Device Management in Zenoss Core Network and System Monitoring: Part 1

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A step-by-step guide to configuring, using, and adapting this free Open Source network monitoring system - with a Foreword by Mark R. Hinkle, VP of Community Zenoss Inc.

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by | November 2009 | Networking & Telephony Open Source

In this article by Michael Badger, we will go through the process of discovering and modeling devices to build an inventory of the network.

We'll start this article by fine tuning our device inventory through manually adding devices to our inventory. Then we'll take a look at the main device status view and perform some routine device administration tasks. The second half of the article demonstrates the available monitoring protocols that Zenoss uses to model the devices.

We'll continue to demonstrate features using the Mill Race network, but feel free to substitute your own devices in the examples given in this article. By the time we finish this article, we'll have a detailed model of our networks.

Add Devices

Though we might have, auto-discovered devices on our networks, but sometimes we don't want to add all the available devices on the network to the inventory or it may be that all our devices may not be found. To compensate for both these scenarios, Zenoss allows us to add one device at a time to the device inventory.

To add a single device, select Add Device from the navigation panel. The Add Device page is divided into multiple sections for general device information, Attributes, and Relations as shown in the following screenshot. We can be as detailed as we want to be when we add the device manually. However, at a minimum, we should enter a Device Name, Device Class Path,and Discovery Protocol.

The Device Name identifies the IP address or resolvable hostname, while the device class sets the monitoring properties we want our device to inherit by default. If the device is not SNMP-enabled, select None, otherwise Zenoss will not add the device.We'll continue

Device Management in Zenoss Core Network and System Monitoring

We'll continue monitoring our Mill Race location by adding a new Linux server with the following configuration:

  • Device Name: 192.168.1.110
  • Device Class: /Server/Linux
  • Discovery Protocol: None
  • OS Manufacturer: Ubuntu
  • Location: /Mill Race/Second Floor
  • System: /Development
  • Group: /Developers/Software Testers

The Add Device Options table lists the available configuration information we can set when adding a device manually

Add Device Options

Field Name

Description

IP Address

Enter either an IP address or resolvable host name to identify the device.

Device Class Path

Select the appropriate device classifications: Ex: /Server/Linux.

Discovery Protocol

Choose either SNMP or None depending on whether or not you monitor the device with SNMP or not.

SNMP Community

Enter the community string of the device. The most common default is public.

 

 

Attributes

SNMP Port

The default port for SNMP communication is 161.

Tag Number

If the device has a tag number, such as a service tag number, enter the value.

Serial Number

Record the manufacturer's serial number.

Production State

Select the current state of the device: Ex. Production, maintenance, decommissioned.

Priority

Highest, high, normal, low, lowest, trivial.

Rack Slot

Record the physical rack location of the device.

Comments

Use the comments to enter device specific information, including a description, device users, or who is responsible for the device.

 

 

Relations

HW Manufacturer

Select a manufacturer name from the list. Ex: Cisco or Linksys.

HW Product

Select a product from the list. The HW Product lists gets populated based on the HW Manufacturer selection.

OS Manufacturer

Select a manufacturer name from the list. Ex: Microsoft or Fedora Core.

OS Product

Select from a product from the list. The OS Product lists gets populated based on the HW Manufacturer selection.

Location Path

Select the location of the device. Create a new location by typing the name in the New Location field and clicking Add.

Systems

Select a system organizer. Create a new system by typing the name in the New System field and clicking Add.

Groups

Select a group organizer. Create a new group by typing the name in the New Device Group field and clicking Add.

Status Monitor

Select a status monitor to define how often the device availability is monitored. The default is localhost. Create a new status monitor by typing the name in the New Status Monitor field and clicking Add.

Refer to chapter 06 for configuration information.

Performance Monitor

Select a performance monitor to define how often device performance data is collected. The default is localhost. Create a new performance monitor by typing the name in the New Performance Monitor field.

Refer to chapter 06 for configuration information.

The Add Device Status page provides a hyperlink at the bottom of the page that says, "Navigate to device 192.168.1.110." If we click on the device name, the Device Status page is displayed.

