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2 <!DOCTYPE preface PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DocBook XML V4.4//EN"
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8 <preface id="introduction">
9   <title>Introduction</title>
10   <para>
11     Reconnoiter is a monitoring and trend analysis system designed to cope
12     with large architectures (thousands of machines and hundreds of thousands
13     of metrics).
14   </para>
15   <para>
16     Heavy focus is placed on decoupling the various components of the system
17     to allow for disjoint evolution of each component as issues arise or new
18     requirements are identified.  Resource monitoring, metric aggregation,
19     metric analysis and visualization are all cleanly separated.
20   </para>
21   <para>
22     The monitor, <command>noitd</command>, is written in C and designed to
23     support highly concurrent and rapid checks with an expected capability
24     of monitoring 100,000 services per minute (6 million checks per hour.) 
25     While it is hard to make writing checks "easy" in this high-performance
26     environment, efforts have been made to ensure that custom check scripting
27     does not require the expertise of writing highly-concurrent, event-driven
28     C code.  Instead, glue is provided via scripting languages such as Lua
29     that attempt to handle aspects of this high-concurrency environment
30     transparently.  As with any high-performance system, you can easily
31     introduce non-performant code and jeopardize performance system-wide.
32   </para>
33   <para>
34     The aggregator, <command>stratcond</command>, is also written in C and
35     responsible for the simple task of securely gathering data from all of the
36     distributed <command>noitd</command> instances and transforming them into
37     the data storage facility (currently PostgreSQL).
38   </para>
39   <para>
40     The data storage facility (PostgreSQL) holds all information about
41     individual checks, their statuses and the individual metrics associated
42     with them.  Automatic processes are in place that summarize the
43     numeric metrics into windowed averages for expedient graphing at
44     a variety of time window resolutions (hour, day, month, year, etc.).
45   </para>
46   <para>
47     The visualization interface (reconnoiter) draws from the data store
48     to visualize collected metrics and assist with monitoring, trending and
49     other visual analyses.  The visualization system is written in PHP.
50   </para>
51 </preface>
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