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First off, this is going to get wordy.  My apologies.  Secondly, I know we have a lot of lurkers out there.  Let’s get some of you chiming in on this!  There are no wrong answers.  So..

 

I looked through the archives, and as best I can tell, we haven’t discussed Networking Management/Monitoring Systems in a while.  The last time I see it popping up with any relevancy was in Sept of ’10 .   We recently began switching from using Alcatel gear to  Juniper*.  One issue with this is that Juniper lacks a network management/monitoring platform.  For straight up/down status, I can use anything, but nothing is that simple.   I probably have a metaphysical issue here (not knowing what I don’t know), but here are my current thoughts ..   1) What I know I want/need: Graphical interface that I can drill down campus/building/closet/network component Up/Down status Interfacing to GUI/CLI (launching a browser or ssh client with the dest component is fine) Alerting (email/sms) Utilization graphs Logging/Metrics   2) What I don’t know: What features are people ACTIVELY USING that should be added to the list?   3) Products? We currently use Cacti for graphing.  It works great .. for that function. We have dabbled with Nagios.  Also good, if you have the time to baby it.   I saw discussions on WhatsUpGold, Orion and Nedi as well. We did install WhatsUpGold and my Network Engineer likes it.  He really likes its ability to alert based on a threshold/time period.  The reviews I saw (disclosure notice … On SolarWinds’ website) did get enough of my attention though to get me to post here.  If, out of the box, WUG can handle 1) and 2), we may be good with it (I’m still not convinced that it scales though .. I probably have ~1000 network infrastructure devices out there).  Thoughts?   *We are a very heterogeneous environment – Juniper, Xirrus, Palo Alto, Ruckus, VMware, IBM, Alcatel-Lucent, some Cisco.   Thanks, Brian Helman    
********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Comments

Message from tim.cappalli@lsc.vsc.edu

We are very satisfied with PRTG Network Monitor by Paessler. They offer very competitive pricing over SolarWinds. We have been using the product for about a year now and love it. They are constantly adding new sensor types in every release.

 

http://www.paessler.com/

 

Tim Cappalli, CCNA ACMA | IT Services | (802) 626-6456

» tim.cappalli@lyndonstate.edu | it.lyndonstate.edu

 

 

Hi Brian,

 

Great topic.  Thanks for starting it off.

 

For #1, we are using Enterasys’s Network Management Suite aka Netsight.  The Console portion does everything you listed, for the Enterasys line of switches.  I believe it can also be used for non-Enterasys devices by loading the needed MIBs but I have not played with that capability as we are Enterasys across the board.  Maybe someone who has done this can chime in on how this worked for them.

 

I have used Dartware’s Intermapper product in the past and will recommend it, especially if cost is a significant factor.

 

I have also used Solarwinds and it is the gold standard of network monitoring, at least for me, with the caveat that it is costly.

 

For #2, the one thing I did not see on your list that I rely heavily on is automatic configuration management.  This is something that Solarwinds did great out of the box for Cisco switches/routers.  While there was a mechanism for HP and Alcatel-Lucent, I never had the time to make that work.  The Inventory Manager portion of the Netsight suite also does that great, again, for the Enterasys switches and routers. 

I also tried RANCID, but could never give it the time to make it work.

 

Here are links to these various products:

http://www.enterasys.com/products/visibility-control/index.aspx

http://www.intermapper.com/

http://www.solarwinds.com/

http://www.shrubbery.net/rancid/

 

 

Good luck,

Aaron Smith

Network Engineer

Ursinus College

 

Hi Brian,

 

I don’t think there is a single silver bullet to this question. We use a number of tools, for various tasks and I have yet to find one that does everything I need it to do.

 

Presently we are using What’s Up Gold to monitor our server status. Our System Administration staff seem to like this product and feel it suits their needs. Whereas on the networking side of things we use Statseeker.

This is a great product that polls all your equipment through both ping as well as SNMP, but returns data in a graphical layout that is easy to use in addition to providing historical data for up to two years and possibly more depending on the amount of disk space you have. Many customers run this on a workstation I understand, I am operating it on a server class system with mirrored 146GB Hds.

The system sends me email alerts when devices go down and come back up. Utilization graphs are wonderful and it fully removes the need to console/telnet/ssh into a network switch or router to see interface statistics!

 

The best part is that they have a decent cost for EDU customers in that it doesn’t matter how many interfaces you have, you pay a single price. Much different for non-EDU customers. Also it is able to walk our entire network 122,000+ interfaces very quickly. They claim the initial walk should be done in ~3-5 minutes, but it took our system ~10minutes (perhaps because some devices are incorrectly configured).

