An Example of Integrating NetPing Devices into the Observium Monitoring System

  • Published In: Tutorial
  • Created Date: 2015-09-17
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Observium is a monitoring and surveillance system for network devices and servers (NMS) just as Zabbix, Nagios, PRTG Network Monitor and others. At the same time, the list of supported devices is huge and is not limited to network devices only. An important requirement is that a device must support an operation of an SNMP protocol.

A main aim of the Observium project is to create a monitoring system with the simplest management and surveillance of devices, the same it remains today. The system is distributed in two ways: Community Edition (CE is free) and Subscription (and a paid subscription). The last one has agents for active notifications on events. Details can be found at the official website of the project: http://www.observium.org/.

Let us consider the example of integrating Observium CE with the device UniPing server solution v4/SMS.

A solution represented in the article allows surveying parameters received from temperature and humidity sensors, connected to the device UniPing server solution v4/SMS. The system draws diagrams of a device availability, changes in temperature and humidity, and displays top and bottom margins of the safe range on them that are specified in corresponding parameters of the device. When crossing over margins of a safe range, reloading or unavailability of a connected device UniPing server solution v4/SMS, the system registers corresponding records in the log file.

A simplicity of deployment is an advantage of this solution. Any changes in a configuration of the sensors of the device UniPing server solution v4/SMS, as well as adding or deleting sensors, does not need any intervention in the configuration of Observium CE because all changes are made automatically.

Requirements

To implement a represented solution, there is a need to have the next equipment:

There is a need to fulfill an initial installing and configuring of Observium CE software to the PC/server. This software or a software-based distributive may be deployed in a virtual environment as well. It is necessary to see the official documentation on the product and/or corresponding resources on the Internet for additional information.

If the equipment UniPing server solution v4/SMS uses a router with the NAT and/or Firewall function to access the Internet, there is a need to configure a rule for redirecting packages from the Internet network via an SNMP (UDP/161) protocol to the device UniPing server solution v4/SMS to control it remotely. For additional information, there is a need to see the documentation on the equipment of a router, or contact an administrator of a network.

If necessary, a device UniPing server solution v4/SMS can be connected to a router through a VAP11N adapter using wireless technology Wi-Fi. An adapter is purchased separately. For additional information, there is a need to consult a user guide.

Configuring UniPing server solution v4/SMS

Plug in temperature and humidity sensors and bring the device UniPing server solution v4/SMS into a working condition – all according to corresponding sections of the user guide and firmware description. Connect a device into the Internet network.

Let's suppose a device UniPing server solution v4/SMS is available in the Internet network via SNMP protocol with the next parameters:

  • IP address/host: observium.netping.ru
  • SNMP port: 161
  • SNMP Community reads: snmpread

Configuring NMS Observium Community Edition (CE)

After being configured and set up, NMS Observium CE supports only displaying main information of a device UniPing server solution v4/SMS. There is a need to add a special module and related files from sensors connected to the device UniPing server solution v4/SMS for the Observium CE to draw temperature and humidity diagrams.

The next files need to be copied to the corresponding directories:

It is possible to use FTP or SSH access to the host, where Observium CE is installed to copy files.

Support of NetPing devices out of the box will be added in one of the next updates of Observium CE!

Afterwards there is a need to go to the web interface of the monitoring system Observium CE, enter login and password used during configuring and login:

Web-interface of the Observium CE monitoring system

Then go to «Devices» and select «Add Device»:

Add Device to Observium

Fill in corresponding fields as it is indicated at the picture and click the button «+ Add Device»:

Adding a NetPing device to the Observium

Afterwards, an availability will be checked and the process of receiving the information from the device UniPing server solution v4/SMS will be started. The entire process takes no more than 5-10 minutes:

Polling the UniPing server solution v4SMS to the Observium

After a process of polling a device is completed, the homepage of a web interface of Observium CE will look as follows:

Map in Observium

A number of devices (Devices), ports (Ports) and detected sensors (Sensors) with their status «ok» or «alert» will be displayed at the page. When crossing over sensor readings of a margin of a safe range «alert» will be displayed and the event will be registered in the log. The map will show a location of a device, which is determined via an IP address. Logging is displayed below.

If you will go to «Devices», then the list of added devices with a possibility to filter becomes available:

List of added devices in the Observium 

When clicking the name of a device a general information becomes available, particularly: description, firmware, contact data, location, operation time, data from sensors and the other information:

General information about UniPing server solution v4SMS in Observium

The tab «Graphs» displays detailed diagrams on «life» of a device for different periods of time:

Detailed graphics about the device UniPing server solution v4SMS
Detailed graphics about the device UniPing server solution v4SMS

The tab «Health» displays pivot data from sensors connected to a device:

Summary data from the sensors of the UniPing server solution v4SMS to the Observium

The same data is displayed separately for humidity levels indicating margins of safe ranges:

Graph of the humidity sensor connected to the UniPing server solution v4SMS in the Observium

The same for the temperature indicating margins of safe ranges:

Graph of the temperature sensor connected to the UniPing server solution v4SMS in the Observium

Outcome

Therefore, NetPing devices can be easily and quickly integrated into one more monitoring system Observium to control parameters in server rooms, located in geographically distant places on Earth. This flexibility and functionality of NetPing devices will help to prevent in a timely manner possible emergencies with a server and network equipment, which may lead in turn to financial loss and service downtime.


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