Now that you have your own NTP servers up and running (such as some Raspberry Pis with external DCF77 or GPS times sources) you should monitor them appropriately, that is: at least their offset, jitter, and reach. From an operational/security perspective it is always good to have some historical graphs that show how any service behaves under normal circumstances to easily get an idea about a problem in case one occurs. With this post I am showing how to monitor your NTP servers for offset, jitter, reach, and traffic aka “NTP packets sent/received”.
When configuring a pool of NTP servers on a F5 BIG-IP load balancer you need to choose how to check if they are still up and running. There is no specific NTP monitor on a F5 BIG-IP that does an application layer health check (like there is for http or radius). The out-of-the-box options that can be used are only ICMP and UDP monitoring. Let’s first look at the pros and cons of using either (or both) of these monitors. Then let’s build a custom UDP monitor that does a better job at checking whether the NTP servers are still healthy.
This is just a small post on how to enable SNMP on a Lastline Advanced Malware Protection appliance in order to query the basic host and network MIBs from an SNMP monitoring server. Note that this is not the preferred method of monitoring a Lastline device. The Product API (PAPI) should be used instead such as shown in the online docs. However, basic SNMP gives access to the CPU, memory, load average and the network interface statistics incl. the anonymous VPN tunnel interface.
Since all Lastline devices are basically a Ubuntu server, the basic setup for SNMP is quite similar to my tutorial for a generic Linux. The only step missing there is the allow statement for the Uncomplicated Firewall (ufw).
I always wanted to monitor my private network with an open source tool. Since I knew some nice statistics, e.g. from the DE-CIX (printed with RRDtool) or from the Uni-Gießen (generated with MRTG), I had the idea of installing such a system by myself. Luckily I found a book from Steve Shipway, called “Using MRTG with RRDtool and Routers2“, which actually disappointed me because it did not offer a complete installation guide but mainly further information about fine-tuning the appropriate tools.
Therefore, I want to show a complete step-by-step installation of all the needed tools in order to monitor a network with MRTG, RRDtool and Routers2. “From scratch” means that there are no prerequisite to this installation guide except a plain Linux server (in my case a Ubuntu Linux) such as presented here. Okay, let’s go: Continue reading MRTG with RRDtool and Routers2 – Installation from Scratch