Monday, October 25, 2010


The open source Ganglia Monitoring System is widely used to monitor high-performance computing systems such as clusters and Grids. The recent addition of sFlow support makes Ganglia an attractive option for monitoring servers in cloud computing environments (see Cloud-scale performance monitoring).

The diagram shows the elements of the solution. Each server sends sFlow to the Ganglia gmond process which builds an in-memory database containing the server statistics. The Ganglia gmetad process periodically queries the gmond database and updates trend charts that are made available through a web interface. The sFlow server performance data seamlessly integrates with Ganglia since the standard sFlow server metrics are based on Ganglia's core set of metrics (see sFlow Host Structures).

The Host sFlow agent is a free, open source sFlow implementation. The Host sFlow agent reports on the performance of physical and virtual servers and currently supports Linux and Windows servers as well as the XenServer, Xen/XCP, KVM and libvirt virtualization platforms.

Note: To try out Ganglia's sFlow reporting, you will need to download and compile Ganglia from sources since the feature is currently in the development branch (see

The following entry in the gmond configuration file (/etc/gmond.conf) opens a port to receive sFlow data:

/* sFlow channel */
udp_recv_channel {
  port = 6343

The integration of network, system and application monitoring (see sFlow Host Structures) makes sFlow ideally suited for converged infrastructure monitoring. Using a single multi-vendor standard for both network and system performance monitoring reduces complexity and provides the integrated view of performance needed for effective management (see Management silos).

Jul. 7, 2011 Update: The latest Ganglia release now includes sFlow support, see Ganglia 3.2 released.

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