Thursday, January 24, 2013

How to monitor the configuration of a Cisco Switch

The following is a very typical user story. A user shows up complaining that suddenly he lost connection to a server, however nobody has any idea what could have been the cause of it. Checking around and asking if anybody was working on something doesn’t give any clues. Wouldn’t it be great if you had a system that warns you when anything changed on the configuration of a device? This is now possible with Xian NM 2012 SP1. It includes configuration monitoring for Cisco Switches and is an easy feature to configure.
After you discover a Cisco Switch through SNMP, you can go to the properties of the device and click on the ‘Configuration Monitoring’ Tab. You will get a screen like the one below.

At this point you select the Telnet Protocol and fill in the credentials Xian NM will use to obtain the configuration. After this action, you select the schedule in which you want the configuration to be checked. Now you can click on view configuration to see if everything is running according to plan.
If at one moment the configuration is changed, you will receive an alert like the one below.

Now you can opt to accept this change or to change the configuration back to what it was before, which will resolve the alert.
You can accept this change by clicking on ‘View current configuration’. Xian NM will now show you all the configuration changes. Click here on ‘Accept Changes’ and a new baseline will be sent and the alert will be resolved in Operations Manager.

If however, you will change the configuration back to the old one, you can click on ‘Discard Changes’. This will resolve the alert and gives you time to change the configuration. However, if you skipped this step, the alert will be repeated the next time the configuration is checked.

Click here for more information and a free trial. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What to do when you get Non processed counters/events alerts in OpsMgr

The data collected by Xian NM Io or 2012 from the monitored devices such as events and counters are sent to OpsMgr through the Xian NM connector module. If the Connector Module Server doesn't receive any events or counters per 20 consecutive intervals of 3 minutes (one hour), it will generate an error alert in OpsMgr in order to notify that no data was received within this interval of time.

Causes and solutions:

  • No relevant data has been collected from the devices within this interval so the alert can be ignored.
  • A Xian NM Management Pack is missing in Operations Manager so no data can be inserted into OpsMgr until the missing MP is imported.
  • You discovered devices within the Xian NM environment but didn’t apply any monitoring rules so no monitoring data is been actually retrieved from the devices themselves.
  • The Xian NM connector module was not properly initialized. Restart the System center management server.
  • The Xian NM or OpsMgr services are not properly running or not running at all. You can restart the 4 Jalasoft Xian NM services along with the OpsMgr services in order to re-establish a communication.
  • Wrong configuration or no communication between the Connector and Connector Module: it could be possible that the Xian environment is pointing to a wrong IP address or that the account used by the Xian NM services doesn't have administrator privileges so no data can be properly sent or inserted. You can reinstall Xian NM in order to properly make it point to OpsMgr and then provide an account that is an OpsMgr administrator.
  • The Xian NM or OpsMgr services accounts don’t have full permissions against the MS message queuing service. Open the server manager console then review the properties of the queues listed under the following node ‘features >message queuing>private queues ’ in order to make sure that the Xian NM and OpsMgr accounts have full permissions.
  • The defined threshold for Non Processed counters is too low for the environment: just override the threshold value of the "Non Processed Counter Monitor" to a proper value
  • This alert is auto-resolved if any new counters or events are later on received.