How to install SSL Certificate for Nectus GUI

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This guide explains how to generate the CSR code and install a commercial SSL certificate for Windows Apache so that you could access your Nectus GUI page securely via HTTPS.

It assumes that during Nectus installation, you selected the default location which is C:\Program Files\Nectus.

If you installed Nectus in a different folder, make sure to adjust the commands and locations given in this guide accordingly.

In general, in order to have a website accessible using secure HTTPS connection, the web server must have a pair of public and private keys configured.

The public key must be signed by a trusted Certificate Authority and added to a digital SSL certificate.

To obtain that certificate, you will need to send the certificate signing request (CSR) code to your SSL provider. Please refer to instructions below:

Generating CSR using OpenSSL

  1. On your Windows server, press Win+R, enter cmd and hit OK

 

2. Enter the following command to run OpenSSL: “C:\Program Files\Nectus\Web\Apache24\bin\openssl.exe”

 

 

3. The prompt will change to OpenSSL>. This means we can run the OpenSSL commands now.

To generate a new CSR/Key pair for your future SSL certificate, execute the following this command:

 

req -new -newkey rsa:2048 -nodes -keyout “C:\Program Files\Nectus\Web\Apache24\conf\yourdomain.key” -out “C:\Program Files\Nectus\Web\Apache24\conf\yourdomain.csr” -config “C:\Program Files\Nectus\Web\Apache24\conf\openssl.cnf”

 

4. You will be prompted to enter certain information related to your domain.

The commentaries for each field are provided after the // sign.

Country Name (2 letter code) [AU]:US // enter the ISO 3166-2 compliant country code here

State or Province Name (full name) [Some-State]:California // the field for the state

Locality Name (eg, city) []:Los Angeles // the field for the city

Organization Name (eg, company) [Internet Widgits Pty Ltd]:NA // the name of your company. If you do not have a company or do not wish to indicate it, simply put NA

Organizational Unit Name (eg, section) []:NA // a department of your company. NA can be used here

Common Name (e.g. server FQDN or YOUR name) []:example.com // this is the field for your domain

Email Address []:. // this field is not required generally so you can leave it blank

Please enter the following ‘extra’ attributes

to be sent with your certificate request

A challenge password []:. // can be left blank

An optional company name []:. // can be left blank

 

5. Once done, the C:\Program Files\Nectus\Web\Apache24\conf\ directory will have two new files, the file with the CSR code (.csr) and the file with the private key (.key).

We’ll leave the private key for the time being. The CSR code has to be provided to your certificate vendor — this code is the base for your commercial SSL certificate.

Please contact your SSL vendor for instructions with SSL activation.

6. When the SSL is issued, you should receive at least two files: SSL certificate in a .crt (or .pem, .cer) file, and the CA-bundle (also can be called intermediate CA, root CA certificates) with extensions like .ca-bundle, .crt.

Please note that Apache requires only PEM-encoded certificates, so PKCS#7 or PKCS#12 encoded SSLs won’t work.

Configuring SSL for Apache

7. Upload those files to the C:\Program Files\Nectus\Web\Apache24\conf\ directory.

8. Then, go to the C:\Program Files\Nectus\Web\Apache24\conf\extra folder, and open the httpd-ssl.conf file in Notepad.

9. Find and edit the following directives and make sure that they point to the SSL certificate, Private Key, and the CA-bundle files accordingly:

 

SSLCertificateFile “${SRVROOT}/conf/yourdomain.crt”

SSLCertificateKeyFile “${SRVROOT}/conf/yourdomain.key”

SSLCACertificateFile “${SRVROOT}/conf/yourdomain.ca-bundle”

 

Note that the SSLCACertificateFile directive is commented out by default. You need to delete the # sign at the beginning of the string to uncomment the directive.

10. Save the configuration file

11. Return back to the C:\Program Files\Nectus\Web\Apache24\bin folder and double-click on ApacheMonitor.exe

 

12. The ApacheMonitor app will appear in the system tray at the lower right corner of your screen. Find and click it there.

13. Hit “Restart”

 

14. Now you can try accessing your Nectus GUI page in the browser via HTTPS: https://yourdomain.com

Nectus starts “Free Nectus for Schools” Program

Nectus care about our education and our kids and we understand that our schools are always  underfunded

and not able to afford top of the line software tools.

Starting from July 2019, Nectus started offering free license to all public schools up to K12 grade.

Free License includes all available Nectus  modules for up to 500 devices each.

