Using Observium To Monitor Bandwidth Consumption And To Check The Healthiness Of All Devices

Observium is a PHP/MySQL driven Network Observation and Monitoring application, that supports a wide range of operating systems/hardware platforms including, Linux, Windows, FreeBSD, Cisco, HP, Dell, NetApp and many more. It seeks to present a robust and simple web interface to monitor the health and performance of your network. Observium gathers data from devices with the help of SNMP and displays those data in a graphical pattern via a web interface. It makes hefty use of the RRDtool package. It has a number of thin core design goals, which includes collecting as historical information about devices, being totally auto-discovered with slight or no manual interruption, and having a very simple yet powerful interface.

Available metrics on Observium

  • CPU, Memory and Storage statistics.
  • Interface traffic, packet and detailed error statistics.
  • Temperature, Fan Speed, Voltage, Amperage, Power, Humidity and Frequency sensors.
  • Users, Processes, Load Average and Uptime statistics.
  • Linux distribution detection.
  • Real-time interface traffic graphing.
  • Device inventory collection (very useful!)
  • Detailed IPv4, IPv6, TCP and UDP stack statistics.
  • BGP and OSPF statistics.
  • MAC / IP

Here we shall focus on how you can monitor your bandwidth from the Observium graphs.

The login interface into Observium would be as shown below,

 LINK; http://your-IP-AddressAfter login, you would then be able to visualize your observium graphs,

Adding the device to observium

NOTE: In order to add a device to Observium, the device must support SNMP/have SNMP software installed. SNMP stands for Simple Network Management Protocol and is a protocol that was designed for monitoring and management purposes for network-connected devices. It is quite a simple protocol but very powerful, mainly because so many devices understand it (servers, switches, printers, routers, etc.).

To do this, after login into Observium. In the top menu, select ‘Devices’ and then ‘Add device’. i.e.  Devices >> Add Device. This will take you to the following page: In the ‘Hostname’ field, fill in the hostname of the server you want to add. Then, at ‘SNMPv1/v2c Configuration’, the field ‘SNMP Community’ input the community name you have used in your device. When done, click the green ‘Add Device’ button. The device should now be added to your Observium installation.

If you get an error message, be sure to check:

  • the connectivity between the Observium server and the device you would like to add
  • Whether you have restarted SNMPd after changing the configuration on observium server.
  • Your firewall

Those are the most common causes for Observium to tell you the device cannot be added.

Wait for few minutes to let Observium collects data of the newly added device. After about 15 minutes, the first poll should have been done. From that point on, you should start seeing data.

Repeat the same steps to add all your servers and network devices.

You can list all your devices by going to Devices >> All Devices as shown in the picture below.

Click on Host/Device Name setting icon to see detailed information of a particular Host/Device.

Click on Graphs (Devices >> All Devices >> Host/Device name >> Graphs) to see detailed statistics of all metrics like Running Processes, Users logged in, Context switches, CPU usage, load averages, etc. Click on the image/graph to zoom your graph as shown below;

To check the healthiness of a particular device, go to Devices >> All Devices >>  Host/Device name >> Health. Click on the sub-menu of Graphs to see the detailed view of each metrics.

That’s all! You have successfully installed and configured Observium network monitoring application

References and further reading;


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