by June 29, 2007 0 comments

Let’s start this article with a few questions. How fast can you rollout an NMS (Network Monitoring System)? 2 Months? 2 weeks? 2 days? 2hours? No, its two
minutes! Can’t believe me? Ok, then take out your stop watch and start counting,
while we start the process of rolling out an NMS system.

If you remember, we had an article about how to configure an NMS system with
alerts and using OpenNMS, around a couple of years back. It was a two page
story, with lots of configurations, dependency hazards, and CLI. But, today we
will be configuring the same OpenNMS (well, not exactly the same. It’s an
updated version) in just a couple of minutes.

Direct Hit!

Applies To:
IT Managers
Rollout a fully functional
and Free NMS system in a few minutes
Primary Link:

Google Keywords: OpenNMS + VMware
+ appliance

Let us briefly talk about what OpenNMS is, just for recap. OpenNMS is an Open
Source Network Management System, which runs on any OS that supports Java and
Tomcat. This software is capable of SNMP service polling, data collection,
notification and event management. Using this software you can monitor your
crucial servers and individual services running on them such as HTTP, FTP, MySQL;
that too in an agent less environment.
The installation of OpenNMS is pretty tedious, and you need to configure quite a
few components such as Tomcat, Java to make it work. So, to minimize the time
consumed when deploying OpenNMS, we will go the Virtualization way. This time we
are also carrying VMware appliance of OpenNMS in our DVD, which is pre-installed
and pre-configured with everything. So, let us start the roll out the process.

Getting the NMS Ready
To deploy this NMS all you’re required to do is to copy and unpack the
zipped files named OpenNMS-VM, and load it using any VMware client such as
VMware player or VMware Workstation.

We loaded it on top of the VMware Player. Here, we have a word of caution for
you. This 600 MB file when inflated yields a huge 12 GB VMD file, so make sure
you have that much of free disk space. Once booted into the appliance, login
using ‘root’ as username and ‘pppppp’ as password.

Now, to make sure that you have got an IP, run the ‘ifconfig’ command. Now,
you have to run some commands and do some configurations. Change directory to
“/opt/opennms/etc” by running the following command and open the file called

The dashboard on the front page of OpenNMS
you a comprehensive summary of your network

#cd /opt/opennms/etc
#vi discovery-configuration.xml

Now, you will see a section like this in the file:

<include-range retries=”2” timeout=”3000”>

Here, change the IP addresses in starting and ending tags, with the IP
addresses which make your range. For instance, on have a 192.168.3.x network, we
will put in the starting tag and in the ending tag.
Once this is done, save your settings and then close the editor. Now, run the
following commands in the given sequence to start Tomcat and OpenNMS server:

#/etc/init.d/tomcat5 start
#/opt/opennms/bin/opennms strat
So, now your NMS is up and running.

Click on an IP to get the details of all the
events and errors list specific to that IP

Using the system
Once you get the IPs, go to any machine on the same network and open up your
favorite browser. Now type in the address “http ://<ip_addr_of_the_appliance>:
8080/opennms,” and you will be prompted with the login screen of OpenNMS.

Log in to this screen as admin with the password ‘admin’. This is the default
username of OpenNMS interface. Once you login, the OpenNMS dashboard pops up. As
you have defined the default range of your network, OpenNMS will automatically
discover all nodes on the network and will also check for the services available
on those nodes. Now, see how much time it took you to build the system?

Configuring Notification
The final thing, which youcan do, is to configure notifications in case of
failure of any node or any service specific to any node. OpenNMS is capable of
configuring alerts in an escalated fashion. For instance if there is an error in
any of the crucial system. So, an alert will be immediately sent to the
concerned person and if because of any reason he cannot resolve the problem in a
given amount of time, then the system will automatically escalate the matter and
send an alert to the next level of support.

You can define the e-mail addresses to which
an e-mail is
 to be fired in case of an error or warning

To configure this, go to the “Admin” menu at the top of the window. Select
the “Configure Notification Path” option and click on the “New Path” button.
Now, a new window will open up. Give a name for the notification path.

Now, click on the “Edit” button at the right of the window. In the next
window which comes up click on the “add address” button. Now, a dialogue
box will open up. Enter in your mail address where you want to receive the
notifications, click on “Next” button twice, then click on the “Finish” button
and you are all done.

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