 

Like I said, I have yet to find the one product that does everything, but I love this one!

 

On another note we are looking at OPNet, but they seem to be quite pricey, however I would like something that can do end-to-end analysis to assist us in locating areas of issue and then start looking at NetFlow. We have the capability in many pieces (not all)  of equipment, but do not presently have a collector.

 

-dan

 

Daniel Foerst

Assistant Director, Networks & Security

The Catholic University of America

Washington, DC 20064

 

 

Dartware Intermapper – up, down, alerts, graphs, logs, drill down maps & click to console device

 

www.dartware.com

 

Using since 1996, they are good about keeping the tool updated.

 

Still Lurking,

John

 

We are in the process of moving monitoring to Statseeker. Ping monitoring for up down is performed on all devices 4 times a minute, with a down device recognized if 3 of the four pings are dropped. SNMP polling is done once every 5 minutes. All data is kept forever, no aggregation ala RDDtool, MRTG, Cacti. We are monitoring 100k+ objects once a min and 300k+ every five min on a 4 way, 8gR with a 1TB Raid. No VM or SAN support. Juniper, Foundry,Cisco and Netscreen have some enterprise mib support. No support for other enterprise mibs. Grouping and simi manual downstream alert suppression via group dependencies is supported. Layer 3 and 2 auto dependencies is not supported. No maps. GUI is very light, quick and flat (not a lot of layers). They have some of the largest networks around, and I can see why. Good stuff.

 
|Bruce Boardman, Network Engineer, Syracuse University -  315 889-1667

Using WUG for about 5 years to monitor and alert on network devices, servers, room temps, etc… .  No complaints.  We have about 300 devices.  There have been times when I wanted to graph something very custom and could not but it was never a deal breaker. 

 

Mike Rogers

 

Message from dannyeaton@rice.edu

In the networking here at Rice (primarily a Cisco shop, with a little Juniper), we use Kiwi Cat Tools for system backups and ICMP monitoring; Cisco Works for link monitoring, environmental alarms, etc.  For trending/graphing, we use Zabbix running on an IT dept Linux box.  We use the WCS for monitoring APs, etc.  We’ve got around 400 network devices (not including APs). 

 

        Danny Eaton

 

        Snr. Network Architect

        Networking, Telecommunications, & Operations

        Rice University, IT

        Office - 713-348-5233

        dannyeaton@rice.edu

 

        Soli Deo Gloria

        Matt 18:4-6

 

 

 

Brian,

We are using Zenoss for our NMS. It is an open source system that runs on most Linux distributions. In the beginning it had growing pains, but is now stable and extremely viable. It is written in mostly in python, and has several pluggins called Zenpacks for added functionality. It does availability monitoring of devices and services through a wide range of methods including SNMP, WMI, and shell command. Additional monitoring is configurable for custom stuff. Out of the box it provides support for a wide range of products, I believe all of which were ones you mentioned. There is a free core version and a for fee enterprise version that comes with support. We are using the core version and support largely comes from the extensive community of developer and users helping each other.

The only thing it doesn't do in your list 1) is the Interface to GUI/CLI autolaunch, but if you have the time that could be something you can create yourself, or someone might else might've already done it and I haven't seen it yet. Each device has it's own page which does have come with a link to the device, but I haven't messed with it some I'm not sure how program it automatically for each device.

I've been using it for 4 years now and I am willing to answer any questions you might have.


-- Heath Barnhart, CCNA Network Administrator Information Systems Services Washburn University Topeka, KS

On 12/1/2011 9:23 AM, Brian Helman wrote:

First off, this is going to get wordy.  My apologies.  Secondly, I know we have a lot of lurkers out there.  Let’s get some of you chiming in on this!  There are no wrong answers.  So..

 