Device Status

The Device status page displays an overview of our device and contains the same information we encountered on the Add Device page. As we look at the Device Status table for 192.168.1.110 as shown in the following screenshot, we can determine several important monitoring statistics in one glance.

In our example, the device name and IP address are the same, but they do not need to be the same. If the host has multiple CNAMEs or interfaces, we can specify a name other than the name we used to find the device, via DNS resolution. We may find that we want to implement a custom naming scheme for devices. Regardless of what we name the device, Zenoss uses the IP address to monitor, not the name

The Device Status table lists the number of events by severity and color code. The Device Severities table lists Zenoss's severity:

Device Severities

Color

Severity

Red

Critical

Orange

Error

Yellow

Warning

Blue

Information

Grey

Debug

The Device Status page also lists important statistics of the device. The Availability and Uptime values are automatically calculated, and the Production State and Priority values can be changed via the device's Edit page. We can lock the device to prevent Zenoss from removing or updating the device configuration. The Last Change, Last Collection, and the First Seen values provide a quick way to verify the modeling history of the device by listing the last time Zenoss detected a change with the device configuration and the last time the device was modeled.

In the Device Status page, we also see a list of Component Types and the Status of each monitored component. As we build our monitoring solution, the components we monitor will change per device, but common components include SNMP, ipServices, Windows event logs, and syslogs

Device Management in Zenoss Core Network and System Monitoring

If we look closely at the previous screen shot that shows the status of 192.168.1.110, we notice that the SNMP component displays an error condition. This indicates that our device does not have SNMP installed or is not configured correctly.

Zenoss Core Network and System Monitoring A step-by-step guide to configuring, using, and adapting this free Open Source network monitoring system - with a Foreword by Mark R. Hinkle, VP of Community Zenoss Inc.
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Up to this point, we have only added devices to our inventory, so why do we see an error message for SNMP anyway? When we added the device, we set the class /Server/Linux, which implies that the device uses the modeling properties defined in the class. The /Server/Linux class uses the SNMP monitoring by default. We'll talk more about modeling our devices in the modeling section of this article.

Like other pages, Zenoss provides context-aware menus that allow us to manage our device from the Device Status page. When we click on the page menu, three submenus display: More, Manage, and Run Commands. As we work through this article, we will cover many of the available menu options, but the following series of screen shots provide a quick view of each menu

Device Management in Zenoss Core Network and System Monitoring

Device Management in Zenoss Core Network and System Monitoring

Device Management in Zenoss Core Network and System Monitoring

Device Administration

From the page menu on the Device Status page, we can perform several administration-related tasks, including reset IP address, rename, and lock the device configuration.

Lock Or Unlock Device

Zenoss automatically polls the devices in our inventory and remodels the devices when it finds changes. We can lock the device's configuration from being updated by Zenoss. We can also lock the device from being deleted from the inventory.

To change the lock status of a device:

  1. From the Device Status page menu, select Manage > Lock.
  2. Select from the following choices as shown in the following screenshot:
    • Send event when actions are blocked by a lock
    • Lock from deletion and updates
    • Lock from deletion
    • Unlock
  3. The device status page displays after we choose a locking option.

Device Management in Zenoss Core Network and System Monitoring

If we lock the device, the lock status displays a padlock icon on the DeviceStatus page.

Rename A Device

Zenoss automatically detects and populates the device name, but we can name the device as anything we want. We'll change the name of our 192.1.168.110 device:

  1. From Device Status page menu, select Manage > Rename Device.
  2. Enter the new name (e.g., Coyote) in the ID field of the Rename Device dialog.
  3. Click OK to save the change

On the Device Status page, the device information updates to reflect the new name, Coyote as shown in the following screenshot. Even the breadcrumb navigation changes to reflect the name.

Device Management in Zenoss Core Network and System Monitoring

The device name will not be updated by the Zenoss modeling process.

