Munin is a great piece of software that we use at my company to track overall trends in disk usage, CPU and other system purposes. Now, we don’t have a ton of servers, so I’m not sure how munin scales for many machines, but it has been invaluable in troubleshooting problems and giving us historic context.
One thing we’ve started to do is to incorporate business specific metrics into munin. This is good because it ties the technical operations more tightly to the business, making us aware when there are issues.
Anything you can run a sql query or do a wget for, you can graph in munin. (Here’s something I wrote about writing munin plugins a year ago.)
I don’t think that munin is acceptable as a general purpose dashboard. I’d probably look at Google Analytics if I was web
drivingdriven (updated Feb 25 2012), and at statsmix if I needed to integrate a bunch of disparate services. But for bringing additional business awareness to a technical team, writing a few custom munin plugins that will graph key business metrics can be very useful.