Nagios: Building Enterprise-Grade Monitoring Infrastructures for Systems and Networks


The Fully Updated Guide to Enterprise Network Monitoring with Today’s Nagios Platform and Tools

This is the definitive guide to building cost-effective, enterprise-strength monitoring infrastructures with the latest commercial and open source versions of Nagios. World-renowned monitoring expert David Josephsen covers the entire monitoring software stack, treating Nagios as a specification language and foundation for building well designed ...

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Nagios: Building Enterprise-Grade Monitoring Infrastructures for Systems and Networks

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The Fully Updated Guide to Enterprise Network Monitoring with Today’s Nagios Platform and Tools

This is the definitive guide to building cost-effective, enterprise-strength monitoring infrastructures with the latest commercial and open source versions of Nagios. World-renowned monitoring expert David Josephsen covers the entire monitoring software stack, treating Nagios as a specification language and foundation for building well designed monitoring systems that can scale to serve any organization.

Drawing on his unsurpassed experience, Josephsen demonstrates best practices throughout and also reveals common mistakes, their consequences, and how to avoid them. He provides all the technical depth you need to configure and run Nagios successfully, including a practical and thorough discussion of writing your own custom modules with the C-based Nagios Event-Broker API.

Extensively updated throughout, this edition adds an entirely new chapter on scaling Nagios for large, complex networks that rely heavily on virtualization and cloud services. Josephsen thoroughly introduces Nagios XI, the advanced new commercial version of Nagios and shows how to improve productivity with the latest third-party tools and plug-ins.

Coverage includes:

  • Learn how Nagios works, in depth
  • Master focused, efficient techniques for configuring and deploying the latest versions of Nagios
  • Solve real-world problems in monitoring Windows and UNIX systems, networking hardware, and environmental sensors
  • Systematically scale and optimize Nagios for the largest enterprise environments
  • Enhance your monitoring system with new tools including Check-MK, Op5 Merlin, and SFlow
  • Integrate visualization via Ganglia, Graphite, and RRDTool
  • Simplify and streamline all facets of system monitoring with Nagios XI
  • Build powerful custom Nagios Event Broker (NEB) modules, step-by-step
  • Learn about easy-to-understand code listings, fully updated for today’s platforms

No matter how complex your systems monitoring challenges are, this book will help you achieve the results you want—right from the start.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780133135732
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 4/15/2013
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 275
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

David Josephsen is the Director of Systems Engineering at DBG, Inc., where he maintains a collection of geographically dispersed server farms. He has more than a decade of hands-on experience with UNIX systems, routers, fi rewalls, and load balancers in support of complex, high-volume networks. In addition to this book, he authored several chapters in the O’Reilly book Monitoring with Ganglia, and currently writes “iVoyer,” the systems monitoring column for ;login magazine. Josephsen is just one of many thousands of avid Nagios users.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by the Nagios Creator, Ethan Galstad xiii

