Device Uptime Test

In most production environments, it is essential to monitor the uptime of critical network devices in the infrastructure.  By tracking the uptime of each of the devices, administrators can determine what percentage of time a device has been up. Comparing this value with service level targets, administrators can determine the most trouble-prone areas of the infrastructure.

In some environments, administrators may schedule periodic reboots of their network devices. By knowing that a specific device has been up for an unusually long time, an administrator may come to know that the scheduled reboot task is not working on a device.

This test included in the eG agent monitors the uptime of critical network devices.

Target of the test : Any network device

Agent deploying the test : An external agent

Outputs of the test : One set of results for every device being monitored

Configurable parameters for the test
Parameter Description

Test period

How often should the test be executed

Host

The host for which the test is to be configured.

SNMPPort

The port at which the monitored target exposes its SNMP MIB; the default is 161.

SNMPversion

By default, the eG agent supports SNMP version 1. Accordingly, the default selection in the snmpversion list is v1. However, if a different SNMP framework is in use in your environment, say SNMP v2 or v3, then select the corresponding option from this list.

SNMPCommunity

The SNMP community name that the test uses to communicate with the firewall. This parameter is specific to SNMP v1 and v2 only. Therefore, if the SNMPVersion chosen is v3, then this parameter will not appear.

Username

This parameter appears only when v3 is selected as the snmpversion. SNMP version 3 (SNMPv3) is an extensible SNMP Framework which supplements the SNMPv2 Framework, by additionally supporting message security, access control, and remote SNMP configuration capabilities. To extract performance statistics from the MIB using the highly secure SNMP v3 protocol, the eG agent has to be configured with the required access privileges – in other words, the eG agent should connect to the MIB using the credentials of a user with access permissions to be MIB. Therefore, specify the name of such a user against the Username parameter. 

Context

This parameter appears only when v3 is selected as the SNMPVersion. An SNMP context is a collection of management information accessible by an SNMP entity. An item of management information may exist in more than one context and an SNMP entity potentially has access to many contexts. A context is identified by the SNMPEngineID value of the entity hosting the management information (also called a contextEngineID) and a context name that identifies the specific context (also called a contextName). If the username provided is associated with a context name, then the eG agent will be able to poll the MIB and collect metrics only if it is configured with the context name as well. In such cases therefore, specify the context name of the username in the context text box.  By default, this parameter is set to none.

Authpass

Specify the password that corresponds to the above-mentioned Username. This parameter once again appears only if the SNMPversion selected is v3.

Confirm password

Confirm the Authpass by retyping it here.

Authtype

This parameter too appears only if v3 is selected as the snmpversion. From the authtype list box, choose the authentication algorithm using which SNMP v3 converts the specified username and password into a 32-bit format to ensure security of SNMP transactions. You can choose between the following options:

  • MD5 – Message Digest Algorithm
  • SHA – Secure Hash Algorithm

Encryptflag

This flag appears only when v3 is selected as the SNMPversion. By default, the eG agent does not encrypt SNMP requests. Accordingly, the this flag is set to no by default. To ensure that SNMP requests sent by the eG agent are encrypted, select the yes option. 

Encrypttype

If this Encryptflag is set to Yes, then you will have to mention the encryption type by selecting an option from the Encrypttype list. SNMP v3 supports the following encryption types:

  • DES – Data Encryption Standard
  • AES – Advanced Encryption Standard

Encryptpassword

Specify the encryption password here.

Confirm Password

Confirm the encryption password by retyping it here.

Timeout

Specify the duration (in seconds) within which the SNMP query executed by this test should time out in this text box. The default is 10 seconds.

ReportManagerTime

By default, this flag is set to Yes, indicating that, by default, the detailed diagnosis of this test, if enabled, will report the shutdown and reboot times of the device in the manager’s time zone. If this flag is set to No, then the shutdown and reboot times are shown in the time zone of the system where the agent is running.

Data Over TCP

By default, in an IT environment, all data transmission occurs over UDP. Some environments however, may be specifically configured to offload a fraction of the data traffic – for instance, certain types of data traffic or traffic pertaining to specific components – to other protocols like TCP, so as to prevent UDP overloads. In such environments, you can instruct the eG agent to conduct the SNMP data traffic related to the monitored target over TCP (and not UDP). For this, set this flag to Yes. By default, this flag is set to No.

Measurements made by the test
Measurement Description Measurement Unit Interpretation

Has the system been rebooted?

Indicates whether the server has been rebooted during the last measurement period or not.

 

Boolean

If this measure shows 1, it means that the server was rebooted during the last measurement period. By checking the time periods when this metric changes from 0 to 1, an administrator can determine the times when this server was rebooted. 

Uptime during the last measure period

Indicates the time period that the system has been up since the last time this test ran.

Secs

If the server has not been rebooted during the last measurement period and the agent has been running continuously, this value will be equal to the measurement period. If the server was rebooted during the last measurement period, this value will be less than the measurement period of the test. For example, if the measurement period is 300 secs, and if the server was rebooted 120 secs back, this metric will report a value of 120 seconds.  The accuracy of this metric is dependent on the measurement period – the smaller the measurement period, greater the accuracy.

Total uptime of the system

Indicates the total time that the server has been up since its last reboot.

Mins

Administrators may wish to be alerted if a server has been running without a reboot for a very long period. Setting a threshold for this metric allows administrators to determine such conditions.

Intermittent breaks in network connection, exasperating slowdowns, and inexplicable deterioration in the overall network performance, have become common-place in many IT environments today.  Whenever network performance chokes, administrators have to promptly determine which interface is consuming bandwidth excessively and why, so that the road-blocks can be cleared quickly and normalcy can be restored in minutes. However, as this analysis typically takes hours in the real world, the end-user experience suffers as an outcome, causing loss of revenue and reputation. 

To avoid such unpleasant eventualities, the eG Enterprise Suite offers specialized network monitoring capabilities vide its eG external agent component. This agent, which is capable of executing on any remote host in your environment, can be easily tuned to monitor the traffic on your critical Cisco routers and periodically report the findings, so that administrators can perform the following in no time:

  • Understand how much bandwidth is been utilized by every network interface, and isolate the bandwidth-intensive protocols on each interface;
  • Plan bandwidth allocation based on the network usage patterns so observed;
  • Closely monitor the traffic on the router to determine who is (i.e., which hosts are) communicating over the network, the top communicators in terms of traffic, and the nature of communication; 
  • Identify who (i.e., the sources) is generating the maximum traffic, and what is that they are accessing frequently (i.e  the destinations);

To collect such useful statistics, the external agent runs a series of tests on the Cisco router.