IPHost Network Monitor, an effective tool to diagnose Cisco network devices
IPHost Network Monitor is a piece of software quite efficient to diagnose and monitor network devices. The software is convenient for both network administrators and engineers, due to a variety of tools to watch the state of devices, test their load and availability and notify persons in charge in case of malfunction or degraded efficiency.
IPHost Network Monitor does not require installating additional pieces of software to monitor Cisco devices (routers, switches, firewalls etc). All you need is to perform a network discovery, during which the program will detect any devices available online, along with available modules and protocols. After a number of checks and possible tuning a few monitors settings, the monitoring is all set up.
IPHost Network Monitor can use SNMP monitors to perform Cisco devices fine control and testing. Among otherparameters, it allows to monitor
- memory (total and available), using the following variables: ciscoMemoryPoolFree (.184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.6) and ciscoMemoryPoolLargestFree (.22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.7), available from CISCO-MEMORY-POOL-MIB. The MIB can be downloaded from Cisco. Alerting levels for memory consumption can vary depending on the model of the device you monitor. On the pageyou can find a lot of references related to calculating optimal memory usage and determining the thresholds at which an alert should be raised. Note: it is a good idea to keep record of available memory dynamics, since abrupt memory depletion may be one of a signals, for example, of a malware operating within network the device works in.
Detailed variables description:
- ciscoMemoryPoolUsed: indicates the number of bytes from the memory pool that are currently in use by applications on the managed device.
- ciscoMemoryPoolFree: indicates the number of bytes from the memory pool that are currently unused on the managed device.
- CPU load; you can watch one of the following variables: cpmCPUTotalMonIntervalValue (.184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.1.10) and cpmCPUMonInterval (.22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.1.9), available from CISCO-PROCESS-MIB.The MIB can be downloaded from Cisco Tools. If CPU load often reaches high values (approx . 80% and above, it’s recommended to find out the reason. You can refer to the following document to solve CPU intensive load problems.
Detailed variables description:
- cpmCPUTotalMonIntervalValue: The overall CPU busy percentage in the last cpmCPUMonInterval period (percentage, integer within 0..100).
- cpmCPUMonInterval: CPU usage monitoring interval (integer value). The value of this object in seconds indicates the how often the CPU utilization is calculated and monitored.
- CPU fan state (when close to failure) can be detected by setting a SNMP trap for chassisAlarmOn (.184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.0.5) available from CISCO-STACK-MIB. The MIB can be downloaded from Cisco site.The above SNMP trap means, that one of the following traps transitioned to ‘on’ sate: chassisTempAlarm, chassisMinorAlarm or chassisMajorAlarm.
Detailed explanation of traps:
- chassisAlarmOn: signifies that the agent entity has detected the chassisTempAlarm, chassisMinorAlarm, or chassisMajorAlarm object in this MIB has transitioned to the on(2) state. The generation of this trap can be controlled by the sysEnableChassisTraps object in this MIB.
- chassisTempAlarm (.18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.1.2.13): an integer variable with the following values: 1 (off), 2 (on), 3(critical). Set alert on reaching level 2, to avoid transitioning device into critical state.
- chassisMinorAlarm (.126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.1.2.11): minor alarm, integer variable that can be in one of two states: 1 (off) and 2 (on). Set its ‘on’ state as performance warning alert.
- chassisMajorAlarm (.184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.1.2.12): major alarm, integer variable that can be in one of two states: 1 (off) and 2 (on). raching the value 2 means a severe performance problem.
- CPU temperature alarms can be also detected by the above chassisAlarmOn, as well as by testing variable mUpsEnvironAmbientTemperature (.18.104.22.168.4.1.322.214.171.124.1.1.0), available from PowerNet-MIB. The mentioned MIB can be downloaded from our MIS database.
Note that chassis alarm can be set up as explained above, separately.
Note that mUpsEnvironAmbientTemperature reflects current temperature; set up the appropriate warning/problem values, according to the actual device’s documentation. Do not forget to make sure in what units (using which scale) is the temperature being measured.
- network inbound and outgoing bandwidth can be determined by watching respective ifInOctets (.126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.1.10), ifOutOctets (.184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.1.16), see the subvariables of either, to get the values for specific interfaces.
Note: total traffic can be obtained by summing the above values; please keep in mind that those counters are 32-bit, and all the higher bits are discarded when crossing the upper limit – it should be taken into account when you calculate relative traffic consumption or data transfer speedCaution should be taken when storing subsequent values of these counters in a database, to keep historical values. On busy networks, the counter will ‘go over the limit’ often, so a logic should beimplemented to scan the DB and, as the new value becomes less than previously measured, to calculate the actual difference using theActual performance warning/problem alert values cn vary on a case by case basis. In most cases, per-device traffic counter is used; this approach can only count per interface and is useful to know the overall traffic consuption for the whole network.
- Power Unit (redundant power supply) can be monitored via chassisPs2Status variable (.18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.1.2.7), available from CISCO-STACK-MIB, the values are: 1 (nonof the others), 2 (OK), 3 (minor fault), 4 (major fault); the details of the fault can be found from chassisPs2TestResult (.126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.1.2.8), see the corresponding manuals for more information.
Note that the above can’t be used with SNMP traps, so explicit periodic monitoring is required.
- chassisPs2Status: status of power supply number 2. If the status is not ok, the value of chassisPs2TestResult gives more detailed information about the power supply’s failure condition(s).
- chassisPs2TestResult (.184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.1.2.8): test result (16-bit integer value) for power supply number 2. A zero indicates that the supply passed all tests. Bits set in the result indicate error conditions.
Since power supply health is crucial, it is recommended to treat even the several seconds long transtiion out of ‘OK’ state as a performance warning.
- IP SLA, i.e. the number of IP packets transmission and other errors; use variables ifInDiscards (.18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.1.13), ifInErrors (.126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.1.14), ifOutDiscards (.184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.1.19), ifOutErrors (.18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.1.20). Track those counters and calculate the relative change during time periods if necessary. In most cases, watching the rate of appearing these errors is of interest; sudden growth of these counters means eitehr network capabilities problems, or a malfunctioning network device present on the network. In either cases, try treating even a single error counter change as performance warning and a problem requiring investigation.
Numerous other state parameters can be obtained through SNMP, you are recommended to study the corresponding Cisco official reference manuals. Note the remark about counters going above their limits (higher bits are discarded), if you need to track relative values.
If no specific MIB name is mentioned above , it means the required MIBs are already included with IPHost Network Monitor distribution. To install a new MIB, first open the SNMP browser, then click on “MIBs” button in its lower left corner, then “Import” in a new pop-up window. Select the proper file (with extension .txt or .mib) and import it. Note that you can unload MIBs you don’t use from the same pop-up window.
IPHost Network Monitor offers an advanced system of alerts, able to notify administrators or other persons in charge via email messages, SMS, audio alarm, sending Jabber message and by running a script (thus allowing any other type of custom alarm).
Free 30-day trial version of IPHost Network Monitor is available. During your trial you can get support by e-mail, please use contact form to send all your inquiries on IPHost Network Monitor features and purchase.
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IPHost Network Monitor 5.4 build 14538 of April 21, 2023. File size: 111MB