Adding Devices using a Template

Many different statistics can be collected and monitored by OverTime. Often the type of device being monitored determines what information should be collected. The user may wish to collect interface traffic I/O for most devices selected, disk space available for Sun servers, VLAN, ATM or Frame Relay statistics for some kinds of routers and/or your own specific statistics important to your organisation. Template Collections allows this kind of configuration to be built into OverTime saving time and effort as well as providing consistency to collected data.


Collection definitions are defined in a Template File. For OverTime to determine what statistics need to be collected for each device, the Templates File is read every time an Add/Update operation is performed and the SNMP sysObjectID for each selected device is also obtained. The Template File consists of 1 or more collection definitions. Each collection definition has a partial or complete system Object ID (sysObjectID). More general definitions are specified first in the Template File followed by more specific definitions. A definition will be considered if the sysObjectID for the definition is a better match to the device's sysObjectID than any preceding definition in the Template File. This has a user controllable accumulative effect on what is to be collected. Less device specific collections are defined first in the Template File with more general sysObjectIDs. More specific collections may then follow with more specific sysObjectIDs.

A definition.

Each definition firstly identifies the sysObjectID to be compared to the device. Included in the definition will be variables for the title of the graph, the Y-Axis of the graph, at least one SNMP object ID, the legend for each instance encountered and a test for each instance being "online". Other variables including the maximum and minimum values that should be expected from the collection, the threshold that should be drawn in the OverTime graph and some text to print when each definition is used during an update.

A Template File Example:

The Template File, by default, is called "templates.xml", is an XML file and lives with the other OverTime configuration files in the cfgs directory. The first definition in the Templates File may well be to collect interface I/O traffic statistics. The sysObjectID configured for this definition might be . (or ). This abbreviated sysObjectID will then match every device's SNMP sysObjectID and hence this definition will try to be used by every device added to OverTime. The next definition may be specific to Cisco equipment so the definition's sysObectID might be . (or ). As this is a more longer and more specific sysObjectID than the previous ., it will be checked and used by the device if the device's sysObjectID commences with . This definition might be configured to add CiscoAvgBusy5 CPU utilisation statistics. Subsequent definitions with even more specific sysObjectIDs may also be defined and then considered by OverTime. OverTime will configure interface I/O collections as well as the CiscoAvgBusy5 collection if the device's sysObjectID is .


The XML Template File has the following elements and element attributes:


This is the first element that must be specified. Its corresponding closing element must be the last element in the Template file.


This element signifies a new definition. Its value is a complete or partial sysObjectID.


This element signifies the beginning of a group of 1 or more graphs. Its value is the title to be used by the group. It can have an attribute of "all" (<group all="1">) that would cause all discovered instances for this device to be shown on the one graph. If this attribute is not set to "1" or not given, then each instance is shown on a separate graph.


This element signifies the beginning of a graph. Its value is the Y-Axis label.


This element specifies the SNMP Object ID to be collected as its value and has several attributes. An Object ID of ".0" is used to specify that ifInOctets, IfOutOctets, IfInErrors and IfOutErrors are to be collected.


Has a default value of "1". If the value is set to "0" then this OID will not be collected or displayed if this definition is used. Setting the value to "0" can exclude this OID that may have been included by less specific definitions. Similarly, even though the value has been set to "1" the OID may still not be collected or shown if later definitions have the exact same OID with include set to "0".


Has a default value of "" which means there is no test to check that a particular SNMP instance is active. Set a value of an OID that can be used to determine if each SNMP instance for this MIB should be included or not.


Has a default value of "". This is the value that the result of collecting the activetest OID for each instance at the time of adding must match for the corresponding instance to be included.


Has a default value of "". This is the maximum value that should be ever seen by OverTime when collecting data for this MIB. Values greater than upperlimit will be considered invalid.


Has a default value of "". This is the minimum value that should be ever seen by OverTime when collecting data for this MIB. Values less than lowerlimit will be considered invalid.


Has a default value of "" which means there is no threshold. This is the value at which a threshold line should be drawn on the graph.


Has a default value of "". This is the text used to announce to the user that an instance of this MIB will be included in OverTime.


Has a default value of "". This is typically an OID that can be used to name this particular instance of the MIB.


Has a default value of "". This is MIB's name. If the MIB is NOT loaded in NetView then this name will be used for the collections. In this case be careful NOT to specify a name that is already used like ifInOctets!

Comments can be placed throughout the Template File. Comments commence with the characters "<!--" and terminate with the characters "-->". A Template File can provide a great deal of customization and flexibility to OverTime.


Here is a simple Template file:


<!-- Templates for OverTime Collections and graphs -->


<!-- The first sysObject ID is a catch all - every device will match this -->


<group>Title for Interface Traffic







<!-- HP Servers Disk Space -->


<group>Graph of Disk Space Free


<!-- Ignore default IO collections -->

<mib include="0" >.0


<mib include="1"


name = "fileSystemBavail"





announce="Disk %s is available so add it in"