To pre-qualify for a free license contact us via email: sales@nectus5.com

 

 

Configuring Linux Monitoring in Nectus

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Configuring Linux Monitoring in Nectus

Nectus Server 1.55 adds feature to monitor some system parameters on hosts running Linux. Enabling this feature for your infrastructure requires two steps:

  • Configuring of Nectus Server;
  • Installing and configuring of Nectus remote agents on target Linux machines.

This guide describes steps for Nectus Server configs. Installing and configuring of Linux remote agents are described here.

Linux monitoring integration

Choose the following menu item from the Nectus GUI to set global Linux monitoring parameters.

This will open the next window:

  • Agent mode determines whether the agent runs in passive mode (when it waits for an incoming connection from the server and then collects the required metrics) or in active mode when the agent connects to the server pro-actively and sends the collected data.
  • Server TCP port sets the server port number for incoming connections from the agents running in active mode. If you set Agent mode to passive then this value is not used.
  • Pre-shared Key determines the secret key used to encrypt and decrypt messages between Nectus Server and the monitoring agents. You can set string of any length but recommended length is from 8 to 16 characters. The exactly same key should be set in all agents’ configuration files (parameter SERVER_PRESHARED_KEY, see details here).

Click OK to save configured parameters.

 

 

Select “Linux Monitoring Settings” from the “Monitoring” menu to configure your monitoring profiles for Linux machines.

Click “Create” to create a new monitoring profile:

In the following form enter the name of your profile and choose metrics you would like to monitor:

 

Configure the necessary metric parameters like minimal and maximal thresholds, alerting etc.

You can create any number of profiles and assign each of them to different group of Linux machines.

Linux Servers

 

Select “Linux Servers” from the “Inventory” menu to configure groups and servers to be monitored.

Click “Create new Group” in the next form:

 

Enter “Group Name” for the new group, select “Enable monitoring” and choose the desired Monitoring Profile for this server group:

Also select the appropriate alert recipients in this form.

You can create any number of monitoring groups if you need to apply different profiles or alert recipients for different server groups.

When you have finished with the groups switch to the next tab “Servers” in the same form and click “Add Server” to add a Linux server to be monitored:

In the next window enter the Hostname (optional, it will be obtained later during the monitoring process), IP address, TCP port of the remote agent’s listening socket (default 5400) and choose the appropriate Group:

You can choose different values of TCP port for different servers according to your network configuration. But note that this value must match the parameter AGENT_PORT set in the agent’s configuration file (see details here).

After clicking “OK” you will see the server in the following list and you will be able to View, Edit and Delete the server (operations are marked with a red square).

After you have added all the desired servers and installed the remote agents the process of monitoring of your Linux hosts will start automatically.

 

Device View Auto Population Rules

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Device View Auto Population Rules

Device View is the logical grouping of the devices that can be used in different places within the Nectus application. In the previous versions of Nectus, the user would manually add devices into device views which may become a significant management overhead.

In Nectus version 1.55 we introduced an ability to automatically populate device views based on specific conditions such as device names, types, etc.

User can define a set of conditions which has to be true for Nectus to automatically add devices to device views.

This article will guide you through the process of defining the auto population rules for device views.

To access your SNMP Device Views go to Inventory Views SNMP Device View

 

 

To add a new Device View, click Create in the upper right hand corner of the SNMP Devices Views page.

 

Give a name to your new Device View.

 

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Press Save button to finish creation of Device view.

 

Open again newly created device view and in the upper right-hand corner, select Edit Rules.

This will open the Devices View Auto Population Rules page.

 

Select the plus sign to add a new Auto Population Rule.

 

Add all the required Auto-population rules and press Ok button to Save.

If multiple rules are defined all the rules must be TRUE for device to be automatically added. (Logical AND).

Your rules will be processed daily at 3:00 PM.

If you would like to apply your rules immediately, press the Apply Rules button.

 

Linux Monitoring Agent Installation

Linux Monitoring Agent Installation

Nectus Linux Monitoring Agent is required to be installed on target machine to enable Nectus to monitor Linux system parameters such as CPU and RAM utilization, Storage and Network Utilization.

Agent collects all the required monitoring metrics and reports to the main Nectus Server every 5 minutes.

 

Step 1: Download Monitoring Agent Package

Download binary package appropriate to your target machine Linux flavor and version from the download page.

 

Step 2a: Installation for Debian-based systems (including Ubuntu)

After downloading the package run the following installation command:

$ sudo dpkg -i <package-name>

This will install Nectus monitoring agent on your target machine. If everything is OK you’ll see some output like this:

$ sudo dpkg -i nectus-agent-1.0-1.deb

(Reading database … 79643 files and directories currently installed.)

