xSNMP Reports 1.1.1 Now Available!

The xSNMP Reports version 1.1.1 package is now available at manage-x.net.   This suite of management pack adds value to the xSNMP suite by implementing OpsMgr reports for data collected by performance rules in the xSNMP management packs.   Reporting management packs included are:

  • xSNMP for APC Reports
  • xSNMP for APC NetBotz Reports
  • xSNMP for Brocade Reports
  • xsNMP for Check Point Secure Platform Reports
  • xSNMP for Cisco Reports
  • xSNMP for Data Domain Reports
  • xSNMP for Dell PowerEdge Reports
  • xSNMP for HP ProCurve Reports
  • xSNMP for IBM AIX Reports
  • xSNMP for Juniper Networks Reports
  • xSNMP for Juniper-NetScreen Reports
  • xSNMP for NetApp Reports
  • xSNMP for Net-SNMP Reports
  • xSNMP for SonicWALL Reports

Requirements are:   OpsMgr 2007 R2, xSNMP suite, OpsMgr reporting implementation.   Like the xSNMP suite, the reports MP’s are licensed with the GNU-GPL and unsealed versions are provided.

Advertisements

xSNMP Verions 1.1.1(Alpha) Available Now!

I have posted the 1.1.1 (Alpha) version of the xSNMP suite at manage-x.net.   While the updates in this release are relatively minor in nature, I would still consider this to be an early test copy of this version and deploy in test environments before production.  The abbreviated change log for this release is:

New Management Packs:

  • xSNMP for APC NetBotz Management Pack
  • xSNMP for IBM AIX
  • xSNMP for Juniper Networks Management Pack
  • xSNMP for SonicWALL Management Pack

New Features:

  • Added support for monitoring of Net-SNMP Extend objects (xSNMP for Net-SNMP Management Pack)
  • Added a three state monitor for Net-SNMP Exec objects(xSNMP for Net-SNMP Management Pack)
  • New Cisco Firewall Subsystem monitoring for PIX and ASA firewalls
  • Added new data sources to the xSNMP MP to decrease data source redundancy
  • Individual inbound/outbound speeds can now be set through the Speed Override discovery in the xSNMP MP
  • All views are now publically accessible

Issues Resolved:

  • Fixed an uncommon issue with network interface utilization calculations
    that could result in invalid values being calculated if a previous poll returned null data
  • Updated the list of Device OID’s for APC UPS devices to include missing UPS models
  • Fixed an issue with an incorrect OID specified for HP Proliant SCSI (IDA) storage health monitoring
  • Fixed an issue with the Cisco Default Gateway Changed alert-generating rule

Development Updates

While this blog has been a bit quiet lately, it has not been for lack of efforts.   In the next two weeks, a minor update to the xSNMP suite should be ready with a few bug-fixes and feature improvements.    This update will also include three new management packs:

  • xSNMP  for Juniper Networks
  • xSNMP for SonicWALL
  • xSNMP for APC NetBotz

We’re still finishing up testing and fine-tuning on the Oracle Unix/Linux MP as well.

These updates will be described in more detail here and available for download on manage-X.net soon.

xSNMP Management Pack Suite Version 1.1.0 (Beta)

After weeks of pilot testing, the xSNMP Suite version 1.1.0 is ready for public beta release.  In addition to some bug fixes and feature enhancements, this release includes four completely new management packs:

  • xSNMP Juniper-NetScreen MP:   Implements comprehensive monitoring of NetScreen firewall devices
  • xSNMP NetApp MP:  Implements comprehensive monitoring of NetApp storage devices
  • xSNMP Sun Hardware MP: Implements monitoring of Sun Server hardware, through the SunFire Management Agent, Sun ILOM out-of-band management interface, or the Fujitsu XSCF out-of-band management interface
  • xSNMP Dell PowerEdge MP:  Implements monitoring of hardware for Dell PowerEdge devices via the Dell OpenManage agent or DRAC out-of-band management interface

These management packs are in addition to the other 11 management packs previously included in the suite:

