OSS network monitoring
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Thread: OSS network monitoring

  1. #1
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
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    OSS network monitoring

    Since we don't have our new networking forum yet, I'll post this here. (well, I didn't see it yet anyway)

    Ok, I've just brought up a new network and now I'm thinking bout a solution to monitor all of the sites and services. In the past, I have used numera's network monitor... but I don't really like it and it doesn't do everything that I'd want.

    I want to build my own solution and be able to build on it as I need.

    I'm thinking Nagios for the network link status and alerting. I will expand this later to include various servers and their services.

    Then I'm going between MRTG and Cacti for the bandwith monitoring (netflow). I may setup both to see how I like it.

    We're talking ~15 sites linked via partial star/partial mesh topology, mostly checkpoint and cisco gear (firewalls, routers, switches, callmanager+unity). The primary WAN links range from 10Mb to 100Mb. The LAN links range from 100Mb to 1000Mb. I will be monitoring both Windows and Linux servers. Services may include things such as vpn, ssh, active directory, dns, dhcp, http(s), smtp, file/print, and even specialized services that may just listen on a nonstandard ports that common only to my environment.

    Right now, I've allocated a server with dual 3.2ghz processors, 2gb ram and 2 80Gig SATA drives setup in a RAID1 array. I can increase memory if needed, and I have access to more network storage if needed.

    I think I'm going to go with OpenSuSE as the OS. I was initally going to use Fedora7, but their latest release is only on DVD and unfortunately, my server has no DVD drive and I don't feel like messing with it in a rackmount.

    Can anyone recommend any other *nix/open source solution that may be of interest to me? Or, toss out some ideas that you'd like to see in your network monitoring solution or features that I may not have thought about?
    I've been browsing around wiki and I've found some REALLY cool projects.

    My initial goal is to just get the network monitoring/alerting up and running as well as traffic stats/graphing. Then I'll slowly add on the other services.
    Last edited by phishphreek; August 9th, 2007 at 02:23 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Sounds like your on the right track so far..

    At the ISP I worked at, we used Solarwinds and Whats Up Gold to monitor our servers/services links etc...but thats definitely not open sournce, and pretty expensive software.

    I think you have all the basics covered as far as monitoring a network and server environment goes.

    Health of servers(HD Space, Memory, LAN Link Utilization, services status, host name etc)
    Network informatoin(Max throughput capacity, current throughput, highest throughput, packet loss, response time, etc etc).
    =

  3. #3
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
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    I've evaluated Solarwinds and I really liked it. I just had Whats Up Gold recommeneded to me the other day too. Thanks for your input.

    I can get authorization to get one or both of those services. It doesn't have to be OSS... I just want it to be.
    Quitmzilla is a firefox extension that gives you stats on how long you have quit smoking, how much money you\'ve saved, how much you haven\'t smoked and recent milestones. Very helpful for people who quit smoking and used to smoke at their computers... Helps out with the urges.

  4. #4
    http://www.jffnms.org

    I tried it a while back (2 years), can't remember while I never started using it.

  5. #5
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
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    Why didn't you like it?

    I've had many of projects that I've started but never finished due to lack of time. But, is it ever worth looking at?
    Quitmzilla is a firefox extension that gives you stats on how long you have quit smoking, how much money you\'ve saved, how much you haven\'t smoked and recent milestones. Very helpful for people who quit smoking and used to smoke at their computers... Helps out with the urges.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Spyrus's Avatar
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    Not sure if this project would interest you or not. Its a type of monitoring and really helped recently when i went and updated all the switches in my facility for documentation purposes.

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/switchmap/
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by phishphreek
    Why didn't you like it?

    I've had many of projects that I've started but never finished due to lack of time. But, is it ever worth looking at?
    Actually I've never worried about bandwidth and performance, because then you have to look at it. I like my tools simple like legos for toddlers, so I use Argus which is a simple up or down tool.

    http://argus.tcp4me.com/

    I like Nagios too, but I've been using Argus much longer.

  8. #8
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    It is not open source
    but we use from paessler.com prtg and ipcheck
    just click and play and the money is peanuts
    it took 20 minutes to set up each, OSS can't beat that

    you can also use ntop on a mirror of your switch
    just be sure that your switch can hold on
    keep a watch on the CPU of your switch when you put it on
    if you hear that everything is going slower than it can't
    and you will have to choose some ports of your switch
    that are most important

    http://ekz.skynetblogs.be

  9. #9
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
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    ekz: Thanks for the tip. Wow... 20 minutes? I'll have to take a look at it.

    I spent ALL of Friday, Saturay and Sunday getting Nagios and Cacti up and running. Mind you, I've never really used either of these products and I had a lot of planning/learning to do. I think that 3 days work isn't too bad to get something like this up and running. I've had people tell me that it was going to take me at least a month to get it all up and going. Now I'm going back and setting up all the actual service checks... which I expect to take another week or so doing a little here and there on important services... I don't care much about dumb devices like printers at this time.

    Intially, I just wanted to get an up/down of all the hosts and monitor a few services. Now I want to monitor much more. One thing that I DON'T like is that the host names are case sensitive in Nagios... so I'm constantly getting config errors. But, I'm getting much better. I have 125 devices being monitored right now... from routers, switches, servers, printers, etc. I think there is only 300 or so services being monitored at this time... I have a lot of work to do. haha I've actually found a couple of problems that I didn't know about while setting this up. I thought that was kinda cool even though it creates more work.

    However, my network is rather complicated and I'm going to have to setup a distributed monitor. (Thanks for vmware!) Overall though, it is going pretty smoothely. I like how it's working even if it is a bit complicated. The documentation is pretty decent and I don't mind reading.

    Now I might be able to finally setup a printer accounting application too. I've been wanting to do that for a while too. Might as well do it now.

    I doing all of this in my "free" or personal time to make my life easier. I've never had this capability before... so it's going to be VERY nice to KNOW what my status is when I walk in the door in the morning and not just *hope* that everything is fine.
    Last edited by phishphreek; August 14th, 2007 at 12:59 PM.
    Quitmzilla is a firefox extension that gives you stats on how long you have quit smoking, how much money you\'ve saved, how much you haven\'t smoked and recent milestones. Very helpful for people who quit smoking and used to smoke at their computers... Helps out with the urges.

  10. #10
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    oreon

    the centreon(formerly oreon) is a good front end for nagios written in php.

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