Monitoring Server Hardware

Uniform Resources Monitoring System

SSH process count monitor
SSH Process count monitor

If you need to monitor typical system resources (such as CPU load, memory usage, disk usage, and processes count), IPHost Network Monitor offers convenient tools to handle this task. These robust, lightweight monitor types can be created in batches (several monitors for the same host), allowing you to start controlling vital host parameters in a matter of minutes.

In most cases, it is not sufficient to just watch whether certain service is up or down. Actual CPU usage, memory usage, number of processes running and so on provide detailed data, and studying trends for the mentioned resources usage allows to predict possible problems before they actually happen. The choice of processes to monitor depends on what host is being monitored.

To meet expectations of our users, we provide three means to access the mentioned resources data: WMI, SNMP and SSH. That encompasses the absolute majority of OSes hosts are running; in cases, when there are choices of monitors type selection (e.g. when there are both WMI service and SNMP agent available), choose whatever better matches your task.

In certain cases, such as database server monitoring, a set of several metrics is required to gather the overall performance value of the service. Thus, selecting several monitor types and using their overall performance becomes essential and should be performed with as little overhead as possible.

WMI Monitoring

SSH process count monitor
WMI CPU usage monitor

WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation) is native Windows service allowing to access and modify miscellaneous system parameters. Although this service can be turned off by default, it’s not difficult to enable it, thus allowing to gather data quickly. The mentioned four resources usage monitors do not require installing any additional WMI provider (i.e., Windows defaults are enough).

Monitoring via SNMP Protocol

SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) is popular means to access and control network devices of most types (computers, network devices such as routers, hubs, switches; WiFi access points; network printers etc). Compared to other data access techniques, SNMP is generally less resource-consuming. You should pay attention to its security issues, though, especially when using v1 of SNMP protocol. Note that using v3 will also increase overhead and CPU utilization on both sides.

Note that SNMP is better applied to watching hardware and core software metrics; it has lesser scope of usage when higher level services like Web server, mail server etc. are used (although that is also possible, usually via SNMP trees populated with required data by third party software).

SSH Monitoring

SSH (Secure Shell) is typical access means for UNIX-like OSes, including Linux variations. It uses SSH connection as secure channel to inquire remote system parameters. The queries use, wherever possible, built-in system metrics (such as those available through /proc filesystem), thus causing relatively low load on host.

To further enhance your setup, make whatever service monitors available on the host depending on the state of corresponding resource usage monitor. For example, if you monitor HTTP server, make it depending on httpd (or whatever is your Web server) processes count monitor. In such a case, you will receive fewer alerts. IPHost Network Monitor provides you with tools to set up your monitoring facility with as little efforts for you as possible.

Note that a typical Linux server is supplied with SSH (default conenction means) and, generally optional, up-to-date SNMP software. The choice of tool to use for monitoring is usually up to server administrator (SSH is stronger in terms of security, SNMP is generally inducing lesser overhead).

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