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August 18, 2006

SUSE Linux running Nagios is pretty cool

by @ 7:03 am. Filed under General SUSE, Work-Related

I have had an absolute blast today. I’ve always heard about how wickedly powerful Nagios is. However, I’ve also heard many versions of different horror stories about how people lost an arm to Nagios when they tried to install it. My friend Steve now has a glass eye from his ordeal with it.

Naturally, of course, not wanting to lose an arm or an eye, I’ve steered clear from Nagios for a while. That being said, my manager came to me the other day and asked me, “Is there anything open-source that can monitor our servers to let us know when things go down?” I was like, “So, now you need Linux to babysit your Windows servers lest they crash?” After the chiding, I said, “Why yes, there is a tool called Nagios.” He said, “How soon can you get it installed?” I said, “About 2 weeks.” The painful look he gave me was priceless. After gleaning as much enjoyment as I could from it, I said, “Just kidding… but probably a day or two,” really having no idea because of what I’d heard about the installation.

The thing installed in about 15 minutes. Big whoop. Then came the configuration of that bad boy. Heh, there’s where I’m guessing people hit the wall. For some reason, it seems to me that if you’ve had experience with object-oriented programming, and relational database experience, the config files kinda sorta seem to just make sense. They did for me, anyway. YMMV.

I also wasn’t able to get the notifications to work, so I wrote my own scripts and plugged them in. They work beautifully. I set up a PING monitor for my desktop machine. I then spent the next 20 minutes turning the machine off and back on to watch the monitor go from CRITICAL to OK and back. Boy, simple minds have simple pleasures. Maybe that’s why my brother grew up eating crayons.

Anyway…

I also couldn’t find a MySQL monitor, so I just used the check_tcp monitor to connect to port 3306 on the target machine. I realize that this does not actually run a query on the database to see if it is actually working properly. However, it will tell me if the server is not running. Maybe I’ll fix that later. For now, it looks good to the untrained eye.

OK, well, I set up like 27 monitors on about 6 different machines. Fun day, tell you what.

Really it was not nearly as painful as I had been led to believe. Perhaps it was the tutorials that I used to get me started. Maybe I’ll write my own (for some reason, I get a charge out of writin’ good, clean, helpful tutorials) for anyone who may find it useful. The two tutorials I used were located on a CoolSolutions page and bobcares.com. Between the two of those articles, from the time I started until the time I was monitoring the local machine was about 25 minutes. Not too shabby.

Oh, don’t forget to install openssl-devel before you do this, otherwise you won’t be able to check your HTTPS servers (using the check_http plugin).

If you dig screenshots, here’s one of my Nagios install in action:

Nagios on Linux in action
Click for larger image

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