How good monitoring can help the business

There are many times when I see IT managers not monitoring their user’s services at all or setup a general application and consider the job done. Most of the time, they realise much is missing when they have to report about (recurrent) issues regarding business critical services. Monitoring is not to be considered as a cure solution but as a forecast tool. When planned and configured as such, it’ll help prevent predicable failures and drive capacity planning.

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Monitoring VMware vCenter Appliance with SNMP

VMware provides a vCenter (Linux) Appliance since vSphere 5. Unfortunately, the one shipping with 5.0 was a bit low on features. I am giving a try on v5.1 and it is far better. Except that SNMP in not enabled…

I’ll keep the quick&dirty directions here. The source link is already quite complete.

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Monitoring OpenBSD’s LDAP daemon

OpenBSD ships with an LDAP daemon since 4.8. I have an all-in-one server from which the LDAP service has to be shipped out. I’m going to replace that OpenLDAP daemon with the LDAP daemon from OpenBSD 5.1. I already wrote about how to enable LDAP on OpenBSD 4.8.

Those will be updated notes for OpenBSD 5.1 and additional directions to allow monitoring the LDAP activity using SNMP and Xymon server.

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Upgrade Xymon to 4.3.10

I’ve just upgraded my OpenBSD’s Xymon server from 4.3.9 to 4.3.10. It was so simple that it deserved a simple note to:

  • confirm you don’t need the “--rrdlib” parameter to configure xymon-server with RRDtool support on OpenBSD (5.1) anymore;
  • applause for “gmake install” to be keeping the initial (modified) configuration files untouched.

Congratz Henrik!

OpenBSD as a monitoring server using Xymon

I’ve been using various monitoring software for a long time now. I always use two kinds of monitoring tools: service checkers, like Nagios, Monit… and metrics graphers, like RRDtool, Cacti, Munin, … I like the Xymon software, AKA Hobbit Monitor, because it can achieve both, uses very low resources and can be customized quite easily.

I used to run it on a FreeBSD virtual machine with ZFS activated. The idea was to compress and deduplicate the RRD data. But in fact, the RRD files weight less than 100MB and ZFS is of no use here. Plus, it seems my 3 virtual disks configuration makes the system lagging a lot ; or is it just the FreeBSD implementation. Anyway, that machine keeps sending timeouts and I can get why. Plus, comparing performance of both VMs, FreeBSD and VMware tools doesn’t seem to use less of my ESXi resources. So it’s time to replace it by some OS that never fails me: OpenBSD.

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