CentraLUG notes, 1-October-2007: Michael Kazin on Nagios

Ten attendees made it to the October meeting of the Central NH Linux Group, coming from as far away as Nashua, Laconia, Peterborough and Hanover. CentraLUG is a chapter of the Greater New Hampshire Linux User Group, and our meeting was held as usual on the first Monday of the month at the New Hampshire Technical Institute‘s Library, Room 146, from 7 PM to 9 PM.

Michael Kazin presented Nagios, the host and service monitoring system. Michael told us a bit of his colorful personal history, and his exposure to Nagios as a student administrator of the Rutgers University computer center. He had found a neat diagram of the relationships between the configuration files in Nagios (we covered the current 2.x and not the 3.x, currently in beta) and went to explain how it could be used for businesses and home users, keeping an eye on working systems, alerting the operating to problematic conditions of low disk space, high CPU usage or unavailability of resources or services. Nagios has a huge number of pre-built modules, a 240-page manual, and documentation on how to extend the system for your own use.

Michael ended up with a presentation of a working Nagios installation on his home network, and showed how shutting down a service would set off an alarm, how the operator could flag the alarm as acknowledged, fix the problem, and verify that the alarm cleared. While the audience watched, participated and pestered Michael with questions, we identified and fixed a couple of permissions issues with his install and got the system to do things he’d never tried before. A good time was had by all. Wish you were there.

Michael’s slides are available on the GNHLUG site.

Bill Sconce was present to point out that modules could be written in Python. Ben Scott was heckled. I made the usual announcements: GNHLUG meetings can be found on http://www.gnhlug.org; several related meetings are taking place this month: SwANH’s annual infoeXchange, the NEARfest ham radio gathering. See the web site for links.

Thanks to Michael for a fine presentation, to Bill Sconce for providing the projector, to NHTI for providing the space and to all for attending and participating.

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