- Created By : 27-Jul-2014
- Published In: Tutorial
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As for today, providers, data centers and companies with a middle and big IT infrastructure strongly need software for monitoring, management and inventory of their IT objects. Network operations center (NOC) successfully copes with all these tasks. In addition, it is necessary to control physical parameters of environment, supervise physical access and power supply issues in the areas where IT objects operate. Here can be really helpful a series of NetPing devices for monitoring NetPing east Co Ltd. An example of a cooperation: sensors monitoring with the help of NetPing, *UniPing* devices and processing as well as an output of well structured results in a standardized web interface of a NOC program will be examined in the next section.
In this article we will examine Zabbix 2.2 and PRTG Network Monitor 14.3 from the point of view of features of each system and its installing, adjusting and using difficulties.
Crestron is a system of management and automation for homes, offices, schools, hospitals, hotels and other objects. With the help of a module of management of NetPing devices, Crestron can manage a NetPing 2/PWR-220 v3/ETH device (for the moment, only this model is supported).
In this article I would like to describe my experience as well as my attitude to monitoring a server room. To start with, let us estimate a scale of a responsibility area. I have a small server room (two square meters), where there are only 2 racks: one for servers and another one for network equipment. A climate is maintained by a split system with two air conditioners (a main and a backup one) and we have a UPS there. In general, it is a typical server room of a small company. Firmware: DELL, NetApp, networks on Cisco, UPS APC, server: ОS Windows Server 2008 R2 (AD, DNS, DHCP, application server and DB server), PRTG Network Monitor is responsible for monitoring.
To begin with, let us examine what is a regular server room. As a rule, it is a room indoors, often not of a big size, which is sufficient to place server racks with a specific set of network equipment. The most often a server room is in a basement or in an attic. Therefore, a location of a server room is not the first priority to think about for an administration of an organisation.
My name is Marat, as for now I'm an IT specialist in a wide range of areas, almost any-key. In my review I would like to pay a reader's attention to systems of microclimate maintaining and monitoring in a server room.
Recently I faced the issue of providing a workplace for a duty shift as an administration decided to provide a 24/7 support. We employed a necessary amount of administrators who were in charge to do shifts (including nights) and watch an operability of systems.
The following 4 things prompted me to write this article:
- The article «Why It Is Important to Maintain Temperature Conditions in a Server Room. How a Server Room Cooling Usually Works», where the author tried to fulfill the honorable and very difficult mission of explaining why it is necessary to cool servers.
- Mistakes found in this article.
- My own experience.
- A very small number of rich in content articles on the topic of data center infrastructure (I mean that a server room = a little data center) at Habrahabr. However «Beeline» and guys from "Data Centres Russia" are great in this.
There is a certain moment when businesses grow up to the level when their internal informational systems do not fit a single server cabinet anymore. And then the leader of the IT department has to consider all pros and cons and decide if to build a server room or not. There can be several variants: from getting rid of own capacities totally and moving them to clouds or colocating in a big data center, to building own mini (or not mini) data center with blackjack.
In this article, we will describe creating a remote metering system of a consumed electricity built on the basis of a device NetPing IO v2, an electricity meter and a monitoring system PRTG Network Monitor. This system allows to take readings remotely from a pulse output, which may be subsequently sent to a PC.
The most typical issue of monitoring server rooms is controlling climate and environment while a computer equipment works. Tracking temperature parameters and making a decision on results may be automated.
Let us consider an example of automation for controlling a climate in a server room based on Microsoft PowerShell script.
Devices with enhanced features and a built-in modem, such as a gateway for sending and receiving SMS commands NetPing SMS, a device for remote monitoring of sensors via a network UniPing server solution v4/SMS and a device for remote controlling power supply sockets NetPing 8/PWR-220 v4/SMS have got a feature of sending random SMS notifications using HTTP API. This innovation can be used in the monitoring system PRTG Network Monitor to send SMS notifications about certain events in monitoring objects. As a result of organizing such system of SMS notifications PRTG Network Monitor, it is possible to save some funds using alternate services for sending SMS notifications, available on the Internet.