  • xSNMP Management Pack – Implements filtered discovery and monitoring of SNMP devices and interfaces that support the standard RFC1213 MIB, IF-MIB, and EtherLike-MIB.  This management pack is the core of the xSNMP Suite and contains public datasources that are utilized in the other optional management packs.
  • xSNMP Overrides Management Pack – This unsealed management pack can be used as a container for overrides, but also provides preconfigured groups and overrides for easily controlling interface monitoring through groups of network interfaces.
  • xSNMP APC Managment Pack – Implements monitoring for APC Rackmount PDU, UPS, Automatic Transfer Switch, and Environmental Monitor devices.
  • xSNMP Brocade Management Pack – Implements chassis monitoring for Brocade Fibre-Channel switch devices (Fibre-Channel ports are monitored as network interfaces with the xSNMP MP).
  • xSNMP Check Point Secure Platform Management Pack – Implements module health and firewall HA failover monitoring for Check Point Secure Platform firewall devices.
  • xSNMP Cisco Management Pack – Implements additional monitoring for Cisco devices, primarily including chassis hardware moniotring for devices that support the EnvMon MIB, Entity-MB, or Cisco-Stack MIB.
  • xSNMP Data Domain Management Pack – Implements monitoring for the performance, hardware status, and replication status of Data Domain Restorer storage appliances.
  • xSNMP HP ProCurve Management Pack – Implements component health monitoring for HP ProCurve switches and wireless access points.
  • xSNMP HP Proliant Management Pack – Implements hardware health monitoring for SNMP-enabled HP servers that support the Proliant Insight Management Agents.
  • xSNMP Net-SNMP Management Pack  – Implements operating system monitoring for Net-SNMP agent devices, such as UNIX/Linux servers through the UCD and Host-Resources MIBs. 
  • xSNMP Syslog Management Pack – Provides  warning and critical alert generating rules that can be enabled and filtered with overrides to alert on incoming syslog messages from discovered SNMP devices.

Behind the scenes, significant improvements have been made in the class structure and shared data source configuration in the root xSNMP MP.  These changes facilitate better organization and easier future development of dependent management packs.  These changes are probably best illustrated with a screenshot of the improved xSNMP base class hierarchy:

I greatly appreciate the testing carried out by the volunteer pilot testers, as well as all of the feedback from those who have tested the xSNMP MP’s, but I specifically want to thank Chris L. for all of his assistance in every stage of the development of the NetScreen MP, as well as Raphael Burri for all of his help in designing the organizational improvements in the xSNMP MP.  

The updated xSNMP Suite can be downloaded here.

Note:  One impact of the reorganization in the xSNMP MP is that direct upgrade from previous versions is not possible and the xSNMP MP’s must be removed prior to importing the new version.   To assist in this regard, I have provided a PowerShell script which can be used to automate the upgrade process and preserve configured overrides (in most cases).   The prerequisites and procedures for upgrading are covered in detail in the Upgrading_xSNMP_To_1.1.0 document that is included in the download package.

xSNMP Management Packs – Beta Version 1.0.8 Release

After many weeks of development efforts and testing, I have made the latest beta version of the xSNMP Management Packs available for download.   Before getting into any more detail, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the invaluable help provided by some of the volunteers who tested these management packs through all stages of development.  Many thanks in particular to Chris and Davey, who played a huge role in every stage of the development of the xSNMP MP’s.   Many thanks also to Gary and Björn for their great help in testing the MP’s.  

The included documentation covers recommendations for deployment and configuration as well as the details of the management packs.  Additional information about performance considerations in large SNMP monitoring environments can be found in this previous post.   At present, the following management packs are included in this suite, and more are currently in the works.