I looked through the archives, and as best I can tell, we haven’t discussed Networking Management/Monitoring Systems in a while.  The last time I see it popping up with any relevancy was in Sept of ’10 .   We recently began switching from using Alcatel gear to  Juniper*.  One issue with this is that Juniper lacks a network management/monitoring platform.  For straight up/down status, I can use anything, but nothing is that simple.   I probably have a metaphysical issue here (not knowing what I don’t know), but here are my current thoughts ..   1) What I know I want/need: Graphical interface that I can drill down campus/building/closet/network component Up/Down status Interfacing to GUI/CLI (launching a browser or ssh client with the dest component is fine) Alerting (email/sms) Utilization graphs Logging/Metrics   2) What I don’t know: What features are people ACTIVELY USING that should be added to the list?   3) Products? We currently use Cacti for graphing.  It works great .. for that function. We have dabbled with Nagios.  Also good, if you have the time to baby it.   I saw discussions on WhatsUpGold, Orion and Nedi as well. We did install WhatsUpGold and my Network Engineer likes it.  He really likes its ability to alert based on a threshold/time period.  The reviews I saw (disclosure notice … On SolarWinds’ website) did get enough of my attention though to get me to post here.  If, out of the box, WUG can handle 1) and 2), we may be good with it (I’m still not convinced that it scales though .. I probably have ~1000 network infrastructure devices out there).  Thoughts?   *We are a very heterogeneous environment – Juniper, Xirrus, Palo Alto, Ruckus, VMware, IBM, Alcatel-Lucent, some Cisco.   Thanks, Brian Helman    
********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.



********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Message from steely@dickinson.edu

At Dickinson, we use Solarwinds NPM to monitor about 450 HP ProCurve switches, as well as status/interface monitoring of our server environment. We’ve been using this product for several years, and it has been rock solid.

 

We also use the Airwave Wireless Management Suite for our Aruba wireless network, which is currently just north of 600 APs and still growing. Also a very solid product.

 

It’s been very interesting seeing the variety of responses for the tools everyone uses.

 

Back to lurking J

 

John

 

 

We use:

·         Nedi – switch config backup and mass config changes, switch port usage reporting.  To get this to work properly with our Cisco gear some PHP code had to be changed/added.

·         Cacti – Graphs port usage on our 6509 core ports and various other resource graphing.

·         Nagios – Monitor and alerting of up/down, Server resource usage ( disk, cpu, up/down, SSL cert expirations, service states, DNS resolution, … ), WAPs up/down

 

Fyi,

Brian

 

Hi Brian, We also have a pretty diverse set of equipment to support: Meru, Extreme, Cisco, Juniper, 3Com, Allied-Telesyn. All together, we have well over 2000 devices. We are moving to OpenNMS, replacing Nagios, Epicenter, etc. (We used to run HP OpenView, but it was too expensive & required as much configuration as anything else.) It has everything you list in (1). We have a test instance monitoring our data center. We are in the process of scaling it up to support the entire network. There is an active list supporting it, you can buy support if you need to & training is available. HTH -John On 12/01/2011 10:23 AM, Brian Helman wrote: > First off, this is going to get wordy. My apologies. Secondly, I know we > have a lot of lurkers out there. Let’s get some of you chiming in on > this! There are no wrong answers. So.. > > I looked through the archives, and as best I can tell, we haven’t discussed Networking Management/Monitoring Systems in a while. The last time I see it popping up with any relevancy was in Sept of ’10 . > > > > We recently began switching from using Alcatel gear to Juniper*. One issue with this is that Juniper lacks a network management/monitoring platform. For straight up/down status, I can use anything, but nothing is that simple. > > > > I probably have a metaphysical issue here (not knowing what I don’t know), but here are my current thoughts .. > > > > 1) What I know I want/need: > > Graphical interface that I can drill down campus/building/closet/network component > > Up/Down status > > Interfacing to GUI/CLI (launching a browser or ssh client with the dest component is fine) > > Alerting (email/sms) > > Utilization graphs > > Logging/Metrics > > > > 2) What I don’t know: > > What features are people ACTIVELY USING that should be added to the list? > > > > 3) Products? > > We currently use Cacti for graphing. It works great .. for that function. > > We have dabbled with Nagios. Also good, if you have the time to baby it. > > > > I saw discussions on WhatsUpGold, Orion and Nedi as well. > > We did install WhatsUpGold and my Network Engineer likes it. He really likes its ability to alert based on a threshold/time period. The reviews I saw (disclosure notice … On SolarWinds’ website) did get enough of my attention though to get me to post here. If, out of the box, WUG can handle 1) and 2), we may be good with it (I’m still not convinced that it scales though .. I probably have ~1000 network infrastructure devices out there). Thoughts? > > > > *We are a very heterogeneous environment – Juniper, Xirrus, Palo Alto, Ruckus, VMware, IBM, Alcatel-Lucent, some Cisco. > > > > Thanks, > > Brian Helman > > > > > > > > ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE > Constituent Group discussion list can be found at > http://www.educause.edu/groups/. > -- John Center Villanova University ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.
We use a mix of stuff here:

Cacti for bandwidth graphing and alerts on thresholds. Very, very flexible.
Nagios for service up/down monitoring  (not a huge fan).
Kiwi Cattools for config management. I love this product for the price. I use scripts to parse some of the output of night commands to make it more flexible.
Kiwi Syslog (Solarwinds).  It can alert on certain syslog or SNMP messages and is an SNMP collector.  It's easy to set up and administer compared to syslogng.

