<http://rrdtool.vandenbogaerdt.nl/process.php> - By Alex van den Bogaerdt. This article explained PDP in a very detailed and clear way, however, it does not explain the ``normalization process'' in its ``Normalize interval'' section in the right way( as opposed to the official version I confirmed with @oetiker himself). The flaw can be easily seen in the bar charts, discussed in the ``Calculation logics'' section.
<https://oss.oetiker.ch/rrdtool/doc/rrdcreate.en.html> - This one is on the official site. Actually it's the manual page for ``rrdcreate'', and it reveals what's under the hood with regard to PDP calculation in its ``The HEARTBEAT and the STEP'' section.
The text graph by Don Baarda provides a vivid explanation on how UNKOWN data are produced and how heartbeat value can influence in the sampling. Unfortunately, it fails to give a clear method by which PDPs are calculated.
<https://oss.oetiker.ch/rrdtool/tut/rrdtutorial.en.html> - Another detailed official tutorial by Alex van den Bogaerdt. Similarly, it only provides examples with data evenly and exactly distributed according to the step set.
If you don't like doing experiments or care about the inner mechanics that much, you can just stop here and give more attention to more practical topics like graph exports or command manual. But if you are the sort of people like me who just care as much about the calculation logics, please read on.
To provide an ASCII-friendly explanation, I will explain both versions with the char below instead of a real image.
| | (v1) | _______ (v4) (v5) | | | (v3) ____________ | | | ______________| || | | | | | || || | | | | | || || | | | | (v2) | || || | | | |________| || || | ---------------------------------------------> 0 1 3 7 17 20 21
The X axis means time slots( each second denotes one slot) and the Y axis means the value.
Let's make everything a little clearer:
- The step is 5
- each PDP gets updated only if a value arrives at or after the last slot of the PDP, for instance, the last slot of the PDP from 16 to 20 is 20
- The heartbeat is 20, so the samples during the entire 7-17 period is not discarded
- At second 3, the first value comes in as v1, and so on
What does that mean? Basically, if all the known (as opposed to an unknown value) data make up at least 50% of all slots during a period, then a PDP is calculated from them.
This version seems to go well until we reach the bar chart part.
According to the ASCII bar chart, we have the following results:
From second 1 on, the PDP of each period( 1-5,6-10, ...) is computed by averaging all the values within it.
So: - the PDP from 1 to 5 is (v1*3+v2*2)/5
- the PDP from 6 to 10 is (v2*2+v3*3)/5
- the PDP from 11 to 15 is (v3*5)/5, since all the values in slots 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 are the same, which is v3
- the PDP from 1 to 5 is (v1*3+v2*2)/5
- the PDPs from 6 to 10 and 11 to 15 are the SAME, which is (v2*2+v3*8)
Why is that?
Because the difference between the official version and Bogaerdt version stems from the way they do the calculation for PDP(6-10) and PDP(11-15).
Let's discuss this in more detail using the above bar chart.
PDPs are always computed individually no matter how values arrive.
For example, the value at slot 17 comes after the last slot of PDP(11-15). Also, the immediate previous value before slot 17 is at 7. All the slots from 7 to 17 are assigned v3. Since each PDP is computed individually, PDP(6-10) is (v2*2+v3*3)/5 while the PDP(11-15) is (v3*5)/5.
The official version
PDPs are always computed in terms of the steps which the next update spans, be it 1 step, 2 steps or n steps; in other words, PDPs may be computed together.
For example, the update at slot 17 spans PDP(6-10) and PDP(11-15) because the immediate previous value is at 7 and 7 is within 6 and 10 , and 17 is after 15. PDP(1-5) and PDP(16-20) are not included since the update at slot 7 has already triggered the calculation for PDP(1-5) and the update at slot 17 comes before the last slot of PDP(16-20) which is 20.
Let's get our hands dirty with some commands
rrdtool create target.rrd --start 1000000000 --step 5 DS:mem:GAUGE:20:0:100 RRA:AVERAGE:0.5:1:10 rrdtool update target.rrd 1000000003:8 1000000006:1 1000000017:6 \ 1000000020:7 1000000021:7 1000000022:4 \ 1000000023:3 1000000036:1 1000000037:2 \ 1000000038:3 1000000039:3 1000000042:5 rrdtool fetch target.rrd AVERAGE --start 1000000000 --end 1000000045
Below is the output of the commands above:
1000000005: 5.2000000000e+00 1000000010: 5.5000000000e+00 1000000015: 5.5000000000e+00 1000000020: 6.6000000000e+00 1000000025: 1.7333333333e+00 1000000030: 1.7333333333e+00 1000000035: 1.7333333333e+00 1000000040: 2.8000000000e+00 1000000045: nan 1000000050: nan
NOTE: 1000000005 means the PDP from 1000000001 to 1000000005, and so on. For concision and readability, we use only the last two digits, so 05 denotes 1000000005. We choose the type of the data source as gauge because original values will be treated as rates, no additional transformation is needed, see this article <http://rrdtool.vandenbogaerdt.nl/process.php> for detail.
05: 5.2 = (8*3+1*2)/5
10: 5.5 = (1*1+6*9)/10
15: the same as the previous one
20: 6.6 = (6*2+7*3)/5
25: 1.73333 = (7+4+3+1*12)/15
45: nan, as the last value is at 42,which does not trigger the calculation for PDP(41-45)
50: nan, why this unknown PDP is shown is explained in this article <https://oss.oetiker.ch/rrdtool/tut/rrdtutorial.en.html>