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WhatsUp Gold Technology

Monitoring Technologies

As a network manager, you know that not all of your devices and services are created equal. Some support critical business operations, have executive level visibility, and simply cannot fail. Others are important but can weather some downtime – though you would like to proactively identify issues and resolve them before a complete failure of service ensues. It’s only logical, that you would want to set up different levels of monitoring on the infrastructure and application services under your watch.  And, since the devices and systems talk different languages, you need broad support for industry standard technologies to effectively monitor your core business applications and services.

Comprehensive coverage across industry standard technologies

WhatsUp Gold’s network management software provides the monitoring flexibility and comprehensive coverage you need. It extends full support for industry standard SNMP v1-3 and WMI based infrastructure monitoring covering most network devices and systems infrastructure (e.g. Unix, Linux hosts) and all Windows based systems – both physical and virtual. A diverse set of IP Services monitors tracks the most commonly used protocols supporting business applications including HTTP/S, FTP, SMTP/POP and others. Synthetic transaction monitoring ensures the health and integrity of generic web applications as well as SQL databases (MS SQL Server and My SQL).

Device Role ConfigurationMultiple types of monitors provides the flexibility to tune monitoring to required Service levels

With WhatsUp Gold, you have access to multiple kinds of customizable, high-performance monitors, enabling you to select exactly the type of visibility and control you need for the level of service desired.

Other key features of WhatsUp Gold monitoring capabilities include:

Pre-configured Monitors

WhatsUp Gold offers a number of pre-configured monitors right-out-of-the-box, enabling you to start monitoring as soon as an individual device is discovered and its role in the network is ascertained. Pre-configured monitor settings and roles can be easily changed through the Discovery console.

Critical MonitorsCritical Monitors

Critical monitor settings make the operation of multiple monitors in a device dependent on the status of a single monitor. This is essential to prevent alarm floods when the critical monitored component of a device fails. Without a Critical monitor setting, all other monitors for the failed device would continue to send failure alerts. For example in the case of a switch - all the configured monitors for interfaces could be made dependent on the up/down monitor applied to the uplink interface.

SNMP Set Actions

With SNMP Set Actions, you can send a SNMP Set to any remote device to change a specific SNMP object. SNMP set action can be accessed from either the web or the console. A set action can be triggered like any other action in WhatsUp Gold i.e. as a recurring action upon device state change or monitor state change on a device. All types of writable objects are supported including strings, integers, and time ticks for example.

Bulk Field Changes

Bulk field monitors enable rapid deployment or changing of monitors to any number of systems that have common network monitoring requirements - for example across multiple 3560-E Cisco switches. The bulk field change capability in WhatsUp Gold allows monitoring parameters to be quickly deployed or changed without modifying each monitor individually, saving time and effort and improving usability.

SNMP Monitoring:

You already know you need visibility into your network infrastructure, and you’ve decided SNMP makes the most sense. It would provide the most cost effective route to monitoring the network and systems infrastructure for availability and performance statistics. So why not pick any SNMP monitoring tool? Aren’t they all the same?

No they’re not. In fact, some SNMP based monitoring tools can even create more work for you. They may restrict you to limited out-of-the box capabilities that do not provide complete coverage of your environment. The result - you have to scramble together ad-hoc information from other tools or fly blind when outages occur in unmonitored devices. Others may provide many options in terms of custom configuration, but are nearly impossible to setup and configure without a PhD. What you need is a fine balance of easy deployment and configuration, comprehensive coverage and enough flexibility to adapt to your environment.

WhatsUp Gold: Comprehensive, Configurable and Easy to Use SNMP Monitoring

From the ground up, WhatsUp Gold’s SNMP monitoring capabilities were designed to be flexible, full featured and intuitive. From the novice user to the advanced custom-monitoring expert, WhatsUp Gold provides exactly what you need to get the job done, quickly and easily.

WhatsUp Gold supports the monitoring of any SNMP v1, v2 or v3 enabled device including routers, switches, servers, firewalls, and operating systems, including Windows, Unix, and Linux. In addition to powerful monitoring capabilities, WhatsUp Gold provides network management professionals with a complete set of web-based SNMP management tools, including:

  • The SNMP MIB Walker, which evaluates device support and SNMP objects that can be monitored
  • The SNMP MIB Manager, which instantly validates and identifies any errors in any MIB
  • The SNMP MIB Explorer, which lists and validates all MIBs available ensuring that the correct SNMP parameters are used
  • Multi-SNMP variable probing and trending
  • The ability to build your own customizable SNMP monitors on the fly
  • The ability to assign business relevant names to monitored SNMP interfaces
  • Support for Gigabyte-capacity SNMP interfaces such as 10Gbps Ethernet

Why is SNMP Monitoring Important?

Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is an IP based application layer protocol that facilitates the exchange of management information between a network management solution (like WhatsUp Gold) and any SNMP enabled device. Network hardware vendors automatically embed SNMP support in their devices; making it an accessible and affordable way to monitor the network.

Most major hardware vendors extend their support of SNMP beyond the basic level and incorporate deeper level proprietary metrics, which can be monitored and measured with a network management solution. SNMP is valuable because it enables you to efficiently manage network and application performance, find and solve problems, and plan for growth.

Full Industry Standard Support

No matter the device, system, service, application or OS, if it supports SNMP whether natively or through additional agent-based instrumentation, it can be managed by WhatsUp Gold.

WhatsUp Gold is fully standards compliant, supporting:

  • SNMP v1-3 – public MIBS including RFCs 1157, 1212, 1901, 2578, 2579, 2576, 3411, 3418, 3584
  • SNMP Security RFC 3826

Extensive Device and System Coverage

Out-of-the-box, WhatsUp Gold provides comprehensive OS, application, device, service and system SNMP monitoring support, including:

  • UNIX/LINUX – Host Resources MIB – RFC 2790 and the NetSNMP MIB
  • CPU, disk and memory
  • Security – firewalls and IDS
  • Storage – NAS and SAN, iSCSI and Fiber Channel
  • Cisco┬« routers, firewalls and switches
  • IP Services - HTTP, FTP, TCP, IP, and others

Typical Problem Solving Scenarios

With WhatsUp Gold’s out-of-the box and custom monitoring capabililties, you can:

  • Track all key device metrics including memory and CPU, to ensure network slowdowns are not resulting from an overloaded device
  • Monitor interface utilization over time to ensure network resources are sized appropriately
  • Use the comprehensive SNMP toolset to create custom monitors – to track vendor proprietary metrics  critical to your business
  • Use the MIB Walker functionality to quickly test and assess a device’s support for key performance statistics

VMI Monitoring:

Looking for a network management tool that incorporates Windows systems and applications infrastructure all in a single unified view? It would certainly save you the pain of swivel chair management and the need to learn and operate multiple tools as you address infrastructure issues. As complex as your infrastructure is – it’s likely your application problems may result from either systems or network issues or both. For effective troubleshooting, you really need to be able to drill down across your network and Windows applications and systems infrastructure on a single screen.

A Single Unified View with WhatsUp Gold

WhatsUp Gold Premium, Distributed and MSP editions can easily monitor WMI-enabled systems and applications, many of them right out of the box. WhatsUp Gold was one of the first network and application management solutions to fully support WMI to provide complete monitoring capability for Windows desktop and server OSs and applications. With such a head start, WhatsUp Gold continues to lead the way in WMI monitoring.

With WhatsUp Gold WMI Monitoring capabilities you can:

  • Monitor the health of Windows based servers, desktops and applications to pro-actively understand and resolve issues before they become real problems
  • Troubleshoot instances of application failure by tracking component processes and host server workloads
  • Manage availability and performance of popular business applications like MS Exchange and MS SQL Server
  • Create custom monitors for any WMI-enabled application whether middleware or web based including virtual environments

What is WMI and why is it useful?

Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) is the underlying protocol for publishing of management and operations data on Windows-based operating systems and applications. WMI is based upon the Desktop Management Task Force (DMTF) standard and is a specific set of extensions to the Windows Driver Model that provides an operating system interface through which instrumented components provide information and notification. Most Microsoft server and desktop operating systems and applications have built-in WMI support.

Out-of-the-Box WMI Monitoring

WhatsUp Gold Premium, Distributed and MSP versions provide out-of-the-box monitoring for a host of popular Windows Operating Systems and applications at a process and service level. Supported application versions include Windows 2003, XP, Vista and Server 2008 OS’s, Microsoft Exchange 2000/2003, 2007 and 2010 beta and MS SQL 2005 and 2008. Custom monitors for many other middleware and web applications like IIS and Microsoft CRM that expose performance data using WMI can also be easily set up. Monitored metrics include systems resources (like CPU, disk and memory utilization) as well as specific process performance counters (like MS Exchange Mailbox and Transport server).

Performance Monitoring with WMI

All versions of WhatsUp Gold offer support for WMI via custom Performance Monitors. Custom performance monitors can be assigned thresholds for alerting and notification.  Within WhatsUp Gold Premium, Distributed and MSP versions, custom Active Monitoring scripts can also be created utilizing WMI counters.

Typical Problem Solving Scenarios

WMI monitoring using WhatsUp Gold enables you to rapidly identify and resolve system and application performance problems:

  • Identify overloaded applications by tracking the amount of systems resources they consume over time – usually tracked through CPU and memory utilization by core executable processes
  • Increase in number of processes waiting in queue may indicate ensuing performance degradation and necessitate preemptive action
  • Individual process monitoring like MS Exchange Replication may help troubleshoot and resolve failures in email data archival across multi-site environments