Preparing to unpack nectus-agent-1.0-1.deb …

Unpacking nectus-agent (1.0-1) over (1.0-1) …

Setting up nectus-agent (1.0-1) …

Processing triggers for systemd (229-4ubuntu21.21) …

Processing triggers for ureadahead (0.100.0-19) …

Step 2b: Installation for RedHat and CentOS

After downloading the package run the following installation command:

$ sudo rpm -U <package-name>.rpm

You’ll see output like this:

$ sudo rpm -U nectus-agent-1.0-1.el7.x86_64.rpm

Preparing…

 ################################# [100%]

Updating / installing…

    1:nectus-agent-1.0-1.el7           

################################# [100%]

 

Step 3: Configuration

After installation is complete you need to set up the agent’s basic configuration.

Nectus agent configuration file is located at: /etc/nectus/nectus-agent.conf.

Default configuration file content is listed in Appendix 1. Most of the values are set to defaults and don’t require a change except following two parameters:

  • SERVER_PRESHARED_KEY
  • AGENT_PORT

SERVER_PRESHARED_KEY is used to encrypt messages between the Agent and Nectus Server. Initially it’s set to value <YourSecretKey>.

Edit this parameter to match the key configured in Nectus GUI (Settings->General Settings ->Linux Monitoring Integration).

SERVER_PRESHARED_KEY is a global parameters that is used for all Linux Servers.

AGENT_PORT parameter determines the TCP port used by Agent to listen for incoming connections from the Nectus server. By default the TCP port is set to 5400.

AGENT_PORT is Server specific parameter that can be different on each Linux Server.

 

Step 4: Generate SSL Certificate

The Linux Monitoring Agent listens on pre-configured TCP port for incoming HTTPS connection and needs an SSL certificate to operate.

Default location for storing certificate files is /etc/nectus but it’s configurable (parameter SSL_CERTIFICATE_DIR in the configuration file).

The Nectus agent is shipped with initial self-signed certificate which allows the module to process but it’s strongly recommended to replace this certificate.

You can either use some existing certificate or generate a new self-signed one.

To generate new self-signed certificate run commands:

$ cd /etc/nectus

$ openssl dhparam -out dh.pem 1024

$ openssl req -newkey rsa:2048 -nodes -keyout key.pem -x509 -days 10000 -out certificate.pem

The directory pointed by SSL_CERTIFICATE_DIR parameter should finally contain files dh.pem, key.pem and certificate.pem.

 

Step 5: Open TCP port at the Firewall

If there is firewall between Nectus Server and Linux Monitoring Agent you need to permit connections on TCP port 5400 (Unless it is changed to a different port)

Make sure your Linux internal firewall also permits inbound connections on this port.

 

Step 6: Start Agent

Restart the agent in order for configuration changes to take effect:

$ service nectus-agent restart

Check it’s status to ensure proper operation:

$ service nectus-agent status

If case of successful start you’ll see some output like this:

$ service nectus-agent status

● nectus-agent.service – Nectus Agent

Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/nectus-agent.service; disabled; vendor preset: enabled)

Active: active (running) since Mon 2019-04-29 17:55:39 UTC; 4s ago

Process: 10247 ExecStart=/usr/bin/nectus-agent $CONFFILE (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)

Main PID: 10255 (nectus-agent)

Tasks: 2

Memory: 1.2M

CPU: 14ms

CGroup: /system.slice/nectus-agent.service

└─10255 /usr/bin/nectus-agent /etc/nectus/nectus-agent.conf

Apr 29 17:55:39 ubuntu-16 systemd[1]: Starting Nectus Agent…

Apr 29 17:55:39 ubuntu-16 systemd[1]: nectus-agent.service: PID file /run/nectus/nectus-agent.pid not readable

Apr 29 17:55:39 ubuntu-16 systemd[1]: Started Nectus Agent.

User account

For security reasons it’s not allowed to run Monitoring Agent as root user. If it’s trying to start as ‘root’ then the agent will drop its privileges to the user account set in configuration file

(usually /etc/nectus/nectus-agent.conf) as USER_INSTEAD_OF_ROOT.

Default USER_INSTEAD_OF_ROOT is ‘nectus’.

The agent automatically creates this user account during installation (if this user does not exist already) and provides minimal set of permissions required to run the agent code.

