Open Source Networking Tools for Monitoring MPLS nodes

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1 Open Source Networking Tools for Monitoring MPLS nodes OPMANAGER M.MIRUNALINI MBA Banking Technology Pondicherry University Project guide: Dr. N.P. Dhavale DGM, INFINET Department Institute of Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT) Road No. 1, Castle Hills, Masab Tank, Hyderabad

2 CONTENTS Introduction 4 Knowing the network 5 What to monitor 6 The problem 10 OPMANAGER and its features 11 OPMANAGER installation 12 Screenshots of the tool 13 Conclusion 17

3 CERTIFICATE This is to certify that project report titled Open Source Networking Tools for monitoring MPLS nodes submitted by M.Mirunalini of Pondicherry University,MBA Banking Technology, is record of a bonafide work carried out by her under my guidance during the period 10 th May 2012 to 10 th July 2012 at Institute of Development and Research in Banking Technology, Hyderabad. The project work is a research study, which has been successfully completed as per the set objectives. Dr. N.P. Dhavale DGM, Infinet office IDRBT,Hyderabad

4 INTRODUCTION Networking as we see today has constantly evolved from merely just two computers connected through a wire to a broader platform of Internet which acclaims to connect one part of the world to the other. As a result modern computer networks tend to be large heterogeneous collections of computers, switches, routers and a large assortment of other devices. To a large degree, the growth of such networks is ad-hoc and based on the current and perceived future needs of the users. As networks get larger and faster, the job of monitoring and managing them gets more complex. However, the job of managing computer networks becomes increasingly more important as society becomes more dependent on computers and the Internet for everyday business tasks. Network downtime now costs significant amounts of money so it is important that network and system managers are aware of everything that is happening on the networks for which they are responsible. As a result a solitary network consultant monitoring network activity is required based on the Open Systems Interconnect (OSI) reference model proposed by International Telecommunications Union (ITU).This task is accomplished by using some form of tool to gather, analyze and represent information about a computer network therefore, in general, network monitoring involves a set of tools to aid people to monitor and maintain computer networks. With a resource this valuable, ensuring its availability is essential. It s also challenging because of threats such as hackers, denial of service attacks, viruses, and information theft, all of which can lead to downtime, loss of data, and overall decreasing credibility and profitability. Additionally, the network is evolving drastically, with new technologies, devices, and strategies, such as virtualization and service-oriented architectures. That s why network management is such an important function and capability for businesses of all sizes. If our business depends on our network, then network management is critical. Network management is a broad functional area incorporating device monitoring, application management, security, ongoing maintenance, service levels, troubleshooting, planning, and other tasks ideally all coordinated and overseen by an experienced and reliable network administrator. Yet even the most knowledgeable and capable network administrator is only as good as the network information that is visible, and that he or she can manage and act on. Administrators need to know what s happening on their networks at all times, including real-time and historical information on usage, performance, and status of every device, application, and all data on the network. This is the domain of network monitoring, the most critical function of network management. The only way to know if everything on our network is operating as it should is to monitor it continuously. KNOWING THE NETWORK

