Sunday, November 15, 2009

sar graphical output - do you use sag?

In the process of trying to "clean house", one of the hiccups we've run into is "sag", which is used to generate graphical output from "sar" data. (If you don't use "sar" or "sag", you can stop reading now.)

sag generates Tek 4014 mode output, which can (through some contortions) be viewed either in xterm, or converted (using "posttek") to PostScript. The results are actually fairly unpleasant to work with, and rather ugly, as the results are generated through some rather ugly abuse of "graph" and "plot".

I'd like to eliminate sag altogether, because I believe far superior alternatives exist. One example is kSar, which is a Java application which generates a variety of graphs and has both interactive and scripted operation. (It can also process sar output from the Sysstat package used on Linux, or AIX which is a plus.) It can generate output in a variety of useful formats as well, making it useful in generation of web-based reports, etc.

If you use sag, and would be impacted by its absence, I would really like to know. I am operating on the belief that there are very few, if any, of you out there -- tell me otherwise if this case, please!

Specifically, are you using sag in programs or scripts? What does sag offer for you that kSar lacks? (Or would the transition to kSar otherwise be painful for some reason?)

Note that for the purposes of this discussion we can assume that I'd be making kSar available as an IPS package via the SFW consolidation, and that it can process sar data from any version of Solaris going all the way back to at least Solaris 2.6 (and likely all the way back to Solaris 2.0 or 2.1.)

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