Network consultants and value-added resellers (VARs) can use the open source network monitoring tool Nagios to stop problems before they reach end users. VARs will learn about the usefulness, the architecture and the configuration of Nagios. Monitoring networks with open source tools help resellers protect their customers' networks quickly, efficiently and, most important of all, cheaply.
Network monitoring with Nagios, part one
Nagios is an open source network monitoring tool that enables you to monitor a large number of machines and services to proactively address problems before anyone else suffers from them. Nagios is free, powerful and flexible. It can be tricky to learn and implement, but can reduce enormously the amount of time required to keep track of how an organization's IT infrastructure is performing. An automated tool that can help in system administration can be extremely helpful. These tools go by the generic name of network management software, and all share the capability to:
- Keep track of all the services and machines running in the infrastructure
- Raise alerts before small problems become large ones
- Run from a central location to reduce the need to physically go to each machine
- Provide a visual representation of system-wide status, outstanding problems, etc.
Learn more about Nagios, its architecture and what it can offer VARs charged with monitoring their customers' networks.
Network monitoring with Nagios, part two
Configuration plays a large role in successful Nagios operation. The configuration mechanics are conceptually quite straightforward, but require attention to detail. Essentially, a hierarchy of hosts and services are defined, with options defined for what check should be run and what should be done after a failed check.
Like all management tools, Nagios is fairly complex to set up and requires ongoing tuning to ensure that the level of information provided is right -- neither too much detail nor too little information.
Get more information on configuring Nagios, including a list of recommendations to get the most out of a Nagios implementation.
This was first published in June 2007