Advanced Network Monitoring with Pandora FMS
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Advanced network monitoring for big and small companies
Pandora FMS has become well known as a reliable, flexible advanced network monitoring solution. It allows businesses of all sizes to monitor and manage network and hardware issues in real time, and integrates all of the monitored terminals, servers, and other entities into a centralized system.
These features mean that Pandora FMS has become the go-to choice for small businesses looking to deploy advanced network monitoring technologies for the first time. However, Pandora FMS also offers a number of more advanced features that also make it a great system for large, established companies that have identified a need to improve their network monitoring and management capabilities.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of these advanced features. First we’ll look at the deployment of event intelligence functionality, then at the concept of agentless monitoring, and finally the related idea of proxy modes.
The event intelligence capabilities of Pandora FMS are built on a more fundamental feature of the software: its ability to integrate monitoring of many different network entities into a single system. The base functionality of Pandora FMS allows network administrators to immediately identify anomalous network behavior, even in environments where they are working with idiosyncratic devices and infrastructures.
In basic implementations, network engineers will pay close attention to event logs in order to spot potential network issues. However, it is also possible to automate this process through the event intelligence features of Pandora FMS.
The most straightforward implementation of event intelligence in Pandora FMS is the ability to combine issues of the same type into single alert reports. In scenarios where network admins are working in multi-cloud environments, a single failure point will generate thousands of alerts, overwhelming the ability of engineers to deal with the problem.
This is particularly true where network traffic is being directed through proxy servers, or server applications that serve as an emissary between end users and the websites they visit, thereby helping to prevent attackers from invading private networks.
Using the event intelligence features of Pandora FMS, engineers can combine thousands of failure reports into single alerts, and use recursive diagnostic tests to perform initial investigations into the source of the failure.
It is even possible to then trigger actions based on the outcome of these tests – restarting servers or services, for instance, where it is immediately clear that this will solve the issue.
Many network monitoring tools are limited by a fairly fundamental oversight: that many entities used in modern network environments do not allow the installation of software agents for monitoring.
This issue is particularly common in the kinds of IoT networks that are becoming standard in manufacturing environments, but is increasingly common even in more “traditional” corporate environments. In order to overcome it, network administrators can take a number of approaches: either building cloud-native application management tools, or using a software solution like Pandora FMS that permits them to use agentless monitoring.
The Enterprise version of Pandora FMS allows for the quick and simple deployment of agentless monitoring via a satellite server. In addition, Pandora FMS allows you to monitor an unlimited number of agentless entities.
Pandora FMS also allows administrators to directly monitor virtual machines, and in the Enterprise version even the infrastructure virtualization that supports these machines. This means that you can monitor VMware, EC2, HyperV, XEN, RHEV, and other virtualization systems, and immediately isolate issues that may affect the operation of individual terminals.
Finally, because Pandora FMS has been built with flexibility in mind, it allows network administrators to work with software agent proxies. When working in proxy mode, Pandora FMS software agents will act as a proxy server does, by forwarding network monitoring data directly through queries to your Pandora FMS server.
Proxy mode is particularly useful in two types of environment. The first is where you are working in a way that only permits one agent to have access to your Pandora FMS server. This might be the case, for instance, in IoT environments in which one machine is being used to collect the monitoring data from a huge number of sensing devices, and where giving IoT devices a direct connection to Pandora FMS is unnecessary.
The second primary advantage of proxy mode is that it can significantly improve network security. Though most administrators will use their network monitoring tools to monitor the security of their networks, in many cases this monitoring can actually end up undermining the cybersecurity of these same systems.
This is because network monitoring tools require – by definition – high-level access to all of the entities on your network. If your network monitoring software is breached, this can allow attackers similarly high levels of access to your devices. In proxy mode, Pandora FMS can be configured so that the proxy server acts as an extra layer of protection against cyberthreats, and to use completely secure communication via the Tentacle server.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, when you are looking for advanced network monitoring tools, flexibility is key. The needs of each business will be different, of course, but even the needs of individual businesses will vary with time as your networks grow.
Pandora FMS offers a number of advanced features, including the three above, which have been specifically designed to give you this flexibility. It will allow you to build a powerful and secure network monitoring system from the ground up, and one that integrates all of your devices (no matter how unusual) into one centralized system.
And even if it looks like your network is simply too strange to be effectively monitored using a software solution, why not take a deeper look at the options available in Pandora FMS, or even contact the Pandora FMS team?
Read our related success story and see the results we’ve got
Sam Bocetta is a former security analyst for the Department of Defense and current freelance journalist specializing in writing about cybersecurity, technology, and cryptography. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling around the United States in his RV with his wife and fly fishing out in the woods. Currently working as part-time cybersecurity coordinator at assignyourwriter.co.uk
Sam Bocetta es un antiguo analista de seguridad del Departamento de Defensa y actual periodista independiente especializado en escribir sobre seguridad cibernética, tecnología y criptografía. En su tiempo libre, disfruta viajando por los Estados Unidos en su RV con su esposa y pescando con mosca en el bosque. Actualmente trabaja como coordinador de ciberseguridad a tiempo parcial en assignyourwriter.co.uk