  • xSNMP Management Pack – Implements filtered discovery and monitoring of SNMP devices and interfaces that support the standard RFC1213 MIB, IF-MIB, and EtherLike-MIB.  This management pack is the core of the xSNMP Suite and contains public datasources that are utilized in the other optional management packs.
  • xSNMP Overrides Management Pack – This unsealed management pack can be used as a container for overrides, but also provides preconfigured groups and overrides for easily controlling interface monitoring through groups of network interfaces.
  • xSNMP APC Managment Pack – Implements monitoring for APC Rackmount PDU, UPS, Automatic Transfer Switch, and Environmental Monitor devices.
  • xSNMP Brocade Management Pack – Implements chassis monitoring for Brocade Fibre-Channel switch devices (Fibre-Channel ports are monitored as network interfaces with the xSNMP MP).
  • xSNMP Check Point Secure Platform Management Pack – Implements module health and firewall HA failover monitoring for Check Point Secure Platform firewall devices.
  • xSNMP Cisco Management Pack – Implements additional monitoring for Cisco devices, primarily including chassis hardware moniotring for devices that support the EnvMon MIB, Entity-MIB, or Cisco-Stack MIB.
  • xSNMP Data Domain Management Pack – Implements monitoring for the performance, hardware status, and replication status of Data Domain Restorer storage appliances.
  • xSNMP HP ProCurve Management Pack – Implements component health monitoring for HP ProCurve switches and wireless access points.
  • xSNMP HP Proliant Management Pack – Implements hardware health monitoring for SNMP-enabled HP servers that support the Proliant Insight Management Agents.
  • xSNMP Net-SNMP Management Pack  – Implements operating system monitoring for Net-SNMP agent devices, such as UNIX/Linux servers through the UCD and Host-Resources MIBs. 
  • xSNMP Syslog Management Pack – Provides  warning and critical alert generating rules that can be enabled and filtered with overrides to alert on incoming syslog messages from discovered SNMP devices.

Feedback is, of course, welcomed.

Some Screenshots of the xSNMP Management Packs

Diagram view of an HP ProCurve device:

Diagram view of a Data Domain Restorer:

Health Explorer view for an APC UPS:

Diagram View for an HP Proliant server:

Performance View for a network interface:

Diagram view for a Brocade Fibre Channel Switch:

Scalability and Performance (Design and Testing) in the xSNMP Management Packs

In this post, I intend to describe some of the challenges in scaling SNMP monitoring in an Operations Manager environment to a large number of monitored objects, as well as my experiences from testing and the approaches that I took to address these challenges with the xSNMP Management Packs.

Background

In spite of the market availability of many task-specific SNMP monitoring applications boasting rich feature sets, I think that a strong case can be made for the use of System Center Operations Manager in this SNMP monitoring role. Using a single product for systems and infrastructure (SNMP) monitoring facilitates unparalleled monitoring integration (e.g. including critical network devices/interfaces or appliances in Distributed Application Models for vital business functions). The rich MP authoring implementation, dynamic discovery capabilities, and object-oriented modeling approach allow a level of depth and flexibility in SNMP monitoring not often found in pure SNMP monitoring tools.

However, Operations Manager is first and foremost a distributed monitoring application, most often depending on agents to run small workloads independently. Inevitably, running centralized monitoring workloads (i.e. SNMP polls) in a distributed monitoring application is going to carry a higher performance load than the same workloads in a task-specific centralized monitoring application that was built from the ground up to handle a very high number of concurrent polls with maximum efficiency. This centralized architecture would likely feature a single scheduler process that distributes execution of polls in an optimized fashion as well as common polling functions implemented in streamlined managed code. With SNMP monitoring in Operations Manager, any optimization of workload scheduling and code optimization more or less falls to the MP author to implement.

While working on the xSNMP Management Packs, I spent a lot of time testing different approaches to maximize efficiency (and thus scalability) in a centralized SNMP monitoring scenario. I’m sure there is always room for continual improvement, but I will try to highlight some of the key points of my experiences in this pursuits.

Designing for Cookdown

Cookdown is one of the most important concepts in MP authoring when considering the performance impact of workflows. A great summary of OpsMgr cookdown can be found here. In effect, the cookdown process looks for modules with identical configurations (including input parameters) and replaces the multiple executions of redundant modules with a single execution. So, if one wanted to monitor and collect historical data on the inbound and outbound percent utilization and Mb/s throughput of an SNMP network interface, a scheduler and SNMP Probe (with VarBinds defined to retrieve the in and out octets counters for the interface) could be configured. As long as each of the rules and monitors provided the same input parameters to these modules for each interface, the scheduler and SNMP probe would only execute once per interval per interface. Taking this a step further, the SNMP probe could be configured to gather all SNMP values for objects to monitor in the IFTable for this interface (e.g. Admin Status, Oper Status, In Errors, Out Errors), and these values could be used in even more rules and monitors. The one big catch here is that the SNMP Probe module stops processing SNMP VarBind’s once it hits an error. So, it’s typically not a good idea to mix SNMP VarBinds for objects that may not be implemented on some agents with OIDS that would be implemented on all agents.

Workflow Scheduling

Read more of this post