[colug-432] unix monitoring

Phil Harris philtech at gmail.com
Fri Feb 26 13:08:32 EST 2016

I'm currently working with Zabbix, which does have a GUI but is complex to
setup and run.

Previously, I did a bit of work with what was then called Hobbit and is now
called Xymon.  That was a decent package with a workable GUI (albeit with a
somewhat wierd default theme) which was highly extensible through a
scripting API.

I've been curious about Nagios, given it's popularity and the ready
availability of tools.  But it sounds problematic,


On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 10:36 AM, William Yang <wyang at gcfn.net> wrote:

> I've only got experience with two of your suggested solutions: Zabbix and
> Nagios, but I've spent a lot of time understanding situational awareness
> issues in monitoring over the years.
> Generally speaking, I've been pretty happy with Nagios in production
> environments. That said, it's got all the good and bad of an old package
> like sendmail. Incredibly powerful, pain in the behind to configure. I
> don't find it particularly brittle, though -- it does require that you have
> some procedural discipline in managing Nagios configurations -- you have to
> test your configurations properly, or you will break things.
> I'm not really impressed with Zabbix, but the only problem I've used it on
> was so big and specific that nothing could really handle it well.  Zabbix
> did ultimately get set up in a way that could work for the problem, but I
> still think Nagios could have done it the same way at substantally less
> than the $2M that was ultimately spent.
> Nagios would really benefit from a *free* GUI tool to manage (and validate)
> the configuration.  I think that's commercially available (I wrote my own
> config manager for it a long time ago, but it's essentially just emacs,
> make, and a couple of perl and shell scripts, and my own devised way to
> describe the configuration macros.  (I also once wrote a scheduler
> replacement for Nagios, based on storing everything in a MySQL database,
> but I still think the Nagios engine worked better than mine).
>         -Bill
> On 02/24/2016 06:14 PM, Rick Hornsby wrote:
> >
> > We're presently using Microsoft SCOM to monitor our enterprise (mix of
> Windows and Linux) ... and it's ... horrible.  There's simply no other way
> to describe the experience for a UNIX admin.  We've given up trying to
> automate the unix agent installation.  It's a broken in ways we cannot fix.
> >
> > So we're pondering a better solution for our UNIX environment.  BMC
> Patrol is out - it's got big stompy feet and an even larger price tag.
> We're looking at free/OSS options to cover ~1000 unix hosts, mostly RHEL
> and SUSE but some Solaris and AIX.
> >
> > Start with the basics - CPU load, disk space, ports listening, processes
> running, etc - and have the ability to grow into application level
> monitoring.  It would be nice if the OSS version supported LDAP auth.  We
> plan to integrate the solution into our eventual server provisioning stuff
> that we're planning to build with Puppet.  It would also be nice if the
> dashboard was pretty.
> >
> > For an idea, some of the ones we're considering are Zabbix, Nagios,
> Sensu, and PandoraFMS.
> >
> > Zabbix - I have some past experience with 1.x and 2.0/2.2.  The web UI
> is a little painful.  Just now I quick-like spun up a Zabbix 3.0 instance
> --- and things on the dashboard are blinking.  No really, green blocks on
> the screen are blinking.  Please stop blinking, giant blocks.
> >
> > Nagios - It's been around long enough to have earned a bad rep for
> basically being old, never very user friendly, and generally brittle by
> modern standards.
> >
> > Sensu - It looks pretty?  Don't know much, but it's weird that the OSS
> version is Ruby but the enterprise version is Java?
> >
> > PandoraFMS - Don't know much about this one.
> >
> > What are you guys running?  It feels like there must be more options out
> there that we're not aware of.
> >
> > thanks!
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> >
> --
> William Yang
> wyang at gcfn.net
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