Building a Monitoring Infrastructure with Nagios

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-02-20
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
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Build real-world, end-to-end network monitoring solutions with Nagios This is the definitive guide to building low-cost, enterprise-strength monitoring infrastructures with Nagios, the worldrs"s leading open source monitoring tool. Expert network monitoring specialist David Josephsen goes far beyond the basics, demonstrating how to use third-party tools and plug-ins to solveyourspecific problems inyourunique environment. Josephsen introduces Nagios "from the bottom up," showing how to plan for success and leverage todayrs"s most valuable monitoring best practices. Then, using practical examples, real directives, and working code, Josephsen presents detailed monitoring solutions for Windows, Unix, Linux, network equipment, and other platforms and devices. Yours"ll find thorough discussions of advanced topics, including the use of data visualization to solve complex monitoring problems. This is also the first Nagios book with comprehensive coverage of using Nagios Event Broker to transform and extend Nagios. Understand how Nagios works, in depth: the host and service paradigm, plug-ins, scheduling, and notification Configure Nagios successfully: config files, templates, timeperiods, contacts, hosts, services, escalations, dependencies, and more Streamline deployment with scripting templates, automated discovery, and Nagios GUI tools Use plug-ins and tools to systematically monitor the devices and platformsyouneed to monitor, the wayyouneed to monitor them Establish front-ends, visual dashboards, and management interfaces with MRTG and RRDTool Build new C-based Nagios Event Broker (NEB) modules, one step at a time Contains easy-to-understand code listings for Unix shells and Perl If yours"re responsible for systems monitoring infrastructure inanyorganization, large or small, this bookwill help you achieve the results you want --right from the start. Introduction Chapter 1 Best Practices Chapter 2 Nagios Theory Of Operations Chapter 3 Installing Nagios Chapter 4 Configuring Nagios Chapter 5 Easing Installation Chapter 6 Watching Chapter 7 Visualization Chapter 8 The Nagios Event Broker

Author Biography

Dave Josephsen is the senior systems administrator at DBG, where he maintains a geographically dispersed collection of server farms and occasionally puts paper in the printer. Winner of LISA 2004’s Best Paper Award and author of numerous articles, he enjoys writing about technology, but admittedly, has more fun solving interesting problems and getting his hands dirty with routers, firewalls, load balancers, and UNIX systems. His interests are too numerous to list; he is quite uncomfortable writing about himself in the third person, and he’s having so much fun he can’t believe he’s being paid. (But he’d prefer that you not mention that last bit to his boss or publishers.)

Table of Contents

Best Practices
Theory of Operations
Installing Nagios
Configuring Nagios
Bootstrapping the Configs
Nagios Event Broker Interface
Configure Options
nagios.cfg and cgi.cfg
Command-Line Options
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.


Introduction Introduction This is a book about untrustworthy machines. Machines in fact, which are every bit, as untrustworthy as they are critical to our well-being. But then I don't need to bore you with laundry lists of how prevalent computer systems have become, or horror stories about what can happen when they fail. If you picked up this book, then I'm sure you're well aware of the problems; layer upon layer of interdependent libraries hiding bugs in their abstraction, script kiddies, viruses, DDOS attacks, hardware failure, end-user error, back-hoe's, hurricanes, and on and on. It doesn't matter whether the root-cause is malicious, or accidental, your systems will fail, and when they do, only two things will save you from the downtime; redundancy, and monitoring systems. Do it right the first time In concept, monitoring systems are simple, an extra system, or collection of systems whose job it is to watch the other systems for problems. For example the monitoring system could periodically connect to a web server, to make sure it responds, and if not, send notifications to the administrators. And while it all sounds quite straightforward, monitoring systems have grown into expensive, complex pieces of software. Many now have agents larger than 500Mb, include proprietary scripting languages, and sport price tags above $60,000. When implemented correctly, a monitoring system can be your best friend. It can notify admins of glitches before they become crises, help architects tease out patterns corresponding to chronic interoperability issues, and give engineers detailed capacity planning info. A good monitoring system will help the security guys correlate interesting events, show the network operations center personnel where the bandwidth bottlenecks are, and provide management much needed high level visibility into the critical systems they bet their business on. A good monitoring system can help you uphold your service level agreement (SLA), and even take steps to solve problems without waking anyone up at all. Good monitoring systems save money, bring stability to complex environments, and make everyone happy. When done poorly however, the very same system can wreak havoc. Bad monitoring systems cry wolf at all hours of the night so often that nobody pays attention anymore, they install backdoors into your otherwise secure infrastructure, leech time and resources away from other projects, and congest network links with megabyte upon megabyte of health checks. Bad monitoring systems can really suck. Unfortunately, getting it right the first time isn't as easy as you might think, and in my experience, a bad monitoring system doesn't usually survive long enough to get fixed. Bad monitoring systems are just too much of a burden on everyone involved, including the systems being monitored. In this context, it's easy to see is why large corporations, and governments employ full-time monitoring specialists, and purchase software with six-figure price tags. They know how important it is to get it right the first time. Small to medium sized businesses and universities can have environments as complex or even more complex then large companies, but they obviously don't have the luxury of high-priced tools, and specialized expertise. Getting a well-built monitoring infrastructure in these environments, with their geographically dispersed campuses and satellite offices can be a challenge. But having spent the better part of the last 7 years building and maintaining monitoring systems, I'm here to tell you that not only is it possible to get it done right the first time, but you can do it for free, with a bit of elbow grease, some open source tools, and a pinch of imagination. Why Nagios? Nagios is in my opinion the best system and network monitori

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