Troubleshooting

Nectus agent runs as a daemon process. You can use the following commands to start, stop restart and check status of the agent:

$ service nectus-agent start

$ service nectus-agent stop

$ service nectus-agent restart

$ service nectus-agent status

If there are any problems with starting the agent first check the agent’s status:

$ service nectus-agent status

Then check the log file (usually /var/log/nectus/nectus-agent.log). If it does not help then you can try to run the agent manually. Usage of the module:

nectus-agent <config-file> [-D]

config-file full path to configuration file

-D debug mode (agent starts not as a daemon but as a usual process)

Locate the executable nectus-agent in /usr/bin and try to run the agent not as a daemon:

$ /usr/bin/nectus-agent /etc/nectus/nectus-agent.conf -D

Check the output and log files at /var/log/nectus.

Upgrade

Upgrade to a new version of the agent is the same as a new installation: download the appropriate package and run either:

> sudo dpkg -i <package-name>.deb

for Debian/Ubuntu systems or

> sudo rpm -U <package-name>.rpm

for RedHat/CentOS.

Uninstallation

To uninstall Nectus agent run the following command:

> sudo dpkg -r nectus-agent

for Debian/Ubuntu systems or

> sudo rpm -e nectus-agent

for RedHat/CentOS.

Appendix 1. Default Configuration File

#########################################
####       GENERAL PARAMETERS        ####
AGENT_IP                0.0.0.0          # IP address of listening socket. 
                                         # Default 0.0.0.0 (listen on all interfaces)
 
AGENT_PORT              5400             # TCP/IP port of the listening socket. Default 5400
 
SSL_CERTIFICATE_DIR     /etc/nectus      # Path to agent’s SSL certificate. 
        # Directory should contain files:
        # dh.pem, certificate.pem and key.pem.
        # To generate those files (self-signed certificate) run commands:
        # openssl dhparam -out dh.pem 1024 
        # openssl req -newkey rsa:2048 -nodes -keyout key.pem -x509 -days 10000 -out certificate.pem
        # Maybe you would need root privileges for this, then run: sudo openssl etc…
 
SERVER_PRESHARED_KEY    <YourSecretKey> # Pre-shared key to encrypt messages between 
                                        # the agent and Nectus monitoring server. 
                                        # Must be the same as set in Nectus GUI.
 
NUM_OF_THREADS          1               # Number of agent’s threads. Valid values are from 1 to 32.
                                        # Default value = 1.
 
USER_INSTEAD_OF_ROOT    nectus          # Drop privileges to a specific user existing in the system.
                                        # Only has effect if the agent is run as root.
                                        # Default value = nectus.
 
#########################################
######### Logging parameters ############
LOG_DIR                         /var/log/nectus  # Path to log files
 
LOG_LEVEL                       info
# Log verbosity level. Possible values are:
#       error – only errors are reported in log
#       info  – default logging level
#       debug – most verbose level including debug information.
 
LOG_FLUSH_PERIOD_SECONDS 30     # Flush log data to disk every X seconds. 
                                # Valid values are from 1 to 900. Default value = 30.
 
LOG_FILE_MAX_SIZE_MBYTES 30     # Maximum size of a single log file. After reaching this size 
                                # next log file is opened. Valid values are from 1 to 1000.
                                # Default value = 30.
 
LOG_FILE_MAX_COUNT      30      # Maximum count of log files stored. After reaching this count
                                # the oldest log files are deleted. 
                                # Valid values are from 1 to 1000. Default value = 30.

ClickHouse DB Installation for Nectus Netflow & Syslog Storage

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ClickHouse Database Installation for Nectus Netflow & Syslog Storage

Requirements: Ubuntu Server 18.04.2 LTS (with SSH access)

NOTE: Although ClickHouse can be installed on several different flavors of Linux, Ubuntu Server 16.04 & 18.04 are the only supported Linux distributions for Nectus at this point.

More information about installation on other OS’s can be found here: https://clickhouse.yandex/docs/en/getting_started/

Step 1

Import the public key:

apt-get update

sudo apt-key adv –keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com –recv C8F1E19FE0C56BD4

NOTE: It is recommended to import the public key if it’s a fresh Ubuntu install.

Otherwise you may get the following error when adding the repository:GPG error: http://repo.yandex.ru/clickhouse/deb/stable main/ Release: The following signatures couldn’t be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY C8F1E19FE0C56BD4

Optional commands to run:

sudo apt-key adv –keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com –recv E0C56BD4

Step 2

Create Clickhouse repository:

sudo apt-get install dirmngr

sudo apt-add-repository “deb http://repo.yandex.ru/clickhouse/deb/stable/ main/”

NOTE: Please edit the sources.list file if you receive the following error:

“E: Mailformed entry 55 in list file /etc/apt/sources.list”.

