Monitoring is an important activity in IT operations, it’s essential for correlating the state of all the moving parts of our systems and applications and create a big picture of the health of the whole environment. Before going down the rabbit hole of complicated monitoring tools and techniques let’s start with define a that monitoring can be subjective and on a case-by-case can be very basic or detailed and can let you choose a specific tool or strategy. There is no one-size-fits-all. This week I needed to implement a custom check to monitor the network load/usage on any Windows OS and instead of looking for a third-party tool and deploying maybe another agent on servers I wrote a Powershell script to perform this activity.
There are tools that are extremely useful and once configured properly will last a long time with little or no maintenance required at all. Web servers are a common example of tools that come to my mind that can be a swiss-army knife and serve a lot of purposes.
Whether you choose Apache, Nginx or IIS, just to pick some of the most famous ones, it’s very important to know at least most of the features that they offer. So it’s very important to get familiar with at least one of them, reading the documentation and start experimenting a bit.
One of the most basic and repetitive tasks for system administrators is certainly unlocking Active Directory user accounts. It’s very easy to underestimate it, in fact, this operation isn’t perceived not just by users, but more importantly by junior engineers not important at all! Frequently providing some general feedback to the user on this issue or simply a response that this issue is now it’s been fixed.
On top of that, I’ve found that in some situation finding the root cause it requires a bit of investigation and experience not just to guess what more likely is causing it and not many of us are willing to take this effort. But I like to explain and document what happened to the user, to me it’s absolutely key to raise the awareness and trust people and processes involved in the IT System. Continue reading “Powershell: Monitoring AD Account Lock-Out Events”
Nagios is a very powerful open source tool for monitoring networks and infrastructures. The number of plugins available on Nagios Exchange and extensions make this tool essential to not just to be reactive but to create workflows and escalations if needed in a matter of minutes.
The installation and configuration of this tool under a major linux distributions is not difficult.
The default tool for monitoring a Windows network are SCCM/SCOM and OMS, but if your environment is a mixed environment I think personally that Nagios can be considered a safe bet!
NSClient++ is the agent needed for performing some interesting checks on windows and you can leverage your powershell scripting ability to perform custom checks on the environment. Continue reading “PowerShell, Nagios and NSClient++”