Child pages
  • How to successfully implement network monitoring
Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

To implement monitoring can be a very wide concept. The purpose of this document is to concretize what such an implementation consist of, in order to give you an overview of what needs to be done, who to involve and how to prioritize.

Main goals

There’s no point in implementing monitoring just to get it of your to do-list. If implemented correctly monitoring can really influence and support how you work, what you spend your time on and how you make decisions. Below some main goals are listed which are important to keep in mind in order to prioritize wisely how you spend your time when building a monitoring configuration.

Get in control of your IT-services!

Every IT-service is dependent on a number of network-services, processes, servers, network equipment, and network connections. By monitoring all the dependencies you gain understanding of how different problems affect your services. Using that information you can make informed desicions on how to best manage and further develop your operations environment.

Work proactively!

With correctly configured thresholds you will get warnings /before/ things stop working. By reacting on warnings you have already fixed the problem, or are already working on the problem, when users start reporting errors.

By using OLA-reporting (Operational Level Agreement reports) you can fix problems /before/ they start effecting your services. OLA-reports are reports that include all the dependencies of an IT-service.

Tie the core business closer to IT-operations!

By identifying “system owners” in the organization you can make colleagues understand the importance of IT-systems. An originator/supplier relationship can be established between the system owners and the monitoring administrators to aid in finding a good routine for adding more monitoring. The work of creating and managing SLA-reports (Service Level Agreement reports) can be delegated to the system owners who can schedule the reports for automatic delivery to managers responsible for service availability.

Planning the deployment

When planning how to deploy monitoring, split the work that lies ahead into three to ten stages and populate each stage with one to three tasks (types of services to add). Plan for a test- and adjustment-period of a least a week between the end of one stage and the start of the next. The test- and adjustment-periods are needed to be able to remedy errors in your IT-environment that has been discovered in each stage, and to confirm that thresholds and check-periods are correctly configured/adjusted. Use alert summary reports to pinpoint what needs to be remedied or adjusted in each test- and adjustment-period.

In the planning stage, the good old OSI-model can be of use.

Order of importance

Below is a list of tasks or service-types to add to your configuration, listed in order of importance. How important it is to monitor different service-types is of course specific for each organization, but the list below can be a good starting-point.

In short you start by pinging your servers and finish up by adding monitoring of log filters matching on “bad signs” (early warnings) in your logs.

Task /service-typeDescriptionApplicable op5 productsCommonly used plugins
hostsCheck host availability and graph ICMP ping statisticsop5 Monitorcheck_host, check_icmp
environmentalsMonitor and graph temperature, humidity, and floor wetnessop5 Monitorcheck_tempraxe, check_em1,
upsMonitor and graph status, load per phase and estimated battery runtimeop5 Monitorcheck_snmp, check_apc, check_ups
network services basicCheck availability of network services like dns, imap, http,
smtp and graph their response time
op5 Monitorcheck_tcp, check_dig, check_http, check_imap
agent servicesMonitor and graph OS resource utilization (disk, cpu, memory, swap, processes, connections, cache)op5 Monitorcheck_nt, check_nrpe, check_nwstat
services, daemons, processes and jobsMonitor Windows services and processes, unix/linux daemons, processes and OS400 subsystems and jobsop5 Monitorcheck_nt, check_nrpe, check_as400
network services advancedAdvanced monitoring of network services, like advanced
database-or website-monitoring
op5 Monitorcheck_mysql, check_sql, check_oracle, check_webinject, check_http
graphs for traffic/errorsMonitor and graph traffic (bandwidth usage) and errors/discards on relevant NICs/ports on switches/routers. Locate and remedy sources of broken packets.op5 Monitorcheck_traffic, check_iferrors, check_snmpif
hardware servicesCheck hardware status (disk-arrays, temperature, power-supplies, fans, memory modules)op5 Monitorcheck_openmanage, check_hpasm, check_snmp, check_snmp_env, check_ipmi_sensor
logsCollect/centralize and archive Eventlogs/syslogs and application-logs. Monitor for bad messages.op5 Monitor + LogServer extensioncheck_ls_log, check_log2