Hardware monitoring with SNMP

Overview of SNMP

Windows Interface Screenshot
SNMP RAM usage monitor

SNMP, or Simple Network Management Protocol, has been introduced in 1988 (v1), and since that has become a de facto standard means to query network devices of various information, and/or changing the state of those devices in uniform way. Devices interoperating via SNMP are usually viewed as managers (collecting information from other devices and/or setting the stat eof the latter) and agents (device controlled by managers and/or those setting TRAP to managers). Both manager and agent roles can be combined; it allows creating complex structures of SNMP-based interaction (such as controlling means other devices indirectly from an agent).

IPHost Network Monitor supports all three versions of SNMP (v1, v2c, v3), including encryption and authentication in version 3. IPHost also support all the three operation modes: GET (obtaining information from network device), SET (altering settings on network device) and TRAP (allowing asynchronous notification from agent device, without explicitly asking for information). It allows to use SNMP for both monitoring (getting devic data – GET and TRAP) and for changing network device state (using SET – for example, using corresponding alert type).

Base SNMP monitors

Windows Interface Screenshot
SNMP process count monitor

The following four hardware and software monitors are in the majority of SNMP implementations available out of box: CPU load, RAM usage, disk used/remaining space and processes count. Thus, they can be used as base monitors for most cases, with other monitors depending on them.

CPU load can be measured per CPU core (for every CPU installed), thus allowing to make detailed graph of system usage and provide data for possible software/hardware optimization and tuning, to improve CPU power utilization.

RAM usage is another important monitor that can be used to optimize the system, as time goes on. Frequent high RAM consumption peaks almost always indicate there are problems in software/hardware setup; IPHost can provide you with fine detailed graphs to study whether RAM is used in optimal way.

Windows Interface Screenshot
SNMP disk space monitor

Disk usage monitoring can prevent unexpected system services failures, warning administrator about disk space running low. In most computer systems, there are process constantly using more and more disk space; watching disk usage can help to clean up disk in time, keeping the system running smoothly.

Finally, process count monitor watches there are certain process in expected amount. Use this monitor to make sure all vital processes, expected on the host being monitored by IPHost, are present. Every process, required for normal host operation, can be watched with such a monitor.

Other monitoring techniques

Looking for a software to monitor hardware resources via WMI and SSH? IPHost network Monitor offers WMI (for Windows systems) and SSH (for Unix-like systems), as methods alternate to SNMP, to be used in cases when SNMP is not convenient for some reason.

Note, though, that, other conditions equal, SNMP monitors are less resource-consuming; SSH monitors can be more or less resource consuming, judging by what is actually run by that monitor (SSH is used as means to execute a program or script on remote system).

IPHost Network Monitor offers free 30-days trial, full functionality enabled. Begin monitoring your systems right now, prevent downtime from happening.