One Cool ISO: Fully Automated Nagios

Review of a fully pakaged Nagios Distro

TV Dinners. Not only is this an ultra cool song by ZZ Top but on the surface of the twenty year turkey in a thirty year old skin it should be a perfect meal for folks on the go. The majority of your food groups are all there, cooked at once on a throw away dish. Perfect right? I have been calling Live CDs/Distro's TV Dinners for awhile now. There are some good ones out there like the BackTrack series which can get here: http://www.offensive-security.com/ along with some very good training, Ultimate Boot CD http://ubcd.sourceforge.net/download.html and a super shout out to Super Gamer Distro at http://www.supergamer.org for a awesome gaming distro to help dull the pain of those mind numbing extra long conf calls. But one distro really stands out in my testing and field work: Fully Automated Nagios (FAN). I could insert a cheesy Gene Shalit tag line like; "You be a Fan of FAN" but it's Friday I am just thinking about my upcoming Beer Summit today with some of my fellow hackers. Although I believe one of them will be drinking a juice box (That's right zDUg, I'm talkin' about YOU) Nagios has been in my tool box since it was called NetSaint. It monitors everything from servers to services. Plus it has a very extensible plug in library that gives me the ability to use a wide range of scripts either canned or I can write my own. There is so much stuff that most of the time I just edit a piece of code someone else has already wrote. OK so Nagios is cool right? It meets the criteria to be a cool program: - Be free - Be useful on all types of networks - Be extensible - Have a cool yet confusing name so that folks that know how to use it know how to pronounce it. By itself Nagios is the stuff but it still needs a few other pieces to take it to '32 three window coupe cool status. It needs a reporting engine, easy to use GUI for the Network Ops folks and some detailed graphic mapping/graphing to ohhhhhhh and ahhhhh the former BASIC and FORTRAN crowd that are now our managers. 10 PRINT "Awesome!!" 20 GOTO 10 This is where FAN comes in takes Nagios to the next level. As a distro/Live CD, FAN is based on CentOS (which is not going away despite rumors in the open source community). CentOS has an advantage over many other open source OS' in that it is designed to be a full enterprise class OS that can take advantage of multiple CPU's, clustering etc. On that solid base we have added the follow must have apps for Nagios: - Nagios plug -ins: A ton of plug-ins to monitor different equipment on your network. - Centreon: Web interface for Nagios. Centreon has long been the best Web U/I front end for Nagios. - NagVis: Advanced mapping. I mean advanced too. The mapping views and capabilities of NagVis are much better then many commercial NMS' out there. (except Cisco Works which is the BEST...) - NDOUtils: stores the Nagios data into a MySQL database. - NRPE: This is designed to allow you to execute Nagios plugins on remote Linux/Unix machines to monitor resources like CPU load, memory usage, etc on remote servers. Double check to make sure that any server based firewall is mapped for the listener. Normally this is port 5666 but you can change/check this in /usr/local/nagios/etc/nrpe.cfg - NaReTo: Nagios Reporting Tools. This is a basic reporting tool. It is OK. Not the best and not the worst. Installing FAN is simple, painless and quick. It needs about a gig of space. You just need to config a machine name, DNS and a IP address. Make sure you use a hard set IP address and not DHCP since that can make the database inconsistent. CentOS normally does not install and start the GUI front end like other LiveCD so just in case, you can do this with the command set: yum --exclude=nautilus-sendto groupinstall "GNOME Desktop Environment" "X Window System" startx Now just login with the default info: U:nagiosadmin P:nagiosadmin and you are ready to config up your new NMS!! I really love this distro. It has the majority of tools I need to monitor a network preconfig'ed and ready to deploy. Go out and download FAN today at: http://fannagioscd.sourceforge.net/drupal/ or you can go out to find many other distros for your various uses at: http://www.livecdlist.com/ Hey all this talk about ISO's has left me craving a Hungry Man's Salisbury Steak! I am out of here! Jimmy Ray Purser Trivia File Transfer Protocol During the last 3,500 years, it is estimated that the world has had a grand total of 230 years in which no wars took place.

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