Reset IP Address

If the IP address of a device changes, we need to update Zenoss to reflect the correct configuration. To change the IP address of our newly named Coyote:

  1. From Device Status page menu, select Manage > Reset IP.
  2. Enter the new resolvable host name or IP address in the IP field of the Reset IP dialog box ( shown in the following screenshot) or leave it blank to allow Zenoss to lookup the IP based on the device name.
  3. Click OK to save the change

Device Management in Zenoss Core Network and System Monitoring

Push Changes

After we make changes to the device, we can "push" the changes live right away instead of waiting for Zenoss to remodel the device. From the Device Status page menu, select Manage > Push Changes. Zenoss confirms the action with a status message as shown in the following screenshot.

Device Management in Zenoss Core Network and System Monitoring

Device List

Up to this point, we have been administering our devices on a per device level, which is acceptable if we only want to make a few changes to one or two devices. If we want to mass update our device properties, we use the Device List view.

Device Management in Zenoss Core Network and System Monitoring

To display a list of devices, select Device List from the navigation panelDevice List is shown in the previous screenshot).

The Device List table divides into columns for Device ID, IP, Class, Production State, Event, and Locks, which provides succinct synopsis of the state of our devices.

The device names and classes are hyperlinks that take you to the device's status page and the class' summary pages. The Event page displays two squares per device. The squares with the red borders display the critical events, and the squares with no borders display error events. Events are listed as the number of acknowledged events over the total number of events.

If we have a large inventory, selecting a device from a list of entries becomes cumbersome, so we can sort the table by Device ID, IP, Class, or Production State. Click on the column heading to change the sort order and note the white triangle that shows whether the column is sorted in ascending or descending order. Click the column heading again to reverse the sort order.

If we know the name of the device we want to find, Zenoss provides a global search box that we can use to search by device name or IP. The Device/IP Search box is right-aligned at the top of the page and to the right of the Zenoss Core logo.

Device Management in Zenoss Core Network and System Monitoring

If Zenoss finds a device matching the search criteria, it automatically opens the Device Status page. If multiple devices match the search criteria, Zenoss displaysa search results page, so that we can select the correct device.

The Device List table also has a search box, but it's more flexible and allows us to search by the Device Name, IP, Production State, and Class. As an example, enter the search term "linux" and press enter. The list of devices changes to reflect all devices that contain Linux in the name, Production State, or Class (as shown in the following screenshot).

Device Management in Zenoss Core Network and System Monitoring

The Device List view not only displays the list of devices, it also allows us to mass update a group of devices by setting properties such as class, groups, locations, status monitors, performance monitors, and production states.

Let's walk through a quick example and change the location for all our devices:

  1. Select All devices in the list.
  2. From the page menu, select Set Location.
  3. From the Set Location dialog box, choose a new location (for example, Mill Race).
  4. Click the Set Location button.

Device Management in Zenoss Core Network and System Monitoring

This process eliminates the sub-locations that we set in our initial configuration and all the devices are now assigned to Mill Race.

Delete Devices

If we physically remove a device from our network, we need to update our Zenoss inventory. Otherwise, Zenoss will continue to monitor a device that no longer exists. We can either set the device's production state to decommissioned or delete the device from the Device List. If we change the production state to decommissioned, the device still displays in the Device List, but Zenoss no longer monitors it.

We remove devices from our inventory from the Device List view with just a few steps:

  1. Select the device from the list.
  2. From the page menu, select Delete Devices.
  3. Click OK to confirm the delete.

The device will no longer show in inventory and Zenoss will not monitor or model it. However, removing the device from the Device List does not remove the performance data associated with the device. If we add the same device name back into Zenoss, the existing performance data will be available. Zenoss stores the performance data by device name in $ZENHOME/perf.

>> Continue Reading Device Management in Zenoss Core Network and System Monitoring: Part 2

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If you have read this article you may be interested to view :

Zenoss Core Network and System Monitoring A step-by-step guide to configuring, using, and adapting this free Open Source network monitoring system - with a Foreword by Mark R. Hinkle, VP of Community Zenoss Inc.
Published: June 2008
eBook Price: $23.99
Book Price: $39.99
See more
Select your format and quantity:

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