Pandora FMS experience in Slovakia
This post is also available in : Spanish
Who are these guys wearing the awesome Pandora FMS t-shirts?? They are Miro, Simon and Roman, 3 nice guys that belong to a student organization of the University of Zilina in Slovakia. Their main goal is to develop data network and provide Internet for students. They are IT enthusiasts who are willing to administrate quite big network in their free time during the semester, and some of them even during holidays.
One day, they decided to upgrade their network in the way of monitoring, and after trying the free version of Pandora FMS, they discovered that this software fitted their needs perfectly. But something was missing, they needed more, and that’s why they contact us to make an exchange and get an Enterprise licence for free.
After a while, we’ve asked them to tell us about their experience using Pandora FMS Enterprise version, and there you have the answers:
1. How did you know Pandora FMS?
Simon: Long time ago we were talking about what improvements related to monitoring we could implement in our network environment. We were just having a friendly discussion between us, when suddenly Miro, one of our members, mentioned that we could try Pandora FMS. In that moment, I supposed he had been doing his own research about monitoring systems some time before, and then he found out Pandora FMS was worth to explore.
2. Which tools did you use before knowing Pandora FMS, and what do you think about it?
Simon: At the time I joined Internet Klub (2009), old members were using their own monitoring tools and mechanisms. Before using Pandora FMS we used Nagios, and beside Nagios we run our own graphic system based on rrd files, generally info collected from servers, devices, sensors, etc. If I have to talk about Nagios I can say that I consider it as a very strong monitoring tool that it’s being used to monitor several number of networks around the world. And maybe the support community (that has been growing as long as Nagios exists) is definitely one of its best advantages.
In the other hand we had Permonik, as we call our graphing system, which helped us so many times to detect and show with graphs what and when was going wrong.
3. Why do you like Pandora FMS instead of other tools?
Simon: I must say that for me it is really an eye candy. :) We enjoy to use interactive applications that have many tools and configurations, especially ones which have nice graphical interface and are interactive. For example, configuration of Nagios are sometimes hard for non-experienced users, where you have to do some hard coding in config files. But in Pandora FMS everything is on web interface, where you can easily add your devices, add services which have to be monitored, and everything is working without some edition of config files on server as Nagios. And massive operations are the best thing I’ve ever seen in monitoring softwares. Changing, adding or editing services for more than one host at the same time can save a lot of time and make things easy.
4. What is the most complex monitoring challenge that you have faced?
It is just the network we administrate. It all started in late 90s, when dozens of our members built one of the biggest networks in Žilina, that is still being developed and provides Internet for over 3500 active users. This network consists in over 120 switches, 15 servers providing non stop services, for now a few WiFi Apps, and lots of other network devices (UPS, VoIP phones, IP cameras, sensors…), etc.
5. What things have you planned to do with Pandora FMS in the future?
Definitely we’ve planned to implement Pandora FMS into our infrastructure, and monitor every nook and point of our network as firmly/certainly as possible. Fulfill inventory, have great view of infrastructure… The plan also is to learn how to use it effectively. Pandora FMS has lots of features we are still exploring and after we will get to know it perfectly we would be able to give substantiate reasons and advices how to and what to monitor… In future employments I mean.
And here ends another happy experience with Pandora FMS, so we want to thank Simon, Miro and Roman for answer all our questions and for being so kind with us.