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If not SNMP... then what?

Posted on 2004-09-07
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I have been asked to set up some kind of monitoring on our managed switches and 10 servers. Dell Switches and Dell Blade servers running Server 2000 and 2003.
I have poked around at setting up SNMP, but keep getting statements that SNMP is insecure.

But I have not obtained any other alternatives to using SNMP with some monitoring tools.

So far all the tools I have looked at use SNMP to complete the task of monitoring and being able to respond to Network issues.

I need some quick advice on what is working in the field and waht is not, keeping in mind that this is a small business. We have 5 satelite offices in Fla and 1 in Ga. It is a small WAN, but most important is that we need to monitor our main office consisting of 4 managed switches and 10 servers

Thanks in advance... Michael..
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Question by:Linux_Hawk
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lrmoore earned 2000 total points
ID: 12003286
SNMP is not as unsecure as the media will lead you to believe. Do it right, and it's a wonderful tool.
How do you do it right? Change the default community strings from "public" and "private" to something else. The community string is a password, treat it as such. Lock down the devices to only accept write strings from specific IP addresses. You can setup a read-only string and no reade-write communities on the devices. You probably won't use SNMP to send config changes to servers anyway, just monitor them.

Try using Dell's server management tool, it should be free. http://www1.us.dell.com/content/topics/global.aspx/solutions/en/openmanage?c=us&cs=555&l=en&s=biz

Else, look at something like SolarWinds Orion http://www.solarwinds.net

Or for less money:
SNMPc http://www.castlerock.com

Or, if you want an alternative to using SNMP, you can use Nagios  http://www.nagios.org
- caution - nagios is not for the Linux newbie...
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by:lrmoore
ID: 12003299
Then again, if you are a Linux Hawk, Nagios might not be as much of a challenge for you as it is for me...

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