Questions - Features

Francois Mikus fmikus at
Tue Apr 5 13:37:33 EDT 2005


Having worked with a multitude of monitoring tools, I would like to 
better understand where argus is compared to other products.

I think argus has an interesting approach and would like to learn more 
about it. Here are the features that I am not sure are supported by 
argus but would like to see in state manager:

- support for remote agent running on various platforms which return 
information like: state, service, message
Similar to big brother agents, nagios agents. An easy way to extend 
things without re-inventing the wheel is supporting nagios and/or Big 
brother agent communications. Supporting multiple event messages per 
message is also very nice(bulk messages), this avoids the event bloat 
associated with Nagios.

- using queue-ing for receiving events. This insures that events from 
remote agents are never lost when the computer is too busy to process 
incoming events . This enables better uses of processing ressources, 
resiliency, possibility of dropping low priority events. I do not know 
any open-source nms's that really support sophisticated level queuing.

- correlation engine that supports all service checks and events with 
hierarchies, circular and other types. This seems to be supported!

- support for maintenance periods in alerts and reporting. This would 
include recurring periods, one time scheduled periods, administrative 
reason, contact name.

- flapping alert recognition events, alert acknowledgment, with 
administrative reason, contact name. Acknowledgement via web, email, etc.

- pager blackout periods based on support criteria.
Example: Where for some checks, if the service goes down, do not page 
between midnight and 8am. Send an email(or other type of non-intrusive 
alert) and queue the page until 8am.

- generating a unique ticket number for alerts so that they can be 
tracked by helpdesk applications or easily referred to by technical 
support team.

- support for external actions on events. The external script should be 
user provided.

- same colour/event scheme as big brother. (colour for no data, red for 
alert, yellow for warning, colour for stale data) Also have color icons 
with a twist, for acknowledged alarms, or other special events. This 
makes it easy to see that someone is working on a problem.

To win over people and developpers you need to support user hooks: 
Ability to create your own services checks, external actions, support 
for third party agents. A monitoring platform should be able to leverage 
external utilities and also *be* leveraged by external utilities. No 
system is in a vaccum.

I think argus is very interesting, it would gain from exposure, but I am 
still not clear if it is ready for replacing nagios based systems?

Look forward to seeing more and congratulations on putting a quality 
system together.

Francois Mikus
Acktomic Net Architects Inc.

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