On 12/1/2011 10:23 AM, Brian Helman wrote:

First off, this is going to get wordy.  My apologies.  Secondly, I know we have a lot of lurkers out there.  Let’s get some of you chiming in on this!  There are no wrong answers.  So..

 

I looked through the archives, and as best I can tell, we haven’t discussed Networking Management/Monitoring Systems in a while.  The last time I see it popping up with any relevancy was in Sept of ’10 .   We recently began switching from using Alcatel gear to  Juniper*.  One issue with this is that Juniper lacks a network management/monitoring platform.  For straight up/down status, I can use anything, but nothing is that simple.   I probably have a metaphysical issue here (not knowing what I don’t know), but here are my current thoughts ..   1) What I know I want/need: Graphical interface that I can drill down campus/building/closet/network component Up/Down status Interfacing to GUI/CLI (launching a browser or ssh client with the dest component is fine) Alerting (email/sms) Utilization graphs Logging/Metrics   2) What I don’t know: What features are people ACTIVELY USING that should be added to the list?   3) Products? We currently use Cacti for graphing.  It works great .. for that function. We have dabbled with Nagios.  Also good, if you have the time to baby it.   I saw discussions on WhatsUpGold, Orion and Nedi as well. We did install WhatsUpGold and my Network Engineer likes it.  He really likes its ability to alert based on a threshold/time period.  The reviews I saw (disclosure notice … On SolarWinds’ website) did get enough of my attention though to get me to post here.  If, out of the box, WUG can handle 1) and 2), we may be good with it (I’m still not convinced that it scales though .. I probably have ~1000 network infrastructure devices out there).  Thoughts?   *We are a very heterogeneous environment – Juniper, Xirrus, Palo Alto, Ruckus, VMware, IBM, Alcatel-Lucent, some Cisco.   Thanks, Brian Helman    
********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.


-- Vlade Ristevski Network Manager IT Services Ramapo College (201)-684-6854 ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Message from chickernell@clarion.edu

Great to hear about all the different tools people are using for configuration management as that is something missing from our environment.

 

We are 100% Cisco.

 

We have been using WhatsUpGold for over a decade.  It is used across the Computing Services department for monitoring of network equipment and servers.  We use it for up/down status, SNMP trap alerts (such as BPDU errors and reboots), service monitoring (such as a Spooler service on a Windows print server) and we just purchased the Exchange plugins for advanced monitoring of our Exchange environment.  It has a lot of capabilities for customized alerting--so only the necessary people are alerted about a device on their email and/or cellphone.  It has Polling Dependency so if a core switch goes down you don’t get alerted about the 50 attached edge switches.  Web interface with customizable views.

 

We use Cacti for graphing router interfaces, firewall interfaces, DHCP scopes, and UPS performance stats.

 

We use Nedi for network scanning/discovery.  It is integrated with Cacti for switchport traffic graphing.

 

We use Cisco’s Wireless Control System for monitoring of all things wireless.

 

We are considering Cisco Network Management System to centralize management of wireless and wired network devices.

 

Christopher Hickernell, CCNA, MCSE

Network Support Specialist, ResNet Manager

Clarion University of Pennsylvania

Center for Computing Services

G-13 Still Hall, Clarion, PA 16214

chickernell@clarion.edu | 814.393.2218

 

 

 

We are currently using PRTG from Paessler as well.  It has served us well for the past year or so.  Cost was great as well.  We use it to monitor our mainly Cisco network environment, but it also allows importing of SNMP mibs, so we can monitor just about anything that has SNMP support.  We use it to monitor UPS status, environmental status, and non-Cisco equipment.  As was mentioned before, they are adding new functionality on a fairly regular basis (Netflow…).  They have a web based gui as well as desktop clients (even mobile clients though I haven’t used them).  It even scales well.

 

We have used MRTG and Nagios in the past.

 

Jim Stasik

 

 

 

First off, this is going to get wordy.  My apologies.  Secondly, I know we have a lot of lurkers out there.  Let’s get some of you chiming in on this!  There are no wrong answers.  So..

 

I looked through the archives, and as best I can tell, we haven’t discussed Networking Management/Monitoring Systems in a while.  The last time I see it popping up with any relevancy was in Sept of ’10 .