5 Today s networks can be astounding in their complexity. Routers, switches, and hubs link the multitude of workstations to critical applications on myriad servers and to the Internet. In addition, there are numerous security and communications utilities and applications installed, including firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), and spam and virus filters. These technologies span all verticals and companies of all sizes. Network management, therefore, is not confined to only certain industries or solely to large, public companies. Understanding the composition and complexity of our network, and having the capacity to be informed of how all the individual elements are performing at any given time, is a key success factor in maintaining the performance and integrity of the network and often of the business as a whole. There are potentially thousands of data points to monitor on a network, and it is critical to be able to access meaningful, accurate, and current information at any given time. Network administrators need to feel confident that they know what s happening on their network from end to end at any given point in time. It is critical to know our network at all times. A network is no longer a monolithic structure. It includes the Internet, local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), virtual LANS (VLANS), wireless networks, and all of the devices, servers, and applications that run on them. Whatever enables users to access and share information, utilize applications, and communicate with each other and with the outside world either through voice, data, or images is, in essence, our network. A network typically has both internal and external users, including employees, customers, partners, and other stakeholders. Suboptimal network performance affects companies in different ways, depending on the type of user. For example, if employees can t access the applications and information they need to do their jobs, it means lost productivity and missed deadlines. When customers can t complete transactions online, it means lost revenues and damaged reputation. And when strategic partners can t collaborate or communicate with the company, it harms the relationship and affects their bottom line. Even stakeholders such as investors and analysts who can t get the information they need when they need it will also look unfavorably at our company, leading to loour stock prices and loss of shareholder value. The fact is, though, that networks are so complex that something will go wrong. Every component in the network represents a potential point of failure. That s why it s essential to implement redundancy and/or a failover strategy in order to minimize downtime. This way, if a server or router fails, another one waiting idly until needed can automatically come online to mitigate the impact of the failed equipment. Of course, not every problem can be addressed quite so proactively before any warning signs are apparent. However, if we can monitor network performance proactively in real time, we can identify problems before they become emergencies. An overloaded server, for example, can be replaced before it crashes but only if we know that its utilization rate is increasing to such an extent that a crash is all but imminent. With network monitoring, we should know the status of everything

6 on our network without having to watch it personally, and be able to take the timely action needed to minimize and, when necessary, quickly correct problems. WHAT TO MONITOR AND WHY? For something as mission-critical as our network, it s important to have the right information at the right time. Of primary importance is to capture status information about current network devices (e.g., routers and switches) and critical network servers. A network administrator also needs to know that essential services (e.g., , website, and file transfer services) are consistently available. The following table contains a representative list of some of the key types of network status information we need to know every minute of every day and why What to monitor? Availability of network devices (such as switches, routers, servers, etc.). Availability of all critical services on our network. Amount of disk space in use on our key servers Percentage of our routers maximum throughput utilized on average. Average memory and processor utilization of our key CPUs/servers. Function of firewalls, antivirus protection, update servers, and spyware/malware defenses. Availability of all network devices. Why to monitor? The plumbing of a network keeps the network running The whole network doesn t have to be down to have a negative impact; loss of , HTTP, or FTP server availability for even just one hour can shut a business down. Applications require disk capacity. It s also important to be aware of any anomalous behavior in disk capacity, which can indicate a problem with a specific application or system If we anticipate when we need to upgrade before we feel the pain of needing to upgrade, we ll minimize disruption to our business If we wait until memory is used up, users will never let we forget it There s a difference between having security, and having security that s working. Most networks are a combination of heterogeneous devices; we need to be able to monitor Windows, Linux, UNIX, and other types of servers, workstations, and printers.

7 When there are issues, we should be alerted immediately, either through audio alerts, on-screen displays, or s automatically generated by the network monitoring solution. The sooner we know what is going on and the more complete the information included with the alert the sooner we can take corrective action. Alerts should announce not only when a problem has occurred (or a threshold is being approached), but also whenever a new application or piece of equipment is brought online. They should contain information about the device, the issue, and the event that triggered the notification. At the same time, it s important to generate only meaningful alerts and to minimize the number of alerts stemming from the same problem or event on the network. For example, we want the flexibility to configure the monitoring solution so that it doesn t alert when scheduled maintenance downtime is initiated. And if availability to many devices is constrained because of a problem with a router or switch, eliminating dependent alerts enables the administrator to more effectively and efficiently diagnose the actual problem. Suppressing these dependencies decreases the information we have to assimilate and increases overall confidence in the alerts we do receive. WHAT TO LOOK IN A NETWORK MONITORING APPLICATION To really know our network, we need a network monitoring solution that can tell we what we need to know in real time and from anywhere, anytime. For businesses of all sizes, we also need a solution that s easy to use, quick to deploy, and offers low total cost of ownership yet also delivers all the features we need. We need a solution with comprehensive capabilities and the same reliability we expect from our network. If we want our network running at high availability, we need a proven solution that we can depend on as well. Remember, we re monitoring a lot of network components and we re collecting a lot of information. In order to see things clearly and quickly, we need a solution that displays this data including a network map, report data, alerts, historical information, problem areas, and other useful information as a network operating center (NOC) dashboard. As discussed earlier, alerts are important. However, they are like alarm clocks we want them to go off when we need them to, not when we don t. For example, just as we don t want our alarm to go off on Saturday morning, we don t want our network monitoring solution to alert we during planned service periods. We want to be able to program our weekly maintenance schedule into the system so it can distinguish between planned and unplanned downtime. In other words, no false alarms. Networks have to run 24/7 regardless of what hours our employees work. And while our network generally stays in one location, our employees sometimes travel. Regardless, we need to be able to access our network monitoring solution