Delete the entry XX and save/exit the file. Perform the update (and upgrade if you wish):

sudo apt-get update

Step 3

Get the packages list for the latest updates and the dependencies:

apt-get update && apt-get upgrade

Step 4

Download and Install the ClickHouse packages:

sudo apt-get install -y clickhouse-server clickhouse-server-common clickhouse-client

sudo apt-get install –allow-unauthenticated clickhouse-server-common clickhouse-client clickhouse-server

Step 5

Start the Clickhouse server as a daemon:

sudo service clickhouse-server start

Step 6

Now that we have installed the ClickHouse, it is time to test:

NOTE: TCP ports 8123 & 9000 must be open.

Start the Client:

clickhouse-client

Step 7

Create the Netflow/Syslog database.

In this example we are creating the netflow database named NETFLOW (database name is arbitrary):

clickhouse-client

create database NETFLOW

Step 8

We will now add the Clickhouse internal user “root” with password “nectus” to the Users.xml file located at: /etc/clickhouse-server/users.xml

NOTE: Paste the snippet of the code below starting at line 31 after “<users>” in the users.xml file. You can use vi or nano text editor to edit the file. WinSCP can also be used to accomplish this task. Use the file change owner command if needed “sudo chown -R xxxx users.xml”, where “xxxx” is the user that will take over the ownership of the file.

<root>

<password>nectus</password>

<networks incl=”networks” replace=”replace”>

<ip>::/0</ip>

</networks>

<profile>default</profile>

<quota>default</quota>

</root>

Save the file and exit.

Step 9

Restart the ClickHouse Server:

clickhouse-server restart

Step 10

Now that the ClickHouse Server has been restarted, we can start the ClickHouse client using the internal user that we created in step 8:

clickhouse-client –user default –password nectus

Step 11

We have completed the ClickHouse installation. This last step requires login to Nectus to finish the Netflow/Syslog integration.

Open to “Nectus Settings -> General Settings -> Netflow Integration” page

Enter the required information and click Test DB Connection (Remote Server IP is the IP address of the Ubuntu/ClickHouse server). The result should be “Test DB Connection OK”

Click “Run Integration Scripts” and finally Save.

 

Step 12

Restart Nectus NetFlow and Syslog Services.

Monitoring BGP Sessions with Nectus

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Monitoring BGP Sessions with Nectus

Nectus 1.2.53 introduces ability to automatically discover and monitor iBGP and eBGP sessions across all router types and manufacturers.

Nectus scheduled network discovery automatically finds all the BGP sessions via SNMP polls and adds it to Nectus database where user can group them by type and enable active monitoring and alerting.

BGP Session Discovery

As part of regular scheduled network discovery Nectus detects all existing BGP Sessions and adds it to one of the existing BGP group which has “Default” flag set to ON.

You can see all the BGP sessions that were discovered in Inventory -> BGP Sessions or in left side panel called “BGP Sessions

 

If you right-click on BGP Session and select “Properties

 

.. you can assign a human friendly name or change a group membership for any of the BGP sessions.

 

You can create multiple BGP session groups and assign discovered BGP sessions to different groups according to its type or functional purpose.

To create a new Group, right-click on “BGP Sessions” line and select “Add New Group” on context menu.

 

Configure New Group name, set “Enable monitoring” to ON if you want all BGP Sessions in this group to be monitored for UP/DOWN Status.

 

If you set “Default” value to ON, this group will become a group where all newly discovered BGP sessions be added automatically. Only one group can have “Default” value set to ON

You can also assign BGP Session to a Group by right-clicking on BGP session and selecting “Move BGP Session to..” option

 

 

By clicking “View Session Info” on BGP Session context menu you can view detailed information about BGP Session

 

 

After you finished creating BGP session groups, assigning BGP sessions to corresponding groups and enabling BGP session groups for Monitoring the final step is to enable BGP Sessions monitoring in corresponding SNMP Device Monitoring Profiles that are applied to the routers that terminate all the BGP sessions.

Find required SNMP Monitoring Profile and enable “BGP Session Status” Monitoring Option

Now are you all set to start monitoring your BGP sessions line a pro.

 

Features coming up in next Nectus release

  1. BGP sessions monitoring with UP/DOWN Alerting
  2. Linux Servers Monitoring (CPU, RAM,  Storage, Up/Down)

UPS Health Status Monitoring with Nectus

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UPS Status Monitoring with Nectus

Health monitoring of UPS units is one of the most critical tasks of network infrastructure monitoring.

