Currently, in the technical areas of management and monitoring of computer networks, there are well-established procedures, practices, concepts, and protocols. In this sense, FCAPS formalizes the division of technical management areas, while ITIL, besides addressing technical areas in its structure, also address management concepts. In addition, there are very solid and robust protocols in the market used in network management, such as SNMP to manage network asset failures and performance, mainly, flow export protocols. There are also, Netflow, Jflow, among others, to manage and account for traffic relating to network resources used. Furthermore, there are remote access protocols such as SSH and Telnet to act in the configuration management of the network’s manageable devices.
The monitoring systems on the market are developed from the functioning of one or more of the protocols mentioned in the previous paragraph. These protocols have their data access and collection structure very well formalized and standardized. Thus, many network device information collections are successful with the use of these protocols. However, there are some specific information collection features that we can only obtain with the use of scripts.
It is about these specificities that we will address in this article.
JUSTIFICATIONS FOR USING SCRIPTS FOR MONITORING
In addition to the SNMP protocol, there is the possibility of creating a script that performs custom collections that go beyond the standard operating structure of SNMP versions. The idea is that Custom collectors can be created through this process. Besides this fact, with the use of SSH or Telnet it is possible to use scripts that contain provisioning settings for various network devices in a quick and practical way.
Scripts can also be used when the manufacturers of network devices provide APIs related to data collection, so we can use a particular programming language to build an integration encoding between the monitoring system (NMS) and the monitored network asset.
Using scripts in SNMP collections
SNMP is a very important protocol, and it is the most used in network management. Through its commands provided in the NET-SNMP package, we were able to perform various types of operations-based collections – snmp walk, snmp get, snmp bulkwalk and snmp bulkget are some of these commands. However, in some scenarios, these types of commands based on operations and used isolated will not bring a desired detail of information. Commonly, for the monitoring of some sensors, it is necessary to support the SNMP collection with scripts that will customize how the collections will be performed. In the image below, we have a SLAview graph that monitors the humidity captured by the sensor as a function of time. The curves plotted on this chart are based on a custom SNMP collection using a script written in LUA.
Using scripts in configuration management
Provisioning, versioning, configuration compliance are some of the best configuration management practices. Versioning is extremely relevant for identifying improper changes in device settings. Batch configurations optimize the work time of an IT team as it aims to eliminate the need for manual access to each device and its respective configuration.
The image below shows the versions generated by monitoring a Cisco router with the CFGtool system. For each configuration change, a new version was generated. This versioning was generated from a script written in LUA
Using scripts to integrate with APIs
This type of integration is very relevant, as specific information can be accessed through commands made available by a manufacturer’s API documentation. This type of information is usually not managed via SNMP. We can cite as an example, an integration of Telcomanager’s SLAview system with the call management system called Service Now, in this case, all alarms generated by SLAview are also sent to Service Now.
Therefore, we can realize that scripts can provide a very high degree of freedom and customization regarding integrations and information collection. In this way, Telcomanager has developed its tools, TRAFip, SLAview and CFGtool with resources for using scripts. Therefore, we cannot fail to highlight the importance of good network management, one in which all the specificities and information needs that the IT department needs can be collected.
With this in mind, Telcomanager, Latin America’s leader in the network management software industry, since 2002 in the market with a unique and innovative methodology, provides intelligent solutions for monitoring data in order to provide complete visibility to the customer’s infrastructure, allowing your company to follow the main aspects of its network.
Published on 04/22/2022