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nagios

Fully Automated Nagios

A colleague noticed the new developments regarding Nagios. Nagios is an Open Source host, service and network monitoring program. I always had my doubts about Nagios, especially about the manageability of the application.

The installation and configuration of Nagios can be very time consuming. And a lot of customers are “afraid” of using Nagios, because of the manageability. The new developments regarding Nagios could help lessen the burden of installation and manageability. FAN (Fully Automated Nagios) developted an ISO image to easily install Nagios from CD.

FAN stands for “Fully Automated Nagios”. FAN goals are to provide a Nagios installation including most tools provided by the Nagios Community. FAN provides a CDRom image in the standard ISO format, making it easy to easilly install a Nagios server. Added to this, a wide bunch of tools are including to the distribution, in order to improve the user experience around Nagios. Source

I guess I will try the distribution and compare the ISO file with the CactiEZ ISO, which I often use to implement monitoring for switching and routing components.

In my opinion FAN could be the good step to close “my personal” gap between CactiEZ and Nagios.

Cacti, easy going

A decent management server is very important in a network, at least that is my opinion. The most important aspect of a management server is its user friendliness. Our customers are most of the time busy with their own problems and the problems of end users, which include all kind of (silly) problems. So the most of them don’t have a lot of time to spend on configuring a management server.

That is why I like Cacti and especially CactiEZ. CactiEZ is a software appliance, which is up and running in half an hour. After that you just add some devices and you can generate some nice bandwidth statistics with the help of RRDTool. I have also seen a lot of other management servers, like Nagios, HP OpenView and Cisco Works, but the most of them are hard to configure and end up as mp3 player…..

When I configure a management server only for network components like switches, routers and/or firewalls, I always use CactiEZ. It is easy to install and gives me all the things I need. The most important options of Cacti for me are: bandwidth statistics, syslog messages, flow view, mac tracking, reporting and so one. Especially if you combine Cacti(EZ) with SwitchMap, you have a nice, easy to use and robust management server for your network.