If UPS fails during power outage it results in immediate network downtime resulting in loss of revenue and degrading user experience.

Most of the modern UPS Units perform daily self-tests and results of those self-tests are available via SNMP protocol.

Our goal is to collect those self-test results on regular basis and generate an alert or incident when self-test indicates a UPS failure.

Step 1. Determine which SNMP OID to use

Very first step before you can start monitoring UPS health status is to determine which SNMP OID contains self-test information for your UPS units.

You can open a support case with your UPS vendor and request SNNP OID string for self-test information.

For example, SNMP OID for self-test information from UPS manufactured by APC is .1.3.6.1.4.1.318.1.1.1.7.2.3.0

This OID returns following values:

1 = Ok

2 = Failed

3 = Invalid Test

4 = Test In Progress

 

Step 2. Create Device View that contain all UPS units

Next step is to create a Device View that contain all UPS units that we want to monitor.

To create a Device View go to Inventory -> Views -> SNMP Device Views.

 

Create a new Device Vice called “UPS Units”

 

 

Step 3. Create Custom SNMP Tracker for UPS Self-Test Info

Now we are ready to create a custom SNMP tracker that will be polling our UPS units every 5 min for self-test information.

In Nectus GUI go to Monitoring → SNMP Monitoring Settings → Custom SNMP Trackers

 

Press “Create” button to bring up Custom SNMP Tracker creation interface.

Complete tracker General information tab with correct SNMP OID and select Device View that contains all UPS units that we want to monitor.

 

Select Email and SMS list for Alert Recipients.

In “Alerts” Tab we need to specify which status values will be considered Normal and which values should trigger Alerts.

You can specify multiple values separated by comma.

 

Define an Alert Severity level for Alarm Values as Informational, Warning or Critical.

Define number of consecutive readings for which UPS self-test status must report an Alarm condition before formal Alert is created.

Nectus performs one SNMP poll per 5 min.

If you define value for consecutive readings as 3 it should result in Alert created after 15 minutes of True Alarm conditions.

Press “Save” to complete Custom SNMP tracker creation for UPS Status Monitoring

This completes creation of custom tracker that will be monitoring UPS self-test information on all APC UPS units in your network.

 

Suppression of Frequent Identical Alerts In Nectus

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Suppression of Frequent Identical Alerts In Nectus

Often when a network device or interface changes its state between Up and Down multiple times in a short time interval, numerous identical alerts will be sent to all the configured alert recipients.

Nectus offers the ability to suppress frequent identical alerts to reduce informational noise level by specifying a suppression timer for up to three hours.

Nectus calculates a CRC hash value from each of the email alert bodies and if hash values of two alerts are matching they are considered to be identical and can be suppressed.

Nectus excludes event timer values and specific metric values from hash calculation logic. You can configure the suppression timer from 0 to 180 minutes where 0 means no suppression.

To configure the suppression timer, go to    Monitoring -> Global Monitoring Settings

 

 

Under Monitoring Settings, select the Alerts tab.

To enable suppression specify a time interval from 1 to 180 minutes.

At the end of the time interval, alert logic will resume as normal.

Setting timer to 0 will disable the suppression.

 

 

Importing WMI Servers from CSV file to Nectus

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Importing WMI Servers from CSV file to Nectus

To import a list of Windows Servers from CSV file to Nectus prepare a CSV file with only single column containing list of IP addresses of Windows Servers.

No other information is required.

File format example in Excel.

To start import, right-click on WMI Server Group that you want to import servers into and select “Import  WMI Servers from CSV file” option

 

 

Select CSV File that you prepared.

 

 

Press “Start” button

 

Nectus will import each server individually and collect basic Server information via WMI Interface.

 

Configuring WMI Integration in Nectus

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Configuring WMI Integration in Nectus

Nectus uses WMI Interface in several of its modules.

List of modules that depends on WMI Integration:

  1. Windows Server Monitoring Module
  2. IPAM Module

In Windows Server Monitoring module Nectus uses WMI interface to poll Windows Servers for critical health metrics such as CPU and RAM Utilization etc.

In IPAM Module Nectus uses WMI interface to interact with Microsoft DNS and DHCP servers while Importing and creating reservations.

WMI Integration settings must be complete before Nectus can communicate with Windows Servers in those modules.

To complete WMI Integration go to Settings -> General Settings -> WMI Integration

Click on “WMI Integration” link and complete all the required fields for WMI Service account

that will be used by Nectus connect to Windows Servers via WMI Interface.

