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<preface id="introduction">
<title>Introduction</title>
<para>
Reconnoiter is a monitoring and trend analysis system designed to cope
with large architectures (thousands of machines and hundreds of thousands
of metrics).
</para>
<para>
Heavy focus is placed on decoupling the various components of the system
to allow for disjoint evolution of each component as issues arise or new
requirements are identified. Resource monitoring, metric aggregation,
metric analysis and visualization are all cleanly separated.
</para>
<para>
The monitor, <command>noitd</command>, is written in C and designed to
support highly concurrent and rapid checks with an expected capability
of monitoring 100,000 services per minute (6 million checks per hour.)
While it is hard to make writing checks "easy" in this high-performance
environment, efforts have been made to ensure that custom check scripting
does not require the expertise of writing highly-concurrent, event-driven
C code. Instead, glue is provided via scripting languages such as Lua
that attempt to handle aspects of this high-concurrency environment
transparently. As with any high-performance system, you can easily
introduce non-performant code and jeopardize performance system-wide.
</para>
<para>
The aggregator, <command>stratcond</command>, is also written in C and
responsible for the simple task of securely gathering data from all of the
distributed <command>noitd</command> instances and transforming them into
the data storage facility (currently PostgreSQL).
</para>
<para>
The data storage facility (PostgreSQL) holds all information about
individual checks, their statuses and the individual metrics associated
with them. Automatic processes are in place that summarize the
numeric metrics into windowed averages for expedient graphing at
a variety of time window resolutions (hour, day, month, year, etc.).
</para>
<para>
The visualization interface (reconnoiter) draws from the data store
to visualize collected metrics and assist with monitoring, trending and
other visual analyses. The visualization system is written in PHP.
</para>
</preface>
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