8 anywhere, anytime. For that matter, different people will need to access the system for different reasons, and not everyone should be able to access the same level of information. We need a solution that affords role-based views, that assigns levels of permissions based on the user s function in the organization. This not only makes the user more productive, it also adds an important layer of security around the information. Finally, we should look for a solution that supports multiple methods of monitoring devices. SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) is a flexible technology that lets we manage and monitor network performance devices, troubleshoot problems, and better prepare for future network growth. Many network devices support SNMP, making it easy to monitor them using a solution that supports SNMP. IDRBT NETWORK IDRBT(Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology) started INFINET( Indian Financial Network). INFINET is the communication backbone for the Indian Banking and Financial Sector. It is a Closed User Group Network for the exclusive use of member banks and financial institutions and is the communication backbone for the National Payments System, which caters mainly to inter-bank applications like RTGS, Delivery Vs Payment, Government Transactions, Automatic Clearing House, etc. The network is a hybrid one of terrestrial leased lines and VSATs(Very Small Aperture Terminal) was the main communication backbone for inter-bank requirements. Over the years, with the decline in prices of leased lines, the reliance on VSATs for running applications declined. The VSAT technology also matured over the years with the increase in the size of the market and the number of private VSAT operators. The terrestrial leased line market also underwent significant change with the introduction of MPLS / VPN service being offered by many service providers. Further, as the technology had matured, the need for IDRBT to play a role of intermediary between the banks and the commercial VSAT operators also diminished. With the availability of better and more reliable technology in the form of Multi- Protocol Label Switching (MPLS), IDRBT decided to migrate the INFINET backbone to MPLS. The IP VPN MPLS network is an improvement over the Leased Line Network. The Leased Line Network is less scalable and since it is a partial mesh network, adding a new site to the network is difficult. Upgradation of bandwidth too is a time consuming and cumbersome process. Packet switching is also compared to MPLS and the quality of service for applications too is not of a high standard. MPLS(Multi Protocol Label Switching) The MPLS is a combination of packet forwarding and label switching through a network. It is an integration of high speed layer-2 switching with layer-3 routing using label switching. It improves efficient use of resources and enhances performance of the network. MPLS also enables easy to implement Quality of

9 Service and Class of Service based on application needs. Moreover, implementation of IPSec tunnels (secure tunnels between which data is encrypted) between CPE (Customer Premises Equipment i.e. router) to CPE is easy. When an unlabeled packet enters the ingress router and needs to be passed on to an MPLS tunnel, the router first determines the forwarding equivalence class (FEC) the packet should be in, and then inserts one or more labels in the packet's newly-created MPLS header. The packet is then passed on to the next hop router for this tunnel. Google images Fig. MPLS uses a combination of packet as well as circuit switching IDRBT MPLS Architecture The INFINET MPLS Architecture is uniquely designed to provide high-level redundancy. Its salient features are full meshed communications at all locations (backbone); two service providers to enable high speed fault tolerance; a VPN between two locations could be across service providers; all VPNs between CPEs will be encrypted; and availability of Quality of Service and Traffic Engineering on the last mile as well. The INFINET MPLS network provides the performance characteristics of layer-2 networks and the connectivity and network services of layer-3 networks, improved scalability and easy upgradation of bandwidth through a configuration change at the provider-end and the time involved in upgrading the link is less.