WMI Service account should not have password expiration policy to prevent Integration from breaking every time password has to be changed.

Use “Test” button to test Service account credential against any of Windows Servers of your choice.

After connection “Test” is passed WMI Integration is complete.

 

Adjusting min. detectable ICMP outage duration in Nectus

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Adjusting Min. detectable ICMP outage duration in Nectus

When Nectus is configured to monitor UP/DOWN Status for network devices with ICMP it sends Echo packets at preset interval called Inter-Packet Delay.

By default, this Interval is set to 10 seconds.

Network Device is considered down if Echo-Reply is not received for “N” consecutive Echo packets.

By default “N” is set to 10.

So, by combining Inter-Packet Delay and “N” Value we can see that minimum duration of the outage that can be detected by Nectus with default settings is 100 seconds.

Sometimes when network a prone to fast transient outages or burstable traffic patterns that can impact ICMP it may be beneficial to increase minimum detectable ICMP outage duration to higher value. This can helps to eliminate alerts about short lived outages and only alert on outages that have more lasting impact.

To adjust Inter-Packet Delay or “N” Value go to “Monitoring -> Global Monitoring Settings

 

And adjust values on “ICMP Monitoring” Tab according to your business needs.

 

Monitoring HTTP URLs with Nectus NMS

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Monitoring HTTP URLs with Nectus NMS

Have you ever been surprised to find out your website hadn’t been running or online?

Realtime status updates of your website can relieve you of the frustration of downtime and provide with instant alerts to your team.

Nectus HTTP Monitoring module can take the burden of URL monitoring away and provide real-time status of thousands of URLs, all using one quick view.

Nectus can poll websites on with preset frequency and alert you via Email or SMS if any of the websites are down.

Creating URL Groups in Nectus

HTTP URL Monitoring starts with creating URL Groups.

To create a URL group, right click on the Web Servers group on the left side panel. When the context menu appears, click on Add New Group.

After clicking Add New Group, a pop-up window appears.

Window allows you to set a Poll Frequency, which defined how often Nectus will poll your website.

Enable Monitoring can be checked to begin monitoring for all URLs that are members of this group.

Send Alerts to Email Group and Send Alerts to SMS Group can be checked to specify URL Down Alert recepients for Email or SMS notifications.

To modify members’ list of any of the existing E-mail or SMS groups click on the group name.

Once you click on the Alert group name a popup window appears where changes can be made to the existing alert groups.

Adding URLs to Groups in Nectus

After creating URL groups, you now may add URLs that you want to monitor to the group you have just created.

Right Click on any of the group name and select: Add New URL

After clicking Add New URL, you can add the URL and give the URL a specific name. You may also specify which group the URL goes into.

Once you have added the URL, monitoring start automatically.

Repeat this process for every URL you’d like to enable for monitoring.

After you have finished adding all of your URLs you will be able to quickly see the status of all the URLs in the left side panel.

 

Multiple Alert Email Aggregation in Nectus

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Multiple Alert Email Aggregation in Nectus

Very often during site level power or network outages or during network maintenance multiple devices become offline at the same time causing multiple individual DOWN Email alerts to be sent at the same time.

Depending in the size of the site it can be well over hundreds or even thousands alert emails to be sent out to corresponding e-mail recipients configured for given site.

Starting from version 1.2.52 Nectus offers an option to aggregate multiple DOWN or UP email alerts into a single multi-device alert notification containing a list of all devices that became DOWN or UP within last monitoring interval.

To enable Alert Aggregation, go to Monitoring -> Global Monitoring Settings: “Alert” Tab

And Select “Aggregate multiple UP/DOWN Alerts” Option.

 

Monitoring Cisco Power Supplies with SNMP

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Monitoring Cisco Power Supplies with SNMP

Cisco Power Supply

Cisco Power Supply

Step 1. Determine which SNMP OID to use

Very first step before you can start monitoring power supply status is to determine which SNMP OID is supported by specific router or switch type you want to monitor.

The main challenge here is that there is no consensus among manufacturers on specific SNMP OID and even within Cisco products OID can be different on different product lines.

Let’s take Cisco Catalyst 3750 series switches as an example.

For all Cisco 3700 series switches SNMP OID that contain power supply status is .1.3.6.1.4.1.9.9.13.1.5.1.3 (ciscoEnvMonSupplyState) from CISCO-ENVMON-MIB

Cisco TAC is usually a good resource to confirm which OID can be used for different Cisco product lines.

