The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way businesses operate, and organizations are looking to enterprise technology to help them weather the storm. Network monitoring solutions have helped businesses improve their network performance or fix network security issues. These tools can be a major help to companies fight against the business effects of COVID-19, as a network monitoring solution can assist companies in ensuring business networks are running smoothly.
What is Server and Network Monitoring?
Server Monitoring is a process to monitor a server's system resources like CPU Usage, Memory Consumption, I/O, Network, Disk Usage, Process etc. Server Monitoring helps to understand the server's system resource usage which can help you better your capacity planning and provide a better end-user experience.
Network monitoring is a critical IT process where all networking components like routers, switches, firewalls, servers, and VMs are monitored for fault and performance and evaluated continuously to maintain and optimize their availability.
Why is server and network monitoring important?
Servers are some of the most critical pieces of your IT infrastructure, so it stands to reason that monitoring their performance and uptime is vital to the health of your IT environment. If a web server is offline, running slowly, experiencing outages or other performance issues, you may lose customers who decide to visit elsewhere. If an internal file server is generating errors, key business data such as accounting files or customer records could be corrupted.
Server monitoring is designed to observe your systems and provide several key metrics to IT management about their operation. In general, a server monitor tests for accessibility and measures response time while alerting for errors. Server monitoring is also predictive: Is the disk going to reach capacity soon? Is memory or CPU utilization about to be throttled? Server monitoring is most often used for processing data in real-time, but it also has value when evaluating historical data.
Businesses rely on their network to perform at the levels they require to satisfy their clients’ demands. Performance issues and network outages are not only infuriating to deal with — they’re also incredibly costly to your company. For businesses of all sizes, a network performance solution allows you to proactively deal with performance problems and gain valuable insights into your network.
What is Nagios?
Nagios is available as an open-source network monitoring tool, and it is used to monitor computer systems. It can be executed on a Linux operating system to screen the devices which are executed on Windows, Unix, and Linux operating systems. It executes a continuous check on the crucial application, server resources, network, and tasks.
Nagios software runs periodic checks on critical parameters of application, network and server resources. For example, Nagios can monitor memory usage, disk usage, microprocessor load, the number of currently running processes and log files. Nagios also can monitor services, such as Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), Post Office Protocol 3 (POP3), Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and other common network protocols. Active checks are initiated by Nagios, while passive checks come from external applications connected to the monitoring tool.
How Nagios enables the monitoring of servers and networks
Nagios basically has three components — the daemon, the Web interface, and the plugins. The whole process revolves around four basic object types which are stated below:
Hosts: As a host, the user has to define all devices, servers, databases, etc. belonging to the network that the user simply wants to watch. The respective IP address is the most important indicator of a host.
Services: With services, the user defines which host features Nagios should check. These features could also be services that run on the host (i.e., HTTP, FTP, etc.), internal attributes like available disc space, or physical characteristics like the temperature value of the hardware.
Commands: With commands, the user controls the sequence of monitoring. The user can configure how the host and repair monitoring is meant and when Nagios should notify you if something happens.
Contacts: Due to the defined contacts, Nagios knows whom to notify should an event occur. The software sends an e-mail, a text message, or a voice message depending on what the user has specified.
Nagios can be configured to do either passive checks or active checks. In active checks, the host that runs Nagios ‘polls’ devices or services for status information every so often, whereas passive checks are initiated and performed by external applications/processes. The results are then sent to the monitoring host (where Nagios runs) for processing. The major difference between active and passive checks is that active checks are initiated and performed by Nagios, while passive checks are performed by external applications. Passive checks can be used to monitor asynchronous services and to monitor the services that are located behind a firewall.
Features of Nagios
· Capabilities to monitor applications, services, operating systems, network protocols, system metrics and infrastructure components with a single tool
· Powerful script APIs allow easy monitoring of in-house and custom applications, services, and systems
· Historical reports provide a record of alerts, notifications, outages, and alert response
· Centralized view of entire monitored IT infrastructure
· Alerts can be delivered to technical staff via email or SMS
· Trending and capacity planning add-ons ensure you’re aware of ageing infrastructure
· Scheduled downtime allows for alert suppression during infrastructure upgrades
· Integration with in-house and third-party applications is easy with multiple APIs
· Failover capabilities ensure non-stop monitoring of critical IT infrastructure components
· Multi-user access to web interface allows stakeholders to view infrastructure status
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