The service NetPing Dashboard allows creating an own interactive network map and a power supply control panel for devices individually, having spent several minutes. The service displays data from sensors connected to NetPing devices, which is updated in a real time. In addition, this service provides an opportunity to control built-in relays of a series of NetPing devices for a remote management of power supply sockets, thus adjusting the buttons for controlling sockets at the interactive map NetPing Dashboard.
In this article, creating a simple and convenient controlling panel for «smart sockets», located remotely in different branches of a company is described. At the picture above you can see a ready control panel for power supply of devices. Using this control panel, it is possible to turn on, turn off, reset and track a status of devices added to a scheme remotely.
Zabbix is a free monitoring system for tracking statuses of various services of a computer network, servers and network equipment. This system has got a possibility to adjust different ways to notify a user: e-mail, SMS, Jabber, Ez Texting, user scripts. These ways to notify a user are delivery channels in use to send notifications and alerts from Zabbix. According to the fact that Zabbix supports user scripts, it is possible to use devices NetPing SMS, UniPing server solution v4/SMS or NetPing 8/PWR-220 v4/SMS as an SMS gateway to send SMS notifications about events in the monitoring system Zabbix as one of the notification methods. As a result, organising this method of SMS notifications can significantly save funds due to using alternate services for sending SMS notifications, available on the Internet.
NetPing devices for monitoring server rooms and remote controlling a power supply have got a possibility to send e-mail notifications about triggering sensors and relays, as well as send periodical reports about status of sensors according to previously configured schedule at the page of a web interface. However, the firmware of the module for sending e-mail notifications and reports of several devices is implemented to support the work with mail servers only, which support SMTP protocol, and an authentication method AUTH PLAIN. In addition, a module for sending e-mail notifications and reports cannot support SSL, TLS or other encoding types.
To avoid problems with sending e-mail notifications from devices NetPing through SMTP servers that work without authorization, or support an authentication method AUTH LOGIN and TLS encoding, it is possible to use a local SMTP relay from Microsoft. It is installed in server rooms under Windows OS in several minutes and requires a minimal configuration to start sending e-mail notifications.
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.
The Dude – is a powerful and flexible network monitoring system (NMS), which supports different types of testing availability of services and can request devices via SNMP protocol. There is a possibility to send notifications on events via e-mail, Syslog, as well as configure SMS notification. Unlike a majority of other monitoring systems, The Dude is totally not demanding to hardware resources, simply installed, has an intuitive interface and can be installed at almost any OS.
Let us examine an example of integrating a monitoring system The Dude with a device UniPing server solution v4/SMS.
Besides local notifications, which were represented in the article «Integrating NetPing into the Monitoring System The Dude by Microtik», The Dude can perform almost any actions upon events through external applications. Let us show this on the example of configuring e-mail notifications.
Today the issue of automatic registering water flow data for a certain period of time is often topical. Such registering is necessary not only for plants and industrial manufacturers but also for a network of individual households, summer cottages, garages, apartment buildings. Automatic collection of data from water counters guarantees momentary and precise receiving of readings on water consumption from each metering device. A system excludes errors in manual writing readings of meters and makes a staff of walkers, who control a regularity of giving information from counters, unnecessary.
To organize transferring and registering data on water flow from water meters, there is a need to have a corresponding infrastructure of transferring data and a remote system for analysis and registering readings. It is possible to use a NetPing device with input-output lines, which allows to plug in water consumption meters with a pulse output and Ethernet ports for connecting to a local network with the aim to transfer data into the analyzing and metering system as a main element of the data transfer infrastructure.
Devices for remote monitoring of sensors via Ethernet network and remote controlling of power supply sockets with a built-in GSM modem have a feature of sending periodic SMS reports about a status of sensors and relays to service staff. These SMS reports allow to be constantly informed even of those monitoring objects that do not have a local data transfer network. Receiving the information on conditions of equipment operation, attempts to access the object or any other unplanned actions in time allows to avoid accidents at the object, thus eliminating equipment downtime and financial loss of business.