 

Step 2. Obtain Power Supply Index Values

Next step is to perform SNMP GET BULK or SNMP Walk query for selected OID (.1.3.6.1.4.1.9.9.13.1.5.1.3) against one of the switches that you planning to monitor to determine how many power supplies this specific switch model has and what are the index values for each power supply.

Sample GET Bulk Response from Cisco Catalyst 3750:

‘1.3.6.1.4.1.9.9.13.1.5.1.3.[1034]’ => “1”

‘1.3.6.1.4.1.9.9.13.1.5.1.3.[2034]’ => “1”

In this SNMP GET-BULK response we see that switch has two power supplies with indexes: 1034 and 2034.

 

Step 3. Obtain list of Status Values for SNMP OID

Last step before we can start monitoring power supply is to consult MIB for possible values that this specific OID can report for power supply status.

For SNMP OID 1.3.6.1.4.1.9.9.13.1.5.1.3 there are 6 possible status codes:

Normal (1), Warning (2), Critical (3), Shutdown (4), Not Present (5), Not Functioning (6)

 

Step 4. Create Custom SNMP Tracker for Each Power Supply

Now we are ready to create custom SNMP trackers for each of the power supplies.

In Nectus GUI go to Monitoring → SNMP Monitoring Settings → Custom SNMP Trackers

Press “Create” button to bring up Custom SNMP Tracer creation interface.

We will have to create two separate trackers, one for each power supply.

Complete tracker “General” settings Tab according to this

Note that for this tracker we created a device view called “Cisco Catalyst 3700 Switches” that contain all Cisco Catalyst 3700 Series switches that we want to monitor with this tracker.

If you want to enable Power supply monitoring for more switches later, you just need to add new switches to this Device View.

Select which email lists will be used as email Alert recipients.

In “Alerts” Tab we need to specify which status values will be considered Normal and which values should trigger Alerts. You can specify multiple values separated by comma.

Define an Alert Severity level for Alarm Values as Informational, Warning or Critical.

Define number of consecutive readings for which power supply status has to report an Alarm condition before formal Alert is created. Nectus performs one SNMP poll per 5 min.

So if you define value for consecutive readings as 3 it should result in Alert created after 15 minutes of True Alarm conditions.

Press “Save” to complete Custom SNMP tracker creation for Power Supply 1.

Repeat the same process for Power Supply 2.

Now you have created custom trackers that will be monitoring both power supplies on all Cisco Catalyst 3700 Switches in your network.

 

Using Subnet Profiles in Nectus IPAM

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Using Subnet Profiles in Nectus IPAM

One of the unique features offered by Nectus is the ability to logically split each subnet into predefined ranges reserved for specific categories such as users, servers, infrastructure devices, etc. This is done with the help of subnet profiles. In Nectus, subnet profile is a set of IP ranges with a unique color code and a distinct name. Color coding makes it easier to locate an IP range reserved for a specific device type. This article explains how to create subnet profiles in Nectus.

  1. Creating a Subnet Profile

To create a new subnet profile, go to Main Menu and select Settings → General Settings → IPAM Integration.

In the “IPAM Integration” window that appears, select Subnet Profile tab and click Add button.

Begin defining a new subnet profile in the “Add Subnet Profile” GUI window that appears. Assign a name to your new profile. Define the first device category. Determine how many IP address you would like to reserve for the first device category and assign an order number for the first (Start) and the last (End) IP address in the group. Chose a color code for the device category.

Use + button to add additional device categories. Press Save to save your new profile.

 

2. Assigning Profile to a Subnet

 

To assign a profile to a subnet, right click on the selected subnet and select Properties.

On the “Properties” page that appears, select the desired profile and press Save button.

 

3. Benefits of Subnet Profiles

Once you have assigned a profile to a subnet, your subnet map will display color-coded IP ranges reserved for the device categories.

This visual guide will help you better manage IP addresses in the subnet.

 

Importing subnets to IPAM from IGP routing protocols explained.

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When importing Subnets into IPAM from routing protocols Nectus apply following rules:

  1. Only subnets from IGRP routing protocols (EIGRP, OSPF, ISIS, RIP) are being considered for import.
  2. Nectus will not import subnets from iBGP  or eBGP.
  3. Nectus start importing subnets in the order from smallest to largest:  /32 ,   /31, then /30, then /29…etc.  This is done to give individual subnets priority over  summaries.
  4. Every imported subnet is validated against overlapping with existing subnets.
  5. Nectus will not import subnets that overlap with any of the existing subnets.
  6. Nectus will only import subnets that fall into defined IPAM address space.