Introduction 1

Do It Right the First Time 1

Why Nagios? 2

What’s in This Book? 4

Who Should Read This Book? 7

End Notes 7

CHAPTER 1 Best Practices 9

A Procedural Approach to Systems Monitoring 9

Processing and Overhead 12

Remote Versus Local Processing 12

Bandwidth Considerations 13

Network Location and Dependencies 14

Security 16

Silence Is Golden 19

Watching Ports Versus Watching Applications 20

Who’s Watching the Watchers? 21

End Notes 22

CHAPTER 2 Theory of Operations 23

The Host and Service Paradigm 24

Starting from Scratch 24

Hosts and Services 26

Interdependence 26

The Downside of Hosts and Services 27

Plug-ins 28

Exit Codes 28

Remote Execution 31

Scheduling 34

Check Interval and States 34

Distributing the Load 36

Reapers and Parallel Execution 38

Notification 39

Global Gotchas 39

Notification Options 40

Templates 41

Time Periods 41

Scheduled Downtime, Acknowledgments, and Escalations 42

I/O Interfaces Summarized 43

The Web Interface 43

Monitoring 45

Reporting 46

The External Command File 48

Performance Data 48

The Event Broker 49

End Notes 50

CHAPTER 3 Installing Nagios 51

OS Support and the FHS 51

Installation Steps and Prerequisites 53

Installing Nagios 54

Confi gure 54

Make 55

Make Install 56

Installing the Plug-ins 57

Installing NRPE 59

End Notes 60

CHAPTER 4 Confi guring Nagios 61

Objects and Defi nitions 62

nagios.cfg 64

The CGI Confi g 67

Templates 68

Timeperiods 70

Commands 71

Contacts 73

Contactgroup 74

Hosts 75

Services 77

Hostgroups 79

Servicegroups 79

Escalations 80

Dependencies 81

Extended Information 83

Apache Confi guration 83

GO! 85

End Notes 85

CHAPTER 5 Bootstrapping the Nagios Confi g Files 87

Scripting Templates 87

Autodiscovery 91

Check_MK 91

Nagios XI 92

Autodiscovery Is Dead: Long Live Autodiscovery 92

NagiosQL 92

CHAPTER 6 Watching: Monitoring Through the Nagios Plug-ins 95

Local Queries 95

Pings 96

Port Queries 98

Querying Multiple Ports 100

(More) Complex Service Checks 102

E2E Monitoring with WebInject and Cucumber-Nagios 104

Watching Windows 111

The Windows Scripting Environment 111

COM and OLE 113

WMI 113

To WSH or Not to WSH 118

To VB or Not to VB 119

The Future of Windows Scripting 119

Getting Down to Business 121

NRPE 122

Check_NT 123

NSCP 124

Watching UNIX 125

NRPE 125

CPU 126

Memory 129

Disk 130

Check_MK 131

Watching “Other Stuff” 135

SNMP 135

Working with SNMP 137

Environmental Sensors 142

Standalone Sensors 143

LMSensors 144

IPMI 145

End Notes 146

CHAPTER 7 Scaling Nagios 149

Tuning, Optimization, and Some Building Blocks 149


NDOUtils 150

Distributed Passive Checks with Secondary

Nagios Daemons 150

Event Broker Modules: DNX, Merlin, and Mod Gearman 153

DNX 154

Mod Gearman 156

Op5 Merlin 157

Distributed Dashboards: Fusion, MNTOS, and MK-Multisite 159

CHAPTER 8 Visualization 167

Nagios Performance Data 168

RRDTool: The Foundation 168

Enter RRDTool 170

RRD Data Types 171

Heartbeat and Step 172

Min and Max 174

Round Robin Archives 174

RRDTool Create Syntax 175

RRDTool Graph Mode 180

RPN 182

Data Visualization Strategies: A Tale of Three Networks 185

Suitcorp: Nagios, NagiosGraph, and Drraw 185 Nagios and Ganglia 192

Massive Ginormic: Nagios, Logsurfer, Graphite, and Life After RRDTool 200

DIY Dashboards 209

Know What You’re Doing 210

RRDTool Fetch Mode 212

The GD Graphics Library 214

NagVis 215

GraphViz 217

Sparklines 218

Force Directed Graphs with jsvis 220

End Notes 221

CHAPTER 9 Nagios XI 223

What Is It? 223

How Does It Work? 224

What’s in It for Me? 226

One Slick Interface 226

Integrated Time Series Data 227

Modularized Components 228

Enhanced Reporting and Advanced Visualization 228

Integrated Plug-ins and Confi guration Wizards 230

Operational Improvements 234

How Do I Get My Hands on It? 235

CHAPTER 10 The Nagios Event Broker Interface 237

Function References and Callbacks in C 237

The NEB Architecture 239

Implementing a Filesystem Interface Using NEB 242

DNX, a Real-World Example 255

Wrap Up 258

End Notes 259

Index 261

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