10 The INFINET MPLS network provides for low latency since it involves minimal processing time at the router. The present SLA is for latency of not over 100ms. The architecture changes are underway to bring it to below 50 ms and even better for latency sensitive payment system applications as per user requirements. The INFINET MPLS improves the possibilities for Traffic Engineering and supports the delivery of services with Quality of Service (QoS) guarantees. * Fig. Basic operation of MPLS network at IDRBT THE PROBLEM IDRBT while hosting the INFINET has to take care of the communication backbone of the inter bank transfer and other activities. As a result they need to constantly need to monitor over the entire RBI locations all across the country and if for any link going down need to report the network administrator about it and take necessary actions. This calls for the use of a network monitoring tool quite robust and stable which can counter over these problems and comes with the worthwhile result.

11 The Approach Network monitoring tool can be broadly categorized into two main segments-open Source and Licensed version. Our project had been a group project under the common heading of Open source Networking Tools for monitoring the Mpls nodes which saw the broad division of 13 networking tools both under open source as well as licensed version namely as described in the next page. IDRBT source material Open Source Networking Tool Zabbix Argus Nagios Cacti NetDisco Zenoss Spiceworks Open QRM Open NMS Frame Flow Licensed Networking Tool OpManager PRTG NetFlow Analyser On the part of the group project I was assigned the task to have a look over one of the tool and that was OPMANAGER. OPMANAGER: With the growing need for the network monitoring software in the IT industry, OpManager has been built to satisfy the needs of network administrators by monitoring servers, routers, switches, firewalls, printers, critical services and applications from a single console. FUNCTIONALITY: Network monitoring Server monitoring

12 WAN monitoring Application and services monitoring URL monitoring Fault management SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: No. of devices/interfaces Processor RAM Free Hard Disk Supported Operating System Up to 50 devices or 300 Interfaces Up to 300 devices or 2000 Interfaces Up to 1000 devices or 5000 interfaces More than 1000 device or 5000 interfaces 1.7 GHz 1 GB 3.4 GHz 2 GB 2 * 3.4 GHz 4 GB 4 * 3.4 GHz 8 GB 40 GB 80 GB Windows: 2008, 2003 Server, Vista, 2000 professional +SP4, XP Professional Linux: RedHat 7.x and above, Debian 3.0, Suse, Fedora & Mandrake Supported Browsers: Firefox 2.0 or above and IE 7.0 or above. INSTALLATION PROCESS: 1. Download OpManager for Windows. 2. Execute the downloaded OpManager.exe to install and follow the instructions in the installation wizard. 3. Click Next to begin the installation process. Go through the license agreement and click Yes to proceed to the next step. 4. In the subsequent steps of the wizard, select the OpManager Edition (30day trial or Free), language and the directory to install OpManager. Proceed to the next step.

13 5. If you want to install OpManager as Windows service, select Install OpManager as service option and proceed to the next step. 6. Select the Program folder to add the OpManager shortcuts and click Next. 7. Specify the port number to run OpManager Web Server and click Next. 8. Register for technical support by supplying your contact information such as name, id etc. 9. Verify the installation details and click Next. 10.Select the Server Mode i.e., Primary or Standby server and click Next. 1. If the Server Mode is selected as Standby, then enter the Primary webserver host, port and login details and complete the installation. 11.Select the database. OpManager supports both, MySql and MSSQL as database and click Next. 12.Click Finish to complete the installation process.

14 SCREENSHOTS: EVENT SUMMARY AND UTILIZATIONS

15 TRAFFIC AND BANDWIDTH UTILIZATION

16 MONITORING AND ALERTS

17 CONCLUSION: PROS Easy to install and use and needs no special requirements Notifies admin on alarms, or escalation thresholds Includes map maker and device reports CONS It is completely web-browser based Lots of manual configuration needed and is complex Since our project was group project we came to conclusion the none of the tool was perfectly suitable for the given set of parameters. So the entire group sat together and discussed the pros and cons of each tool and came to the final result of integrating the four best networking tools over the servers of IDRBT

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