 

We recently began switching from using Alcatel gear to  Juniper*.  One issue with this is that Juniper lacks a network management/monitoring platform.  For straight up/down status, I can use anything, but nothing is that simple.

 

I probably have a metaphysical issue here (not knowing what I don’t know), but here are my current thoughts ..

 

1) What I know I want/need:

Graphical interface that I can drill down campus/building/closet/network component

Up/Down status

Interfacing to GUI/CLI (launching a browser or ssh client with the dest component is fine)

Alerting (email/sms)

Utilization graphs

Logging/Metrics

 

2) What I don’t know:

What features are people ACTIVELY USING that should be added to the list?

 

3) Products?

We currently use Cacti for graphing.  It works great .. for that function.

We have dabbled with Nagios.  Also good, if you have the time to baby it.

 

I saw discussions on WhatsUpGold, Orion and Nedi as well.

We did install WhatsUpGold and my Network Engineer likes it.  He really likes its ability to alert based on a threshold/time period.  The reviews I saw (disclosure notice … On SolarWinds’ website) did get enough of my attention though to get me to post here.  If, out of the box, WUG can handle 1) and 2), we may be good with it (I’m still not convinced that it scales though .. I probably have ~1000 network infrastructure devices out there).  Thoughts?

 

*We are a very heterogeneous environment – Juniper, Xirrus, Palo Alto, Ruckus, VMware, IBM, Alcatel-Lucent, some Cisco.

 

Thanks,

Brian Helman

 

 


Montgomery County Community College is proud to be designated as an Achieving the Dream Leader College for its commitment to student access and success.
********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

I agree I don’t think there is a single solution that fits all the needs.  We use a combination of Ciscoworks, PRTG and cacti.

 

 

Bruce Entwistle

Network Manager

University of Redlands

 

 

We use Zenoss (so-called free version: the pay-to-play is very expensive); Netdisco to keep track of devices on network.  MRTG for the major pieces of equipment/interfaces.  Does anyone have any experience in importing mibs into zenoss?
Dennis Bohn
Manager of Network and Systems
Adelphi University
bohn@adelphi.edu
5168773327


I do, send me an email with any questions you might have. Same for anyone else.

heath.barnhart@washburn.edu

-- Heath Barnhart, CCNA Network Administrator Information Systems Services Washburn University Topeka, KS

On 12/2/2011 10:39 AM, Dennis Bohn wrote:
We use Zenoss (so-called free version: the pay-to-play is very expensive); Netdisco to keep track of devices on network.  MRTG for the major pieces of equipment/interfaces.  Does anyone have any experience in importing mibs into zenoss?
Dennis Bohn
Manager of Network and Systems
Adelphi University
bohn@adelphi.edu
5168773327


Could anyone who has successfully used products that manage a multi-vendor edge switch environment please either share them or send them to me? Specifically looking for things like config management or batch updates for Cisco, Brocade, HP, Juniper.

Thanks,

Pete M.

 

From: The EDUCAUSE Network Management Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Heath Barnhart
Sent: Monday, December 05, 2011 11:09 AM
To: NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [NETMAN] Network Monitoring -- annual discussion

 

I do, send me an email with any questions you might have. Same for anyone else.

heath.barnhart@washburn.edu


-- Heath Barnhart, CCNA Network Administrator Information Systems Services Washburn University Topeka, KS



On 12/2/2011 10:39 AM, Dennis Bohn wrote:

We use Zenoss (so-called free version: the pay-to-play is very expensive); Netdisco to keep track of devices on network.  MRTG for the major pieces of equipment/interfaces.  Does anyone have any experience in importing mibs into zenoss?
Dennis Bohn
Manager of Network and Systems
Adelphi University
bohn@adelphi.edu
5168773327

Message from jeroen@zijndomein.nl

Hi Pete, On Mon, 2011-12-05 at 17:11 +0000, Peter P Morrissey wrote: > Could anyone who has successfully used products that manage a > multi-vendor edge switch environment please either share them or send > them to me? Specifically looking for things like config management or > batch updates for Cisco, Brocade, HP, Juniper. Well, a lot of people seem to use Rancid for multi-vendor config management and I've heard positive things about Solarwinds Orion. We mostly write our own stuff: nothing beats SNMP with a couple of abstraction libraries (like SNMP::Info) and a good inventory database. Sofar I haven't seen a good and affordable product that can do multi-vendor config backups, configuration audits (policy checking on device & port config level), batched software upgrades and batched config changes. Regards, Jeroen van Ingen ICT Service Centre University of Twente, P.O.Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.
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