Tag Archive for 'windows'

How to Passively Monitor Windows Machines with NRDS & Nagios XI

In my previous article, I demonstrated how easy it is to passively monitor Linux machines with Nagios Remote Data Sender (NRDS) and Nagios XI. In today’s article, I will cover passive monitoring of Windows machines via NRDS.

Monitoring Windows machines via NRDS is no different than monitoring Linux boxes. You need to follow the same three steps:

  1. Adding Configuration
  2. Client Installation
  3. Configuring the host and its services

Step 1 – Adding Configuration

Go to Admin -> Monitoring Config -> NRDS Config Manager, click on Create Config, select Windows (32- or 64-bit) from the Operating System drop-down menu, and click on the Next button. You will see the Edit NRDS Config page. Most of the config options will already be populated for you with the default options. All you will need to do is type a config name, select a token from the drop-down menu, and click on the Apply button. For this example, we will be creating a config called “Win7x64”.

Edit NRDS Config

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Monitoring a Windows Machine with Nagios XI & NCPA

We have recently developed a cross-platform monitoring agent called NCPA that is designed to simplify the monitoring of devices with a wide variety of operating systems. NCPA can be used as a passive or active agent and monitors a multitude of different metrics right out of the box. In this article I will show you how easy it is to monitor a Windows machine with Nagios XI and NCPA. To do this, simply follow these 3 easy steps:

Step 1 – Installing and configuring NCPA on the remote box.

The NCPA installer can be downloaded here: NCPA’s Installer Direct Download. Instructions on installing NCPA can be found here: NCPA Installations Instructions. Download it on the Windows machine that you want to monitor and run the installer.

In this example, we will be using NCPA as an active agent.  This is the quickest and easiest way to begin monitoring with NCPA.  The image below is what the installation GUI looks like on the Windows device that you’re monitoring.  To use NCPA as an active agent, all you have to do is enter a token.  This token will be used to authenticate the connection between the Nagios XI server and the monitored device later in the article, so it’s important to choose a token you will remember. For this example, we entered “welcome“.  Click Next to finish the installation.

NCPA Installation Instructions

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Integrating autoIT With Nagios

AutoIT is a very powerful set of software tools whichs allows the recording and writing of scripts to automate windows tasks, from moving the mouse cursor to sending key strokes. In this example autoIT is used in conjunction with an NRPE check to open firefox.exe and record the time it takes to load a URL, then sends this time to the Nagios  XI server where the plugin pulls it in as a service. This may also be used to grab the loading time of a specific program or service and the script shows where this can be changed.

Having the ability to run these scripts via NRPE checks allows system administrators to custom tailor Windows server automation without having to initiate them locally.

Some of the abilities of AutoIT are as follows:

  • Easy to learn BASIC-like syntax
  • Simulate keystrokes and mouse movements
  • Manipulate windows and processes
  • Interact with all standard windows controls
  • Scripts can be compiled into standalone executables
  • Create Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs)
  • COM support
  • Regular expressions
  • Directly call external DLL and Windows API functions
  • Scriptable RunAs functions
  • Detailed helpfile and large community-based support forums
  • Compatible with Windows 2000 / XP / 2003 / Vista / 2008 / Windows 7 / 2008 R2
  • Unicode and x64 support
  • Digitally signed for peace of mind
  • Works with Windows Vista’s User Account Control (UAC)

The above bullet points were taken from http://www.autoitscript.com/site/autoit/


Below is a video showing an example of the check website load time script in action:

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Using FTP in Nagios to deploy NSClient++

Many customers showed interest in deploying NSClient++ to multiple machines across a windows domain, without the need to log in remotely or be physically present on these machines.

If you are using Nagios to monitor a windows environment, you can use FTP as a component to deploying NSClient++. We just posted a document on the Nagios Library, which explains how to configure FTP for Nagios. You can review it here.

Additional information on deploying NSClient++ via FTP in Nagios will be available soon.