphs record zero errors,
knowing when those errors started is very valuable and well worth
the additional effort of configuring the tools over a command-line
or a kernel hack.

The more sophisticated tools can do alerting to Nagios should
a variable suddenly change its behaviour.

The Cisco/Juniper/everyone-else feature to run console stats
separately from SNMP stats is nice, but it's rather tuned to
the needs of router-heads and tends to fall apart when multiple
staff are debugging a fault.

If we do proceed with better command line stats then the number
of errored seconds and the worst errored second and its value
would be useful. These useful numbers can't be calculated by
the SNMP polling tools and it's hard to see how they could be
done in user-space.

Cheers, Glen

-- 
  Glen Turner
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